Garmin Info with Maps
|Cool car on the street in Austin|
|Low flying plane riding passed the airport|
|Great Thai food with Buddhists|
|Thai Buddhist monastery|
I found a Buddhist monastery where I met lovely people
|Some of the food my new Buddhist friends packed for me|
|A beautiful day on the road|
I continued turning on Pierce road where I met a young couple touring with 2 dogs. I pulled over to say hello and with my right wheel in the gravel, maybe a half inch lower than the road, promptly fell over. Now that is a first. I had so much weight on one side the trike tipped over. Wow! I wasn't hurt and the couple were quite stunned by the sight. I not only had a huge bag of Thai leftovers and groceries but my snack bag was completely full as well. I guess I found the weight limit for hanging bags off the side, huh? I still didn't know what to do with all the food and simply hung the bags from the other side.
|Biscuit and Ladybug|
This couple, Mark and Georgia, are very friendly and on a year's tour to circumnavigate the US. They have a blog at: freedompedalers.com. Biscuit and Ladybug are fairly big dogs which must be a lot to pull and take care of. The couple seemed to be having a great time. They warned me to avoid Bastrop State park. The hills are so steep they had to walk and were surprised Adventure Cycling would include such a tough section on the route. I don't have the Southern Tier maps but was planning on staying there tonight. They suggested staying on the hwy and camping at a KOA in town. It would be more expensive but would save myself a lot of time and pain. I thought that sounded like a good idea.
|Camping at Bastrop RV Park|
I continued on to Hwy 71 which is a busy road but also has a huge shoulder. This was really a beautiful day and much warmer than it has been in a while. I love warm weather and was soaking up all the sunshine. Just as I came into Bastrop I saw a sign for camping and pulled in. The Bastrop RV park is very inviting with lots of green grass, a pond and sweet miniature horses and donkeys out grazing together. RV parks don't always accept tents but this one does. I got a lovely spot out of the wind for $10. Beverly, who runs the park, is very sweet and enthusiastic about inviting ST cyclists to stay. The property looks like it was a ranch at one time. Beverly lives in a really beautiful and stately large home. Most of the RVers live full time and some of them also own the miniature horses grazing out by the pond. I quickly got set up and was looking forward to more of that scrumptious Thai food for dinner.
After one of the best night's rest I've ever had camping, I got packed up. I managed to find a place in the bags for the rest of the left overs so I shouldn't be tipping over anymore, haha! The morning was, again, cold and there was a wind blowing. Luckily, the sun was up and warming the air. It's hard to get out of the tent to make breakfast when it is so cold. I set my tent facing the sun to dry off some of the condensation and I had to be careful the tent didn't blow away.
|Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf snack-yum!|
I stopped at a HEB to get groceries. While I was putting my groceries away a reporter for the local paper stopped me. He asked a couple of questions, snapped a pic with his phone and said his story of my trip would probably be in the paper. I gave Pancho my card and asked if he could send me a link to the story when it runs. This has actually happened many times while touring. Since my story isn't urgent news, you never know when it will run or if it will run. He wrote to me a few days later to send me the link. I made the top story on the front page! Pancho had done some research checking out my Facebook profile and included the post about being flipped off coming into La Grange. Another nice momento.
The next day it stormed with lots of rain and strong winds. I stayed put in La Grange working on my journal. I like my rest days and especially when I'm in an inexpensive and comfortable motel where I can relax and get some work done. My blog is something that needs time. Every entry takes me hours to do and it simply can't be rushed. The next day I got packed up for a ride to Carmine. I would be staying with Warm Shower's host Carol Montgomery on her ranch a few miles out of town. This was a beautiful ride through little historic towns of Warrenton and Round Top. The landscape was also changing as I started seeing majestic live oak trees. The terrain was soft rolling hills with a good climb into Round Top. This town hosts the biggest antique shows in the country twice a year. There are massive empty buildings that dealers rent and lots of signs for pop up RV parks. There are also many quaint and expensive looking B&B's.
|Antique Gas Station signs|
|Carol, the legendary Warm Showers hostess|
Lots of deer in Carol's yard
|Very foggy morning|
|Historic home on the road to Gay Hill|
|Gay Hill Cycling Clubhouse|
Video tour of the Gay Hill Cycling Clubhouse
|With Steve and Gail|
I arrived on Friday afternoon just ahead of a big thunderstorm. Steve and Gail came up from Houston and made me a fantastic dinner with a very nice bottle of wine. The next day I stayed to meet all the cycling buddies. There had been a big rain storm all night and the winds were still blowing strong in the morning. No one was deterred and a half-dozen guys showed up to ride. One guy drove up in a Tesla. The headwinds while driving were so strong the batteries needed to be plugged in so he could make it home later. All the guys gave him a hard time which was pretty funny. I really enjoyed meeting everyone. I guy, got up very early to bake a loaf of artisan bread. Wow, was it good! Later in the day, Steve saw a touring cyclist ride passed and he chased him down. Charles, who is also riding east, stayed with me in the clubhouse and I think he was very happy to be in such a comfortable place.
|Cool outdoor shower that even has hot water|
|Gail and Steve seeing Charles off in the morning, bbbbrrrrr cold!|
I love Warm Showers. Every experience is rich and very different. Steve is now on Warm Showers and just like staying with Carol, this is a not-to-be-missed stop. In the morning, Charles got going early. The sun was shining but the temps were very cold. I chatted with Steve and Gail finishing another cup of coffee to give temps a chance to rise above 35.