Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Brazos River valley, south central TX
Bikes: 2005 Surly LHT; 2006 Surly CrossCheck with Extracycle; 1987 Schwinn World Sport as urban cruiser
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Quite a trip you've made so far - congrats...
As for heading west out of Big Spring, I've driven (not cycled) from B.S. west on SH 176 through Andrews and over to Carlsbad several times in preference to the bleak distances of I-10. There are more small towns and friendly folks by taking the north side of the Guadalupe Mts. You'd still have to go through the Sacramentos to get to Las Cruces but it is pretty interesting geography and more resort communities and settlements (comparatively).
IMO, staying north to cross through southern New Mexico would be my choice, crossing the Pecos at Carlsbad rather than I-10. The interstate distances are so long out there that the speed limits have essentially been removed and you can travel at 75-85 mph in a vehicle. This will not improve your cycling experience along the road because there are long stretches without feeder roads.
The bad weather you're experiencing has come all the way through the state - our temps in the Brazos Valley are hovering in the upper 30's all day compared to 78 yesterday! Be careful: the saying goes that the only thing separating the Canadian blue northers from west Texas is a barbed wire fence...
They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.