March 24 - April 12: Texas

4/4 - Vanderpool (0 miles 1314 total)
layover day at the foxfire cabins near vanderpool, tx
we love this place. our accommodations are absolutely wonderful. some are in a large house, which also has a kitchen where we can go to fix our meals anytime today. (since there are no restaurants or other food possibilities nearby, today is an exception for womantours providing our food on a layover day.) others of us are in smaller cabins...2 or 3 per cabin, each person with her own bed. the cabins--all wood with high-pitched, beamed ceilings--also have fireplaces & kitchens. plus they're stocked with anything you'd need to keep house; all you'd have to bring in is your own food & drink.
here's a photo of kathy groen walking to her (& laura's) your far right; our cabin (laundry on the line in front) is nearby. in front of each of our cabins is a little deck, & down a slope is the sabinal river. the water rushing by, along with the many birds around here, provide us lovely natural sounds all day.
bike-cleaning was considered a necessary part of the day for many. here's patty tackling her bike-cleaning chores this afternoon, under anne's supervision. in the luggage trailer are the supplies we need for the chore, including a box of those white surgical gloves for us to wear to keep our handsies clean.
when we awoke this morning, it was completely overcast & coolish; we even had a few sprinkles early. but by late morning, the sun was out fullblast & temps were escalating rapidly. thus many took to the swimming hole with innertubes.
in the photo are, from left, becky, loralee, donna, karen, & marilyn boger. that's the camp dog, hershey (a blue healer/lab mix), in the foreground, hoping one of those tubers will agree to throwing his stick out for him to retrieve again. tho' hershey is in a bit of trouble today for stealing one of kathleen's flip-flops.
several also went swimming; the river was clear & perfect for a swim.
we have lots of avid readers in our group. we even have a "library"--a plastic bin under one of the seats in the van--where people put the books they've finished so someone else can browse for her next selection there.
midday found this group on the front porch of the large house reading (from right, marilyn dehaan & kathleen), finishing lunch (sari on the bench), or having lunch (bryn in the swing). (i noticed that marilyn & kathleen were careful to shield the covers of their books from the camera.)
the office for the complex is the building in this photo; on the front porch is a pay phone that's gotten lots of use while we've been here. carolyn is there making a call. the little door behind the office leads to the laundry, where we're welcome to use 2 nice washers & dryers. (there are also laundry units in the larger houses.) then to the left of the laundry is an open, but roofed area with picnic tables.
inside the office is a large collection of board games for anyone's use. the folks here couldn't possibly be nicer or more accommodating. i hope you'll have a chance to visit yourself sometime; in the meantime, here's a preview of foxfire
the woman at the office yesterday told me that the temps here this past sunday were in the mid-20's, so many of the blossoms that were out were, as she put it, "fried." this morning i saw a redbud tree with a few blossoms lower on its branches, but the tops blossomless. maybe some of the wildflowers we'd hoped to see have met the same fate.
5 of our group are staying at a large house that's quite modern (& VERY nice), located quite a ways from the cabins. in fact, this photo shows how you have to get there.
sari & i went over to visit yesterday afternoon; 2 of its occupants, rita & elaine, walked back to supper with us. rita & i almost fell on the slippery rocks in the river's bottom. (thank goodness sari was holding my camera at the time!)
another event of yesterday was the arrival of a male in camp! actually, on this layover day we had 3 husbands visit---caroline's (walt, in photo with caroline), vicky's husband haywood, & cynthia's husband. it's always fun to have family & friends visit us on the road.
i'm thinking a lot about my friend luanne these days. this coming wednesday, april 9, she will undergo a modified radical mastectomy, then additional chemotherapy. i'm doing this ride in honor of luanne; you can read more about this inspiring friend of mine on the homepage of this site.
& i want to remind you of the silent auction for the beautiful mohair shawl---with all proceeds going to the national breast cancer coalition; details are in the report for april 2.
since i need to send this report off before 4 pm this afternoon (when the office closes), i won't be able to fill you in on what we learn at today's map meeting (at 6 pm), but i already know that we'll pedal 50-some miles to kerrville tomorrow, over terrain much like yesterday's (hills, & plenty of them). & since womantours provided us food on our layover day today, we'll be on our own tomorrow evening in kerrville. i hope we can remember how to be on our own ;->
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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