Bucket List: Across The USA Part 2

A Warren Miller Entertainment producer joins her dad in making his dream to bike 3,000 miles across the country a reality.

Day 11
Silver City, NM to Columbus, NM 85 miles 

The combination of strong wind and desert farmland made for a dusty stretch as we headed towards the Mexican border. 

(Catch up on Part 1 here)

In this part of the country, it’s not uncommon for the road and horizon to disappear in a cloud of dust. As the wind picked up we stopped to discuss whether or not to keep pedaling into such foreboding conditions. Upon slowing down I was literally blown over to the ground. Despite the dust, wind, and a few new scrapes we decided to push forward. 

Columbus sits two miles north of Mexico. Jake met us at the only motel in town. 

Day 12
Columbus, NM to El Paso, TX 83.3 miles 

US on the left, Mexico on the right. Riding the border all the way to El Paso. 

Day 13
El Paso, TX to Sierra Blanca, TX 92.5 miles 

We woke up to cold rain. It was refreshing after so many days in the hot desert sun. I was happy to finally use the layers I had been lugging around in my duffle. We waited for the rain to stop and started the day late. 

Dark and ominous clouds chased us into Sierra Blanca. Rain was always in the distance but we somehow managed to stay dry. 

The first sign of a changing landscape. 

Day 14
Sierra Blanca, TX to Van Horn, TX 33.4 miles
 

Old highways lead us through modern day ruins. Many buildings we bike by look like this— graffiti covered and abandoned. 

The short mileage allowed us time to drive and explore the country surrounding Van Horn. 

The Carlsbad Caverns are 100 miles north of Van Horn just past the Guadeloupe Mountains National Park. We spent the afternoon marveling at calcite formations. 

Day 15
Van Horn, TX to Fort Davis, TX 89.4 miles 

Like these.

Day 15
Van Horn, TX to Fort Davis, TX 89.4 miles 

I swear I’m more excited for this roadside break than I look. 

The best days are spent on backroads like this. Cars were nowhere to be found. It was just us and the rolling hills all the way to Fort Davis. 

Day 16
Fort Davis, TX to Sanderson, TX 107.9 miles 

My cousin Alyssa took over the chase-mobile and met us for the tail end of our first century ride. 

“The Cactus Capital of Texas” 

Sunset over Sanderson.

Day 17
Sanderson, TX to Del Rio, TX 121.3 

Then we rode another century (and some). The longest mileage day of the entire trip. We were definitely put to the test with an insanely bumpy road, countless hills, a flat tire late in the day and 13 hours in the saddle. We arrived at Del Rio in the dark just in time for Cinco De Mayo celebrations. It’s safe to say we were the only ones in town who opted for a good night sleep instead of margaritas and Mariachi. 

(drone video)
The Pecos River bridge.

Follow this father-daughter journey on Instagram here.