David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
04/18  Release the Cows!
04/19  Need A List
04/20  Million Dollar Water
04/23  Peoria IL
04/24  Navigating the Grid
04/25  I'm in a flat land
04/26  Ghetto in the Fields
04/27  The Katy Trail
04/30  Hermann MO
05/01  Hermann to Jefferson City
05/02  The Mushroom Hunters
05/03  Enter the Ozarks
05/04  Ha Ha Tonka
05/09  Bennett Springs State Park
05/10  Barbed Wire and Mansions
05/11  Hello Arkansas
05/16  Up the Mountain
05/17  Muddy Roads
05/21  The Ouachita Trail...
05/22  whip-a-ree
05/23  Mena
05/24  Oklahoma
05/25  Farm to Market to Paris
05/29  Caddo National Grasslands
05/30  Salt Palace and Alligators
05/31  Highways
06/01  Waco
06/06  Waco Mammoth Site
06/07  10 Liters
06/08  Mayonnaise or Mustard
06/10  Llano
06/11  Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel
06/12  High Fences
06/13  Kickapoo Cavern
06/14  Del Rio
06/19  Into the Desert
06/20  Cold and Wet
06/21  Bicycler Bottleneck
06/22  Chisos Mountains
06/23  Chisos Mountain Lodge
06/24  Terlingua
06/25  Alpine
06/27  Friday Night Light
06/28  Dust Devils
07/02  Crops in the Desert
07/03  Armpit of America
07/04  City of Rocks
07/10  Gila National Forest
07/11  Peanut Butter
07/12  Last of the Washboards
07/13  Quemado
07/17  El Malpais
07/18  Last Desert Stretch
07/19  Farmington
07/24  Colorful Colorado
07/25  Between a Rock and a High Place
07/26  Cinnamon Pass
07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Armpit of America


tl;dr: I biked through El Paso, then along the Rio Grande up into New Mexico where folks aren't paranoid.

I once heard somebody refer to El Paso as the "armpit of America." An apt description. The roads are busy. The city is dingy. And everything is gated and locked (much like the rest of Texas). Border Patrol helicopters patrol the sky continuously. There was construction all along my route, and the road was mostly too narrow for bicycles, and the sidewalk was intermittent. I didn't even see a Walmart until most of the way through, and that was just one of those Walmart Groceries. I soldiered through the bowels of this city for hours following Google Lady's directions, which at one point directed me through a new gated community that had all of the exit roads locked.

Suddenly, the Google Lady dumps me on the Rio Grande River Trail, an actual bike path along the river. It was pleasant. I rode that trail all the way to New Mexico.

It's strange what a difference an arbitrary border can make. Suddenly houses along the road weren't all gated and locked. Some were, but the farther north I traveled the less common this was. No Trespassing signs existed, but were less frequent and appeared to be focused on protecting pecans.

The road was just narrow enough and just busy enough that I had to pay attention to the cars and trucks, but it wasn't bad. There were a variety of crops along the Rio Grande. It's been so long since I have smelled alfalfa that it actually smelled good. At one point I biked by some field of herbs and the aroma was almost intoxicating.

Once again, I found it was easier to get a motel than camp, so I stopped in Las Cruces.

Border Patrol

El Paso

Rio Grande River Trail

Rio Grande



horses under a bridge

Welcome to New Mexico!

corn and mountains

pecan trees

no nut picking

more flooded pecan trees

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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