Road trips from Southern California: Texas
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( Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times )
Distance: 1,142 miles one-way
Not the ocotillo. Anything but the ocotillo.
As I flew over the handlebars of my mountain bike on a rocky trail outside of El Paso, I knew my landing would be hard. I just prayed I would not land on those nasty ocotillo plants that bordered the bike trail like roadside land mines.
Even a prickly pear cactus or an agave plant would be a better landing alternative to the ocotillo, whose quills extend like hypodermic needles.
But I lucked out. I landed on a patch of hard gravel -- a feather-soft landing, compared with the cactus thorn beds I missed by just a couple of feet.
Read more: The thrills and spills of mountain biking in El Paso, Texas