March 24 - April 12: Texas

4/7 - Bastrop (83 miles 1517 total)
83 miles from the swiss lodge in blanco almost to the comfort inn in bastrop, TX
michelle put out breakfast early so we could eat & be on the road by the time it was light enough to ride....given today's mileage (91 mi). by about 7 a.m., those of us with strobes & other blinking red lights turned them on & headed out of blanco. several folks decided to ride in the van, with their bikes on top, out about 45 miles onto the route, then bike the rest of the way.
it was quite foggy, & stayed that way 'til maybe 10:30. traffic most of today was heavy....on roads with no shoulder. & quite a bit of the traffic was trucks, especially construction trucks. we saw lots of home & apartment-house construction near & in kyle; perhaps it's a bedroom community for austin.
sari & i tried to move along more quickly today, but that doesn't work well for us, since we hate missing any interesting stops along the way. on today's route sheet was a notation that wimberley was a "fun town; eat breakfast tacos at Mima's."
so when we rode into wimberley (at about 26 mi) & i spotted mima's, we stopped. while i was ordering my breakfast taco (i got the egg ranchero, with added beans), sari was talking with a woman & her daughter who were standing nearby. the mother was very interested in our ride, & told sari she tried to inspire her daughters with examples of older women who are active. (we seemed to fill the bill.) the woman asked if she could donate to our cause, & of course we gladly accepted the donation, which sari will relay to the national breast cancer coalition fund.
here's a photo of me (with a VERY goofy expression on my face....about to bite into my delicious breakfast taco) with michelle faius & her daughter olivia, whom we enjoyed visiting with at mima's.
mima's is obviously a very popular spot (& having eaten the food, we easily understand why). during the time we were there, there were almost always people in line waiting to order their tacos. a man who overheard sari explain our ride to the woman & daughter came over to ask if we could stick around for 15 mins or so; he was going to call the local newspaper to see if someone would come out to interview & photograph us. a woman named mary arrived a while later & talked with us about our adventure; she was from the "wimberley view." as we left, another couple of women came by to chat. the people in texas have been so nice.
sari & i agreed that those breakfast tacos (soft shell) we'd had at mima's were some of the best tacos we've ever had. we were so happy we'd stopped, even tho' it slowed our progress on a long day. finally back onto our bikes, we pedalled on thru wimberley. what a cute little town it is! the fellow sari talked to at mima's mentioned that it had been incorporated only 2-3 years ago, & has a population of about 3500. he pointed out that it is not a bedroom community for austin, & that it draws lots of artistic folks. he said it's a favorite hangout for willie nelson. as we rode thru town, we saw lots of very cute little shops, restaurants, galleries, & studios. it would be a great place to come back & visit.
much of today's terrain was rolling (again). as we neared bastrop, the rollers were steeper. earlier in the day i took this photo of one of our roads. it gives you a good idea of what much of our ride looked like today. it's very beautiful green (not what i expected in texas); the fact that it stayed overcast & coolish most of the day made it great for biking.
in the previous photo you might have noticed some copper-colored bushes along the left. we've noticed many of those bushes the last few days. now they're starting to bloom, too, as you can see in this closeup photo. i don't know what they are, but they're beautiful, & they add a pleasant aroma to our ride.
at about 63 mi we arrived at the town of lockhart. what a gem! the downtown is an historic district. a town square is built around the magnificent court house in this photo.
sari & i were so taken with the community that we walked along the square for a while, & found ourselves at the chamber of commerce office. we walked in & chatted with a very helpful woman, who gave us a packet of info on the town.
a bit further along, i took a photo of this beautiful old library building. the community has done a great job at restoring many of its public & private buildings. i hope you'll have a chance to visit.
as we biked out of lockhart we came across the DQ that had been mentioned on our route sheet. it was mid-afternoon, a perfect DQ time (as so many times are). still smarting from the disappointment of last night's aborted DQ trip in blanco, we eagerly dismounted & went inside. there was a special today...order one med blizzard & get a 2nd for 99 cents. plus with my coupons, we ate for practically nothing. even tho' the place doesn't serve chocolate DQ (i hope that isn't the case all thru the south!!!), our georgia mud fudge blizzards were scrumptious. we even asked if they'd add a dollop of hot fudge on top, & they did so readily. what a treat! (we were thinking of you, gloria & luanne.)
this DQ was obviously a popular local hangout. a sign was hanging in one corner of the seating area: "The Medicare Corner." under the sign, 3 retired fellows were visiting. we got a kick out of that.....& figured we should've been sitting in the medicare corner, too.
unfortunately, the winds that had been light all day, & rarely in our faces, picked up a bit late afternoon. & as we headed in a more northerly direction toward bastrop, they were in our faces. we pedaled & pedaled, but around 6, when our friend patty fainer (who is today joining the trip as a sag driver, to replace lennis) surprised us by driving out in the subaru to greet us, we couldn't resist piling ourselves & our bikes into the car & riding the last 8 mi to bastrop with her. she even brot us each an ice cream sandwich; even tho' we'd had DQ blizzards earlier, we'd worn off those calories by now & the additional ice cream was a welcome treat.
supper was little caesar's pizza, salad, & fresh strawberries. & since it's cynthia's birthday, we had cake, too.
at the map meeting, michelle delivered the welcome news that tomorrow's route will be much shorter....around 45 mi into la grange. even tho' there will be hills, we're happy for a shorter day.
after the map meeting, becky made the day's sock presentation. she described how seeing a red flashing light ahead of her in the fog this morning had provided a very comforting signal during the early morning's ride. so she presented the socks to sari, the person who had been riding ahead of her with the red flasher atop her helmet, with the BITCH label being: Blinking In The Continuous Haze.
a bit later, jane said good-bye to the group. she's leaving the tour. here's a photo of tomorrow's BITCH socks wearer, sari (on the right), & jane.
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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