Knight Canyon Road

November 26, 2008

Uncle Bill died over the last weekend, and we put him to rest Tuesday.  I wound up riding the bike into Abilene, and Debbie drove the car trailering a sofa to hand over to family.  Wednesday was free for riding, so I put the routing software to work to find back roads southwest of Abilene.

One thing intrigued me in the route planning.  A road cut north off of the blacktop outside of Sterling City, and showed continuous in one map, and not another.  This was Knight Canyon Road, outside of Sterling City.  I put waypoints on both ends of the road that showed in my GPS, and would see how it would turn out once there.  I wanted to hit the town names with the smallest dots on the map, and later found much evidence of past and current life and commerce in some, and absolutely nothing in others (Divide and Maverick).

The weather was a bit odd today, with a lot of clouds, and damp cool temperatures.  It did not matter.  The right clothing and mindset will put the weather aside.  The sun did finally peek out of the clouds in the late afternoon as I was heading east towards Abilene.

I stopped in Wingate for a while.
Cotton is obviously a big part of this community.
As I left Wingate, a large flock of turkeys crossed the road in front of me.  
West of Robert Lee

The landscape opened up to the typical West Texas Big Country, where I could see 20 miles ahead quite easily.

I headed north out of Sterling City to find Knight Canyon Road.  It started out off the ranch road as gravel, but I was expecting this and looked forward to it.  As the road dipped off of the mesa, I pulled off onto an old oil well site, and took a break sitting on the capped-off well.  I thought a bit back on Bill’s life and me growing up with him in the family.  He was a very kind man, and I respected him very much.  I always enjoyed his company at our family holiday gatherings, and I would go by his grocery all through youth, riding my bicycle up to his store to buy treats and magazines.

Capped oil well on the hillside
Knight Canyon Road

Private land, but open to traffic
Chris Duarte knew the song to play for me.

I got back on the bike, and rode down the canyon until the blacktop turned to gravel, and then the road got very narrow and unmarked.  I finally figured out I was on private land, but it looked like many locals took this route as a shortcut between the highways.

Once back on pavement, I twisted the throttle towards the north and the multitude of wind turbines that continue to populate this area.  The route took me towards Colorado City and Sweetwater, and I rode some of the same highways that I had bicycled years ago.

I got back to Debbie’s Mom’s house and was ready to enjoy the warm shower and a nice sleep later.  Family will be enjoyed tomorrow, and turkey will be enjoyed by family.  We will miss Bill, but his life will live in our minds forever.



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