March 24 - April 12: Texas

4/11 - Cold Spring (64 miles 1694 total)
64 miles from the best western in navasota to the san jacinto inn in cold spring, TX
we were treated to a beautiful sunrise this morning as we had breakfast in the parking lot. today's weather was just about perfect for biking....light or no breeze, coolish (probably low 70's), & with a light haze that kept the sun from getting too hot. traffic was heavy in some spots, however.....again with lots of pickups & construction trucks, & today with a few logging trucks thrown in.
people left the motel around 7:30 & headed east. we passed thru the little town--or wide place in the road--of anderson. we met up with patty & the subaru just west of richards.
in this photo is the group that gathered to chat & chew along the road; from left are frances, sari, anne, sari, cynthia, carolyn, & mary (from boston).
we spent most of today riding through the sam houston national forest. in this photo, roma & i are standing in a clearing in the forest where there was a cute little baptist church.
at one point we rode across a large lake...lake conroe. along the shore we saw fishermen, egrets, & even a great blue heron.
we didn't see bluebonnets today; i think it's too shady amongst the trees. but we saw many varieties of other sorts of!flowers along the roadway. we've been riding through these roadside flower beds for days; it's been beautiful. we stopped along the road at about 30 mi to eat a snack. sari dropped her sandwich, but picked it up & dusted it off quickly, so was able to salvage most of it. we go by a 10-second rule: anything retrieved off the ground within that time span we figure didn't have enuf time to absorb anything dangerous to our health. (that rule may not have appeared in the medical literature yet.)
at about 42 mi into today's route we arrived in new waverly. we noticed lots of bikes & other vehicles in the parking lot of the waverly house restaurant, so parked & entered. the place was jumping with activity. sari & i followed the lead of other bikers we chatted with inside & ordered the buffet. with my salmon patty (which i shared with sari), i got 3 vegetables, including egg plant (yum). we enjoyed, as much as the food, the opportunity to spend time with so many local folks in this popular restaurant.
all through texas we've noticed a variety of ranch entrances, or gates....some pretty basic, some quite fancy. today we came across this ranch gate guarded by a huge steer. you can see my bike leaning against the fence near the steer, so you know how big he is.
another creature we've seen almost every day is the armadillo, but so far we haven't seen one that's alive. we have to dodge their plates of armor lying on the road's shoulder.
about 10 miles west of cold spring we rolled through the town--that is, another wide space in the road--named pumpkin. sari was so hoping there'd be a post office so she could mail her latest batch of post cards from pumpkin, but alas, no post office.
sari & i rolled into the san jacinto inn here in cold spring at about 4. our staff & 4 riders are staying at a guest house 4 mi further down the road; this motel is so small that there isn't space for our whole group.
this photo will give you an inkling of the noise (& dust) level here at our motel this afternoon; there's lots of road work being done in this town. notice vicky's new hairdo. several of our riders had their hair done during the layover day in navasota. vicky decided on corn rows. other riders got massages.
this afternoon, after showering & doing a bit of hand laundry, we learned from vicky that kathy groen's daughter-in-law died suddenly this morning in california. kathy will fly home tomorrow morning to be with her son & his 2 small children.
we had a very late & short map meeting. tomorrow we ride 72 miles to silsbee...our last overnight in the state of texas. it seemed like we were going to be in texas such a long time, but now, looking back, it seems to have gone quickly.
there's just one more day to bid on the beautiful blue mohair shawl; see the report for april 2 for details on this opportunity. current top bid is $300.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

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