Day 20: Amarillo to Memphis

The plan for today was to ride to Clarendon, about 60 miles from Amarillo. ?But it was such a beautiful day for a ride . . .


. . . that stopping at 3PM didn’t make a lot of sense. ?The stop after?Clarendon is scheduled to be Childress, and I thought about going all the way there. ?The more I thought aboutt it, the more I didn’t think I could do another 55 miles on top of the 65ish it took to get from Amarillo to Clarendon.

Memphis was just 25 miles from Clarendon. ?There were a couple of hotels reasonably priced there, so why not ride on.


I had wanted to get a relatively early start this morning, but the bike rack I had installed yesterday caused problems right off the bat.


I’m not sure to be upset at this place who installed it . . .


. . . or pissed off at myself that I didn’t think about this.

Here’s what I’m talking about. ?I use Ortlieb panniers. ?They come with a quick release handle to pull them off of a rack. ?But because Ortleb doesn’t have any idea what size your rack’s support bars are, the panniers come with several inserts of variable widths.


The black “hook” on the side of the pannier is where you insert the, uhh, insert. ?(The inserts are shown in the middle of the screen.) ?The inserts I had in those front panniers fit the old rack just fine.

But the?new?rack has larger bars. ?Those old inserts are too small.

Well, son of a bitch. ?Yeah, I’m at fault because I?knew?the inserts were fitted to the rack, but these were the first bags I’d ever bought. ?Once I had the inserts in them, I forgot all about them.

But wouldn’t an experienced bike mechanic have reminded me about it? ?The guy saw me ride up with the bags. ?Doesn’t matter, I guess. ?The bottom line is I was?still?without any way to mount those front bags.

Like all the other challenges?that?The Ride?has thrown at me, this one took me for a loop, too. ?I finally decided just to take the inserts out. ?At least the clips would attach to the rack, even though it wouldn’t be a tight fit. ?Getting the inserts out and changing the mounting configurations of the bags took 45 minutes.

I stopped at Mickey D’s for breakfast. ?Isaac was tremendously interested in?The Ride.


Isaac’s bound for diesel mechanic school shortly. ?It was a pleasure talking to someone who was really interested in my crazy adventure.

I got one last ride on I-40 . . . and it was a wild one. ?There was a stretch of the interstate of about a quarter mile where there was?no emergency / breakdown lane for me to be. ?Yikes, but that was a little unnerving.

I left I-40 at exit 78 to pick up US 287:


I had first hopped on I-40 back in Seligman, AZ. ?For 684 miles I-40 kept me safe and pointed in the right direction. ?It was bittersweet to leave the road and head in another direction.

One last look at I-40 . . .


Thank you and farewell, I-40.

All right, one last thing about windmills and I’ll shut up about them.


One of the quotes I read in an article about the windmills was from a farmer who was being paid $1500 a year?per windmill?on his land. ?He said, “Who would have thought I could sell something I didn’t even own!”

Yesterday when I was at the Windy Cow . . .


. . . I’d ordered a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. ?The only drink they carried was diet?Dr. Pepper. ?Yuck.

Today I stopped here:


. . . and history repeated itself. ?What the hell? ?What is it with Diet Dr. Pepper here in Texas?

Not sure if this place serves only Diet Dr. Pepper, but you have to admire their chutzpah in self-promotion:


Leaving Amarillo I saw:


Just how low will gas prices go?


Next time, Amarillo, I promise I’ll take up the challenge.

When Texas builds a rest stop, they?build a rest stop:

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Although there is some visitor responsibility, too:


A few miles back I’d passed a little town called Goodnight, TX. ?There was some historical marker and a museum for Charles Goodnight. ?I didn’t bother stopping. ?At the rest stop was a display honoring one of Charlie’s most notable creations — the chuck wagon:


It being the heart of the Bible Belt, I’m not surprised to see lots of religious signs on the side of the road and on the side of buildings. ?For example, this was at the bottom of the menu of the place I ate dinner tonight:


This billboard, though . . . I don’t know what to say:


Nice little cafe in Memphis for dinner:

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Recently I read an interesting article about high school football in Texas:

I can attest that high school football is alive and well in Memphis, TX:

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I’ve taken to drinking heavily . . .

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Hard to believe it was three weeks ago today that I left Los Angeles.

Not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. ?Childress is less than 30 miles away. ?The next stop scheduled after Childress is Vernon. ?But Vernon’s 90 miles away from Memphis. ?I don’t know that I have back to back 90 mile days in me. ?Guess I’ll play it by ear.