10/13/17 – Lost Maples State Park to almost Hunt, TX

Did I mention that we are in Texas Hill Country?  We have had poor internet and phone capabilities, the past 3 days, so keeping up with the blog has been a challenge.  It’s now 11:36 PM, everyone else is sawing logs, and here I am just finishing yesterday’s blog and starting today’s.   Wait. I need sleep too. We all eat breakfast at the same time, so we also wake up at about the same time.  

Today was the halfway point of the tour in terms of days on the road, and tomorrow will be the halfway point in terms of miles.  This called for a celebration, but we didn’t have anything planned. After all, we are in the middle of nowhere, camping out as we move down the road. But an opportunity to celebrate presented itself today. 

The route was, well, hilly–just like the past few days have been.  We planned to ride 42 miles and stay in the By the River RV Park in Kerrville.  Neal has a widow friend named Clare who lives 30 miles into today’s ride and invited us all to stop at her house for lunch, so that was the plan. 

So here is how the day went.  I spent most of the day riding with Tom R. As soon as we pulled out of Lost Maples, we were cold turkey in a 600 foot climb at 10 and 11% grades. Good morning legs!  

From then on, it was hills, hills and more hills–we’re talking steep hills–and numerous crossings of the Guadalupe River.  


On the way down each hill was a sign warning of possible water in the road, and at the bottom of each hill was a water gauge.  The scenery was spectacular with tall trees, leaves changing colors and pristine river water.  Who knew that this kind of beauty exists in Texas?

    As we neared Clare’s house, the scenery clicked up a knotch to beautiful waterfront properties, private camps for youth, and resorts.  

     

    Several hundred feet of fence had a cowboy boot on every fence post
    Clare’s mailbox was marked with one of the reflective triangles we wear on the backs of our bikes. We pulled in to find 3 of the guys lounging on the front porch, soft drinks in hand, munching chips and several types of dip.  A spunky, tiny little lady with a huge smile greeted us with Lucy and Chacha, her white lab and poodle. This was going to be a great stop. 

    One of the guys said yes to Clare’s offer of a glass of wine, and here she came. She had plenty of diet 7-Up for me, so I couldn’t complain

    At least a couple of us dozed off while we waited for the others to arrive.  Two of the guys had other plans, so they skipped out on lunch at Clare’s, but the other 4 arrived within an hour. Clare, who loves to entertain people, laid out quite a spread with a variety of breads, luncheon meats, cheeses, tossed salad, potato salad, deviled eggs, beverages, warm bundt cake, fresh out of the oven…..the works.  We were in heaven. She kept asking if we would like to stay over at her house, and the more she asked, the better the idea sounded. 

    The group consensus was to call it a day and stay with this tiny little lady who lives in a house 12 miles short of Kerrville. We can make up the lost miles tomorrow.  Today, we got to relax and enjoy some authentic Texas hospitality and have an unplanned celebration of reaching the middle of the tour.  

    Clare put in a call to the friend who owns a few hundred feet of the Guadalupe riverfront across from her house, and got permission for us to use their pavilion and river access. After giving each of us a towel, Eric, Ed, Tom C and I walked over and dunked ourselves in the refreshing river water. We played a little frisbee before lounging on the boat dock and just plain relaxing. 

    Meanwhile, back at the house, she was preparing another spread for dinner that included pork cutlets, augratin potatoes, another green salad and fresh homemade rolls.  Dinner was delicious, and once it and the map meeting were over, most of the guys went to bed, leaving just us bloggers to enjoy our wifi service while we have it.    

    Look for more about the miles of huge ranches with 10 foot tall fences in one of my upcoming posts, when I am not so sleep deprived.  Dick Cheney was hunting at a ranch like these years back when he shot that wealthy attorney in the face.  


     

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