Author Topic: Credit Carding The Southern Tier  (Read 2477 times)

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Offline IdleAl

Credit Carding The Southern Tier
« on: February 23, 2019, 09:35:19 pm »
I’m planning a solo unsupported ride on the Southern Tier west to east next autumn. I generally ride around 80 miles per day (recently did the PCH). I am not camping and plan to hotel my way across. Given the occasional sparse and long legs are there sufficient hotels along the desert sections  to avoid camping?

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Credit Carding The Southern Tier
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 07:51:23 am »
The longest stretch without any hotel/motel may very well be the stretch between Brawley and Blythe which is about 69 miles. Unfortunately for east bounders, this is a somewhat difficult stretch.When I did this section several years ago (west bound in September), it was a hilly, very windy section.  Luckily for us, we had it as a massive tailwind.

Additionally, the traffic was fairly busy on the narrow road and has in places very limited sight lines due to the continuous ups and downs (about 15'-20' each) east of Glamis. Worse, the traffic was primarily semis or large RV hauling dune-buggies (Glamis is a national off-road area due to sand dunes) on the narrow road.  I had to bail off the road twice.

If I were to attempt it east bound, I would leave about 30 minutes before daybreak and pray for a side-wind.  It is mostly flat until a few miles before Glamis.  You have a long climb out of Glamis (1 store, HIGH prices, check hours) then the rollers start and last until maybe Palo Verde where it becomes fairly flat again.  NOTE:  Back then, No services at all between Glamis and Blythe so carry water.  I guess you could stop in Palo Verde and ask for water. However, Google is now implying Palo Verde has a convenience store possibly.  Definitely call the day before you head out to verify.

Note that there used to be a WarmShowers host near Palo Verde we stayed at but it was one of the more "interesting" ones I have stayed at and it was maybe 1 or 2 miles off route on very sandy road (fell once Laugh-In Show style, stopped repeatedly).  There may be Air BnB or similar in the area now for all I know but there was not then.

Finally, maybe check a few journals over on to see status of more recent trips.

Tailwinds, John
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 07:53:11 am by John Nettles »

Offline aggie

Re: Credit Carding The Southern Tier
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 10:35:04 am »
When I did the route west to east my most challenging stretch was between Sanderson and Del Rio Texas.  It is about 120 miles between the two.  There is a small motel in Comstock but you may need to call ahead and make a reservation as every time I’ve passed by it looked full.  The road between Sanderson and Comstock was fairly hilly with terrible chipseal the entire way.  The chipseal was large and covered the shoulders as well.  I also ran into a headwind.  I could only make it as far as Langtry.  Fortunately I carried a tent just in case.  Not much in Langtry except for the museum.  There was a small store on Hwy 90.  I arrived just before it closed at 5 so was able to grab a “bite” (quite literally) to eat. 

Offline oldguybiker

Re: Credit Carding The Southern Tier
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 08:46:22 pm »
aggie - good assessment of the stretch between Sanderson and Del Rio. Would add that the Hwy 90 bridge over the Pecos River is downright scary, especially eastbound with its uphill grind. There is no shoulder with little room for the frequent big rig trucks to pass, and sometimes a hellacious southerly crosswind across the river canyon. Seminole Canyon State Park on Hwy 90 just west of Comstock normally has campsites available, and their small museum is well worth a visit.       

Offline IdleAl

Re: Credit Carding The Southern Tier
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 02:40:16 am »
Many thanks to you all. Very helpful replies. Based on your comments the accommodation options look doable. Have to admit that in light of your comments on the wind (not my friend) I am rethinking my direction. Perhaps east to west might be the go. Regards Alan :)

Offline aggie

Re: Credit Carding The Southern Tier
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2019, 10:03:53 am »
I generally had a tail wind.  On that day the wind was southerly because I think it was coming from the gulf up the Rio Grand valley.

On an earlier day I didn’t want to do the climb up the mountains past the McDonald observatory so I caught Hwy 90 out of Van Horn and reconnected the route in Alpine.  It was a good road.  The day before was a 20 mph tailwind into Van Horn.