It is unnerving to see a house abandoned or a commercial building disintegrating. Our most valuable material possessions are normally our home or livelihood. For one to relinquish interest in these precious assets requires extraordinary duress. Yet, the Southwest is littered everywhere with decaying structures. Homes and businesses that even the bank cared not to maintain and sell. The causes may be many; the price of ore dropped closing the mine, the railroad switched from steam to diesel (abrogating the need for a water stop), the highway was relocated, resources were depleted, better opportunities existed elsewhere. But each of these buildings also has a personal story of individuals and families. How overwhelming their situation to just walk away! Most of us will never experience such a calamity. As I pedal beside these relics, I can't help pondering their stories and empathizing with these forgotten people.
Today I enjoyed a beautiful, idyllic, 52 mile pedal along the banks of the Guadalupe River through the hill country of central Texas. No abandoned homes in this region! The wind was benevolent and the road downsloping. Kerrville is a pleasant, small city with attractive parks and a historical district. I spent almost an hour chatting with a reporter from the local newspaper, who will do a story on distracted driving. All days should be this good!