Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

2013 Southern Route USA

Since at least 1997, I had yearned to attempt a cross country bike ride. That summer, my friend Warren rode from LA to Boston. He called me from Winslow, AZ; I rode with him when he passed through Indiana, and I celebrated his accomplishment when he returned. But I, too, wanted to “explore” the USA. I had always loved Charles Kuralt and his tales of small towns off the interstate. What better way to see our great country?

With children, a job, and a widowed mother in failing health, the dream was put on the back burner of life for 15 years. Early in 2012, when I asked my husband if he was interested in such an adventure, he declined without hesitation. And I “discovered” WomanTours – a wonderful “girly group” that seemed to have great support (before and during the ride) and reasonable daily miles (reasonable if I train well).

So in March 2013, the dream – and adventures – began!

I turned 65 while on the ride – it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate – in El Paso, Texas, where my 100 year old mother passed away in December 2011. I think she would have been nervously excited for me.


  • March 23, 2013
    Down to the River
    March 23: Kingston to Las Cruces, NM Started the day with a 9 mile downhill after leaving the Lodge. Stopped part way down at the Hillsboro Cafe, where several locals were enjoying Saturday breakfast. Our route 152, which we had followed most of yesterday, ended at I-25, where we turned south and east toward Las Cruces on old ...
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  • March 24, 2013
    A Day of Memory and Honor
    March 24: Las Cruces, NM to El Paso, TX I have been thinking about this day for several months, the day we would bike into El Paso. When I signed up for this tour, I noted that we would be in El Paso for my 65th birthday (tomorrow). I asked permission to deviate from the tour ...
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  • March 25, 2013
    Happy Birthday to Me
    No WiFi in Fort Hancock tonight. Only 46 miles from El Paso, but headwind all day. Details tomorrow. March 25: El Paso to Fort Hancock, TX In our nightly map meeting, Carol told us this would be an easy day, and to be sure to stop and see the old missions along the way. Donna, my riding ...
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  • March 26, 2013
    Wind, wind, and more wind
    March 26: Fort Hancock to Van Horn, Texas Whoever said the prevailing winds blow from west to east has never been in west Texas. Yesterday, we rode south south east and the wind was at our face. Today we rode east south east and the wind was still in our face. It makes for a long hard ...
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  • March 28, 2013
    Down, and Up to Fort Davis
    March 27: Van Horn to Fort Davis, TX Carol told us at map meeting that today’s route was long and hard – she wasn’t kidding. Because of the distance, 89 miles, we got an early start, just as the sun was rising in Van Horn. The first 20 miles we rode on the shoulder of I-10, some downhill, ...
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  • March 28, 2013
    Rest Day in Fort Davis
    March 28: After yesterday’s hard ride, it was easy to sleep in past 7 am. I did wake up in time to enjoy this sunrise. Beautiful early morning views of the Lodge and the nearby hills. We tried to arrange transportation to the Observatory some 13 miles back uphill, but were unsuccessful. So we decided to hike the ...
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  • March 29, 2013
    Through Alpine
    March 29: Fort Davis to Marathon, TX At map meeting, Carol indicated that the route was not difficult today, so Donna and I decided to make an early stop at the Fort Davis Historical Site. Originally established in 1854, the fort protected settlers along the San Antonio-El Paso Road from Indians. After the Civil War, black ...
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  • March 30, 2013
    Along the Texas Pecos Trail
    March 30: Marathon to Sanderson, TX Somewhere after Fort Davis, the road signs have changed; we are now on the Texas Pecos Trail. Moira checked us out as we left the Gage Hotel (she is under 5 feet tall, so the step stool gives her height and auth We encountered fog or smoke early in the ride – ...
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  • March 31, 2013
    March 31:Sanderson to Del Rio, TX 110 miles, average 11.9 mph, less than 12 hours total time. Enough said for tonight! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading...
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  • April 1, 2013
    Easter Sunday and Monday
    March 31: Sanderson to Del Rio, TX April 1: Del Rio to Fort Clark Springs, TX I confess to still being quite tired after yesterday’s long ride, but I will try to summarize the past two days. Knowing that the full route on Easter was 110 miles, we were allowed to leave at 7 a.m., before sunrise. We ...
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