Texas Hill Country.

15th – 16th Nov 2018

Brackettville to Uvalde 71kms

Last night was damn cold. We both had lots of clothes on, wrapped ourselves in our sleeping bag liners, and joined our sleeping bags together. We should have been snug as bugs. Nope, it was freezing. I think we have developed Frigophobia! It’s a real thing people, Google it! Anyway, in the early hours of the morning, when it reaches the minimum temp, we both had a call of nature. Smart people would have grabbed their bedding, and gone to the rec room, but stubborn dumb arses, just crawl back into the cold tent and suffer till morning. Dumb arses with Frigophobia, that’s us!

 

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Things needed a bit of drying out after the ice melted and wet everything.

So it took us a while to warm up, and we spent the morning in the rec room, having a couple of coffees, and our cow fodder, and having an interesting chat to Kurt, the camp manager. A self confessed “Nutcase”, he was a nice man, and we discussed his unique rifle collection, riding motorbikes, and life in general. Eventually, some nice degrees appeared, so we were able to shake off the phobia, and pedal off in the sunlight.

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Some cool memorabilia from the Second Battalion.

Another rolling hills kind of day, with a good wide shoulder, and moderate traffic. Ranch after ranch, after ranch. Super high fences, big elaborate gates, is it cows or Velociraptors, your keeping in there? We didn’t see many cows at all, I’m dying to see them big old Texas Longhorns. Instead, we came across an Emu. I yelled out to it, “Hey Aussie, whatcha doin’ ere, mate?” It just strutted up and down the fence line, like it knew we were Aussies too.

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Fancy meeting you out here mate.

 

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We saw trucks going both ways carrying these huge pipes. They are laying a gas line somewhere. They were trucks to be wary of, as they had extendable pipe trailers, and they swayed around a fair bit on the move. Especially going around bends. We got as far off as possible.

It was our lucky day, as we found a picnic area, with a bench and table, a million butterflies, and bees, and some weird millipede. We have been seeing so many butterflies the last two days riding, all different sizes and colours. It was fascinating to see so many, and upon doing a little reading, we think they are migrating south to the warmer weather. So beautiful.

A relaxing coffee break, enjoying some creatures with The Hulk.

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From a distance it looked like a golf ball, but as we got closer we were certain it is a soccer ball. Well maybe some sort of scientific weather station?

 

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? The Hulk is a gentle soul, who,loves all creatures, great and small. His new butterfly friend.

After a lovely day of riding, we passed through a border control point, and they actually checked our paperwork, then we raced the trucks into Uvalde. It is a big place. Bigger than we expected, and it looks quite nice. We spotted a big supermarket, HEB, so stopped for supplies. From there, we just had another Kay or so to our home away from home, Motel 6. Now you can’t win them all, and we definitely didn’t win here. The young lady at the front desk was a bit apathetic, and uninterested in our plight. She gave us an upstairs room, and couldn’t be bothered with the rigmarole of trying to change it. So after a big day riding, we had to unload the kids, drag all the bags up two flights of stairs (well Will did many trips up and down), then get the tired kids up to the security of our room. On a good note, it was a huge room, so we had heaps of space to put everything. We cooked our own dinner in the room, had a nice relaxing shower, and slept like logs.

 

I’m guarding the kids, and here comes Will with food for dinner and lunch tomorrow. Looks like a weeks worth there Willsie?

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Cooking up a storm in the room. It was delicious, chicken and veg pasta.

Uvalde to Leakey 66kms

Another cool morning, but warmer than yesterday. Coffee, Sultana Bran, pack and carry everything down the stairs. What a pain. Again, Will did many trips, before we got the bikes out and down. By this time, we had some good degrees, and happily rode the back streets to reach highway 83, and start heading to our next little town. Uvalde looks like a nice place. Very neat and tidy, lots of trees, and neat gardens. 

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Last bag, and nextbthe kids. Thanks Will, for doing all the heavy climbing.

We are heading into the Texas Hill country, with a wide shoulder, and not too much traffic. Rolling hills for today, nothing drastic, and getting warmer. It was a very enjoyable ride, with the only downside, a lack of places to stop for a break. Don’t drivers want a break sometimes? A nice spot to walk the pooch? So we rolled into a tiny little town called Concan, and had a break and a chicken roll (I’d put them together before leaving this morning), at the service station, come store.

 

What a cracker of a day. The shoulder was wide, but a bit bumpy. We saw this weird lichen on the powerlines and in the trees. Must be pretty hardy.

The last part of our day was more up than down, but still not drastic. We crossed the Frio river, which was beautiful and crystal clear. Really close to Leakey, we found the elusive rest stop. It wasn’t pretty, and in a dodgey spot, but did have a nice view of the river. We had a juice, and a few Orios, then enjoyed our last 10 kilometres into Leakey. Now we were pronouncing it how it looks, like a leaky boat, and making all sorts of bad jokes, but it is actually named after a founding family, and is pronounced Lakey. Oops, dumb Aussies!

 

I found another “toy”, a Swat Team Truck. I saved it, and now we have more security. Antonio the anxious crab, the Hulk, and now Swat.

The Historic Leakey Inn, was the only place to stay so we rolled up to it. Looks nice, has a bar, and I’d rung the day before to try and book. Brad had been really easy going, and just said “ Y’all just roll on in, and we’ll have somethin for ya, no problem.” Cool, so we did. Now we were speaking with Dallas, Brad’s wife, who was luckily used to this behaviour from her husband, and just shook her head. We are booked, (the cheap rooms we can afford, that is). But she gave us a more expensive room at the same price. That is fantastic. She tried to take our money, but the machine had an issue, so she said, when Brad got there he’d sort it. Well, he did, and gave us even more of a discount. He is keen for a cycle tour himself, and just loves chatting to people on tour to get as much info as he can. So we enjoyed a couple of beers, and some chit chat, then found our cabin, and got cleaned up. 

 

The Historical Leakey Inn. What a gem. Neat and comfy cabins, great music, and cold beer. Not to mention the owners are beautiful people. Stay here!

Back in the bar, another local, Uel, was playing some live music, which was fantastic, and more locals arrived. Wendy the barmaid had us all well hydrated all night, and we had an absolute ball. We stayed up way too,late, drank too much, but went to bed super impressed at the great people we’d met. Don’t know how we are going to ride 100kms, with a huge climb to begin the day, but we’ll figure it out tomorrow.

Wendy, what a fabulous lady. Steve telling us about route options, and Uel smashing out some great music, while the locals get their jig on. Such a great night. Thanks y’all. I didn’t get a pic of “Big Ern” from Big Ern’s BBQ.  Check it out on Facbook.

Some “dressed” beers. Lime and salt on the neck, with a slice of lime. Not too bad, thanks Wendy. The only Longhorn I’ve seen so far.

 

Wendy, what a fabulous lady. Steve telling us about route options, and Uel smashing out some great music, while the locals get their jig on. Such a great night. Thanks y’all. I didn’t get a pic of “Big Ern” from Big Ern’s BBQ.  I had a good discussion about Texas BBQ with him. Check it out on  Facebook.

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