Joshua Wier /

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Bike and tent without rainfly at primitive campsite

Stillwell Store near Big Bend National Park

Sunset and neon signs: "MOTEL / TV / Vacancy"

Marathon, TX

Panorama with tilted rock layers next to road

Highway 90

Art deco school building. Engraved: "SANDERSON HIGH SCHOOL / AD 1930"

Sanderson, TX's stylish school

Panorama from cliff: Bend in the river with tributary entering from right

Rio Grande and Pump Canyon, Langrty, TX

Seminole Canyon State Park

Ocotillos in foreground. River in background with steep cliffs on far side

I did not realize how lucky I was that so many ocotillos were leafed out.

Steep canyon with overhang on one wall

The canyon, on a mostly-dry tributary to the Rio Grande. Pictographs under that overhang.

Underneath overhang, looking outward


River with steep cliffs

Rio Grande, still part of Amistad Reservoir

Yucca stalk and prickly pear in front of large lake

Amistad Reservoir

Del Rio, TX and Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila

Bike in front of mural: "GREETINGS FROM / DEL RIO / Texas / Tierra de la Amistad / Sister City Cd. Acuña, MX."

When I started this trip, I didn't know how far I would make it, but my minimum goal was Del Rio. By the time I made it there, I was sure I'd go further, but it still felt like a big milestone.

River through chainlink fence

Crossing the border

One-way street. Dilapidated sign: "CROSBYS / RESTAURANT BAR"

The tourist strip in Acuña. I'm told Ma Crosby's used to be the place to be.

Mostly empty street. Signs: "PANCHO'S / DRINK DANCE & SHOP", "PEPE'S BAR"

Acuña had plenty of life (which I was too shy to photograph). But with Americans scared of crossing the border no matter how safe the town, the tourist strip was pretty dead.

Grackles resting on water tower reading "Brackettville" against grey sky

Grey sky. Indeed, there was quite a storm that night.

Gated entrance with US and Texas flags. Sign: "FORT CLARK SPRINGS"

Fort Clark Springs, Brackettville, TX

Garner State Park

Panorama from cliffs (left and right) to river below (center)
Cypress tree in calm water
Water behind small dam
Tattered American flag on rock pile. Sign: "OLD BALDY SUMMIT / ELEV 1849 FEET"

"Old Baldy" summit

Bike and mesh tent

Loved when I could set up without the rainfly.

Sign: "Utopia Park"

Utopia, TX

Lost Maples State Natural Area

High limestone cliff with large bird flying above
Maple leaves
Limestone cliff kinda shaped like a cartoon monkey head

"Money Rock"

Low limestone cliffs by calm water
Juniper-covered hills under grey sky
Fence with one cowboy boot on each post

Just about every Southern Tier bike blog I read pictures this boot fence, so I won't be the exception

Green river with low waterfalls and cypress trees

Guadalupe River

My tent in foreground; cow grazing in background

"The cows won't eat your tent if you're in it." ― property owner

Starting the bike trip...


Night one: Pedernales Falls State Park outside of Austin

Bike wheel, two printers, some linens in front of a bare indoor wall

Leave-behinds for the roommates

Yellow ten with several guylines. Grey mesh tent inside. One vertical post visible: a trekking pole on top of a spool of wire used as a shim.

The oversized, over-complicated tent setup I used on this trip. A fellow cycle tourist called it the "Taj Mahal". The inner and outer layers were two separate purchases, each meant to be set up with trekking poles but in different configurations. Would not recommend.