Desert Dharma: Bicycling Big Bend

A Mindfulness-Centered Ecotherapy Adventure!

This is a continuation/expansion on my earlier post updating my 2022 bicycle tour, focusing on Big Bend National Park (BB).

I was excited way back in January to read that Adventure Cycling 2022 bicycle tours included Big Bend National Park! Big Bend is where my 2022 bicycle tour idea originated on my last trip out there in 2019. I recently published a post about the dogs on that trip. While out there in the park, I passed a number of bicyclist riding the main loop of the park, Old Maverick Rd, up near the park headquarters and visitor center at Panther Junction.

I really wanted to stop one of the bicyclist and ask about their tour. I was envious and wished I had brought my bicycle. But then, what would I have done with the dogs while I was out peddling around BB? (Sigh) And I drove on. Here I am now in 2022 and about to be off on my Texas Road Trip Bicycle Tour, which includes a loop down to Big Bend following a loop up to the Davis Mtns, departing from Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) April 16, the day after I turn 74. This trip is a birthday present to myself. What does this have to do with Mindfulness-Centered Ecotherapy, and what is Desert Dharma? Let’s anwer the latter first…


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Texas Road Trip: an update


An update to my upcoming bicycle road tour …

I’m borrowing this title from the movie, Animal House: when all the shit was hitting the fraternity’s fan, the dean and college were coming down on them, their solution? A road trip!

I’m still doing part of Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier, but only the portion from El Paso to Austin, and adding in side trips to old Fort Davis in the Davis Mtns and Big Bend National Park. The latter being the birthplace for me of this whole bicycling tour idea. Here’s the first half of my route:

I fly out of here from GSP airport at 4:30pm, Saturday, April 16, with bike and gear and land in El Paso around 7:55pm, the day after my 74th birthday. I have a hotel room reserved east of the airport, the direction I’m pedaling, which has an airport shuttle service that will pick up me, my bicycle and gear at the airport. Sunday I get up my bike and gear redied, and head out on my journey across the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas. I’ll stop and do some shopping on the way out of El Paso: food, water, and necessities. The first day it may just be a short ride (22 mi) to Faben. (See spreadsheet below.) Depending how that goes, I can split the next segment into two days or not: a 23 mi to Fort Hancock and a 35 mi to Sierra Blanca, or do them in one long ride. I’m trying to ease into doing 50 mi days by doing a couple of short days rides at the beginning. Here in the foothills of South Carolina,,my longest ride has been 32 mi because of the substantial hills in any direction I go. So, 50 mi rides look pretty daunting. Out there though, a large part of my ride will be on fairly level ground, not the hills I have to contend with here. Although, there is a climb up to Sierra Blanca and ups and downs all the way to Sanderson Tx. Also, I’ll be adapting to a higher altitude. Here in Liberty, SC, we are at around 1000 ft elevation. Sierra Blanca is ~4600 ft.

My trip from Del Rio to Austin I’ll post about later. I have a plane flight out of Austin on 5/12, but have built in some extra days for weather and rest. A total of 915 miles. Wish me well!

For those that want to see the breakdown of my trip, below is the spreadsheet of the trip I’ve put together…


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