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“West Texas”

July 6, 2010

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

“While I am away on my trek to the Arctic Circle I will be posting excerpts from some of my travel journals from previous adventures. This post is one of those excerpts, I hope you enjoy it.”CJG

May 25th, Ft. Stockton, Texas 4:20pm

The desert can be a harsh place for riders more many reasons. Awful heat and difficult cross winds can often be just the beginning. Sometimes, it’s the unexpected that one has to be prepared for as well. Sometimes, there is even some humor in its desolation.

We are about 260 miles east of El Paso. The sun’s heat is beating down on us. It’s about 97 degrees and a stiff breeze is still blowing. The wind is strong enough that you have to fight it a bit on the bike. I let myself get a bit dehydrated. I am also tired. I was starting to become a little light headed from the heat so it was time to pull over.

This morning we went to church at 8:30, the mass was entirely in Spanish. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in El Paso is a very pretty church. The church was filled with people, some from El Paso and some coming across the border from Mexico. I was pretty much able to follow along. The live music was simply beautiful. I had never heard Mexican music in church before. Since we took the time to go to church, we got a late start on the road.

Halfway between El Paso and Ft. Stockton we stopped in a little town called Kent for gas. We were also looking for somewhere to eat. I asked the very nice Mexican man behind the counter if there were any places nearby that we could eat. He told us that the nearest restaurant was about

Kent Mercantile, Kent Texas Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2007

another 80 miles down the road! He said, and I quote, “Man, you in the middle of the desert, man.” I said, “yeah, we are out there a ways”. He

smiled and said that he was the only gas available for miles. He made it a point to tell us that he also was “the law.” With that he pulled a loaded 38 caliber revolver from under the register. Thankfully, he wasn’t pointing it at me!

“Steve” his English name, told us that he had to drive 41 miles just to get to work. He told us that he had stopped a robbery with his gun. “I made him cry” he said with a proud, but not cocky smile. Steve told us that it could be well over an hour wait for the police in an emergency. He told us that his boss was forced to shoot a man a decade ago during a holdup. Dave and I believed every word. I don’t think he was kidding. The desert can be harsh for lots of reasons!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2010 12:33 am

    What a wild story! I bet it was a bit of culture shock for you. Thanks for sharing this adventure and please continue to share me. Ride safe!


    • July 7, 2010 8:17 am

      Michael – Chris made it to the circle and is relaxing a bit before coming back to CT. I’ll make sure he sees your comment upon his return next week. Thanks for reading!
      Cindy Donaldson

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