Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Home Stays

August 2, 2013
Amarillo, TX to Friona, TX

We spent the first 30 miles or so of today on a road that parallels a major highway. We usually don't take highways because they are dangerous and instead take out of the way backroads. Taking the paralell road, we were able to take the same route as the major highway without actualy being on it, which was wonderful.  We decided that all major highways should have parallel minor roads.

Eventaully we did merge onto the highway, but at that point it was not nearly as congested and like many of the roads we'd been on before.  However, the headwinds were horrible today--gusting up to 36mph!  The winds were blowing directly in our face for the majority of the trip at around 25mph.  I was riding with four other girls and we realized that if we wanted to conserve our energy we would have to start pacelining.  We decided that each of us would pull the pack for 2 miles and then they would drop back and the next person would lead.  It worked out pefectly because by the time we got through everybody once we had gone 10 miles and were ready for a break.  We didn't pass much on the ride and had lunch in a teeny tiny town.  We met the mayor, Fred, who let us use his shade and bathroom.  The street he lived on was also his last name!  The rest of the day was the same struggle with the headwind, but pacelining at least made it bearable.  

The only thing more intense than the headwinds was the nauseating smell of the cattle feeds.  When we got to Friona, we were immediately shuttled to their local pool to take a dip to cool off. It was amazing and so perfect after such a draining day.

Tonight was very different than others--we all got paired up with host families.  I went with Casey and Tessa to Lucy Beth's house in Friona.  Other people went out to the country, and one group even saw a cow giving birth at a dairy farm!  It was really cool to be sleeping and hanging out in a house again.  Lucy was amazing and we had such a great time staying with her.  The craziest thing was that when we were telling her about our day, we found out that SHE KNEW FRED FROM OUR LUNCH STOP! She grew up in the town we stopped in.  It was such a small world.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah and all,
    Most cattle raised in this country are on smaller farms, then purchased by the big packing companies, trucked to feed lots, then fed grain obtained from the corn fields you have been biking past since Pennsylvania. As I remember, they will start at a weight around 500 to 600 pounds, and in 90 to 120 days will be slaughtered at 900 to 1100 pounds. It takes about 7 pounds of grain to make a pound of cow, and about15 pounds of grain to make a pound of protein within the cow. The rest is fat resulting in marbling within the meat to make it tender. You smelled the effect of the other six pounds of grain after it passes through the cow , , ,