March 24 - April 12: Texas

4/6 - Blanco (68 miles 1434 total)
68 miles from the Y.O. conference ctr in kerrville to the swiss lodge in blanco, TX
we had breakfast at 7 because, with daylight savings time starting today, it was dark earlier. we were chagrined to be greeted by a heavy mist as we walked over to the trailer for breakfast. precipitation stayed with us 'til about 10:30; sometimes it was a light shower. it wreaked havoc with our glasses, which made it harder for us to see road signs.
which led to the biggest problem of the morning....getting lost. it happened to all of us. a road we were to turn off onto a short distance from kerrville was unmarked, so most everyone missed that turn. it made life miserable for frances, today's sag driver, who had to keep going off looking for people. at the end of today, the day's mileage on our different odometers ranged from about 63 to 75 & more.
the rain also kept me from taking my camera out of its case, so i missed at least a couple of great photos----one of a barnful of beautiful horses, all of whom looked out the window of their stalls as we biked by.
the rain caused a bad mishap, too. some 12 miles into today's ride, in the tiny burg of centerpoint, anne was turning the corner on a road that was slicked with rain & a thin layer of mud. her bike went out from under her & she hit the ground. sari & i came upon her shortly after that. fortunately, frances was stopped there with the subaru. anne was banged up, especially her shoulder, but the hip did NOT dislocate! this evening, anne is taking advil, & she spent part of today icing the banged-up parts, but she is smiling & seems to feel well. she may even bike some tomorrow....if it's not raining.
as you know, we bikers have a special fascination for bathroom facilities, both indoor & outdoor varieties. here are catherine (left) & frances in a unique women's room we visited in a convenience store near centerpoint. the stalls were so cramped that, instead of doors, there were shower curtains. isn't that a clever architectural feature??
the skies cleared & the sun shone as we left centerpoint. when we rode under I-10, we found this group stopping for snacks on the other side. from left are patty, donna, vicky, kathy groen (standing), laura, & karen (also standing). notice the beautiful wildflowers behind them along the interstate.
in another 5 miles or so, we rode thru the very tiny town of waring. we rode along this beautiful country lane with a stream there to the left; those are huge cypress trees lining the stream. & that's cynthia on the right.
a little further along we found ourselves on this beautiful shaded road. in the photo are sari (left) & cynthia. vast expanses of green surrounded us. there were large ranches here & there, & pastures with goats, horses, or cows happily grazing.
the previous photo shows a level road, but we didn't see many of those today. we're still in the texas hill country after all, & even tho' today's hills weren't as high, they were incessant. this photo gives you a feeling for the terrain that dominated our day.....absolutely beautiful, but very hilly.
sari & i had just biked through sisterdale when we came upon a very old building that had a sign on it, "sisterdale cotton gin, 1885." it is now the home of the sister creek winery. here's sari in one of the several rooms lined with french oak curing casks.
we found that a wine cellar is a very comfy cool place to stop when biking temps are near 90. we each had a very small sample of red wine before leaving. even tho' i don't think of texas being a wine state, sister creek is just one of quite a few wineries along the texas hill country wine trail".
blanco turned out to be one of the most elusive towns i've ever tried to find on a bike. those last 10 miles seemed to take forever. beautiful countryside, but it was very warm & getting late. sari & i brought up the rear of the pack when we arrived here at the swiss lodge at 5:30. we quickly showered & were ready for supper at 6----a scrumptious minestrone soup (it even had artichoke hearts in it!). plus a big green salad, cole slaw, bread, lots of fresh fruit, & some cakes.
at the map meeting michelle didn't add much to the info on the route sheet. we know it's 95 miles. we know it'll be hot. & we know there will be more rollers. i don't think we can handle much more info than that.
caroline made the day's sock presentation. she described how she'd lost her glasses out of her bike case while riding one day. a bit later, becky caught up with her & showed her the glasses case that becky had stopped to pick up on the road...not knowing whose they were. caroline was elated to retrieve her glasses, & pointed out tonight that she thot the incident was a lesson for all of us: "Braking Intuitively Tops Capricious Haste." (it'll be a very long time before anyone tops that clever acronym label!!)
here's a photo of becky, tomorrow's BITCH socks wearer.
the rain this morning made a mess out of our bikes. the motel gave us rags to use for cleaning them. sari was working at that chore this evening when some of us talked catherine into taking us in the subaru back to the DQ (Dairy Queen) we'd passed on our way into town late afternoon (we couldn't stop then). so 5 of us merrily headed down to the DQ, salivating over what would be our first DQ of this trip. i took along my camera to record the event, & also a handful of the $1 DQ gift certificates a good friend gave me before i left on this trip. but lo & behold, as we got to the entry of the establishment, the young fellow inside was locking the door & turning around the sign to read "sorry, we're closed." there was another handwritten sign nearby that said, "due to lack of employees, we must close at 8 pm today." OH NO! how could we be so close to a blizzard....& yet so far??? what a blow. hating to see senior citizens cry, catherine drove us to a nearby convenience store, but alas, not much variety in their ice cream freezer. so she drove us to yet another convenience store; we settled for some frozen treats we found there. but it's taking us a long time to get over the DQ disappointment. if the tenor of today's report seems a bit you know why.
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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