TS 1 to TS 2: Study Butte to Marathon

Time Station Miles: 149.3 miles; Accumulated Miles: 228.6 miles

This section of the course included 100 miles inside Big Bend and then 40 miles north to Marathon. First, Andy went on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. The scenic drive lays on the western side of the Chisos Mountains. It climbed up to the Sotol Vista and then twisted down to the Castolon Historic area, which is known for its landscape. Millions of years of volcanic activity has left the area with towers of volcanic tuffs (ash deposits), lava flows, layers of gravel and clay, and dark basaltic boulders.  

At mile 94.5 accumulated miles (about mile 12 of the TS miles) Andy had his first shoe change , but was feeling pretty good. At mile 120 of his accumulated miles (about mile 40 of the TS miles) the crew reported the had done some tough big climbs to the first turn around point but he was still in a good mood (0-1 on the Charlie Brown scale). He knows the next section will be much harder though, it was the climb he was mentally preparing for before the race even started -- Out and back on the Chisos Basis Road (miles 65 - 78 of the TS miles).

The Chisos Basin Road is a 6-mile stretch in the arid desert and the cooler mountain. The road was winding and rose over 2,000 feet above the desert. The difficult climb up included sharp turns and steep grades (at points as much as 15%). 

We then left Big Bend and headed to Marathon. We had our first crew exchange outside the park and our first stop at an internal border patrol checkpoint.

Andy's first day on the bike went well, it was definitely a hard day dealing with the heat of the desert and the steep, long climbs but Andy was such a trooper and pushed through it all to come through TS#2, mile 228, at 9:36 PM (CST). Andy was extremely happy to see the sun go down behind the mountains and the cooler temperatures come in. He has been fighting some stomach issues for the last few hours which we think is in large part due to the extreme heat and we are hoping with the cooler temperatures tonight he will start to feel better soon. Until next time, sleep well :)