We got an early start as Ryan drove us from his house back into town, where we had a brief stop at the Sherwin-Williams store to take some pictures. We got some breakfast at Danny’s, a nearby diner, as we waited for the sun to come up, then continued on our way on Route 281 South.
There is pretty much only one town on the highway between Alice and the towns along the southern border, and it’s called Falfurria. We stopped there for lunch at a local diner called El Jardin.
The terrain was mostly flat again, and with a nice, wide highway with smooth pavement. It rained lightly on and off, but not enough to make the ride unpleasant; just enough to keep it cool, as well as give us a good tailwind for much of the way. Several motorists and truck drivers honked at us vigorously as they passed. At one point, we saw some very dark and forbidding-looking cloud formations, so we started to theorize that maybe they were trying to warn us of a tornado or something like that. But, the conditions stayed pleasant, so we figured they were just being friendly.
Our contact in McAllen was a man named Curt, whom we had found on warmshowers.org. He had previously e-mailed directions to us, which we followed once we reached the city of McAllen, and they led us perfectly to his house. Curt is originally from Cincinnati, and lived and worked for a few years in the Cleveland area. He now works as a city planner for the city of San Benito, Texas. Coincidentally, Curt’s housemate Francisco had just returned from Ushuaia, Argentina a few weeks earlier. He had been doing a fund-raising project to benefit blind people in the McAllen area; his goal was to run a marathon on each of the seven continents. He had been to Ushuaia on en route to and from Antarctica, where he completed his goal. Curt and Francisco provided us with a very delicious and filling meal of pasta alfredo with shrimp.
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