Friday, April 5, 2013

Big Miles--Better Weather

We woke up to overcast skies, but no rain (thankfully). It was, however, bone-chilling cold. Since we had arrived too late to climb the rock last night, we got up, ate breakfast, and hiked the trail to the top of Enchanted Rock. It was about 8:30. We were the only ones going up that early. Did I mention it was FREEZING? I had my long underwear on under my pants and my wool jacket on. Even while climbing, I was not that warm. The trail climbs for .6 miles with an elevation gain of 420 feet. Not too terribly difficult. Coming down, we took a different route. It was not the easiest way down, but we made it.

Back at our campsite, we packed everything up, changed from our "hiking" clothes to our biking clothes, and left the campground at 10:00. At this point we were planning to do the Willow City Loop (another thing we were supposed to do the day before). It would add miles, but it was supposed to be very scenic.

When we got to Hwy 16 from Enchanted Rock (8.2 miles), we changed our minds and decided to head straight to Fredricksburg instead of doing the loop. It was still very cold and overcast. Also, another cyclist (there were 4 others) we had met at the campground said it wasn't as "epic" as he had hoped. We knew we had a lot of miles even without the loop. So, off to Fredricksburg we went.

It was 23 more miles to Fredricksburg (settled by Germans so, home to all things German). The weather remained overcast until we were a few miles outside of town. The clouds broke up and by the time we made it to Main Street, it was blue sky everywhere! It was still cold, but we didn't care!

Christian wanted some German food for lunch. We rode down Main Street until we came to the most German looking restaurant. It was called Der Lindenbaum. It was indeed very German. Christian was even able to order his food in his native tongue (fortunately, for me, the waitress also spoke English!). The best part of my meal was the German Chocolate Cake!

After lunch, we went in search of a German bakery so Christian could get more bread. We found one on the other end of town. The bakery was also a restaurant. Christian said we could have eaten there. I told him next time we come to Fredricksburg we will eat there. Christian got his bread, and I got an almond ring. I had to have the gal cut it in half as it wouldn't have fit in my pannier otherwise.

From Fredricksburg, we headed out on Hwy 290. Up until now we had avoided this busy road. It would have been nicer to continue avoiding it. The speed limit was 70 mph and there was really only a foot or so of shoulder in most places. However, something I've noticed so far in Texas is that the drivers are more courteous toward cyclists. Most drivers completely change lanes to go around us or, on the two lane ranch roads, they slow down until they can safely pass. No honking, no roaring past! It's great!

We were going by LBJ's home. There is a parallel road called Highway 1 that goes through the park. It was a nice quiet respite from 290. We didn't really have time to do the tour of the ranch, but we did see LBJ drive his car across the river where the river flows over the road. Check out the photo below. Curiously, we had just seen several signs that said "No Vehicles in River Bottom". I guess that doesn't apply to a dead President. Okay, so it wasn't LBJ. Some people were filming a car that looked from the LBJ era going back and forth across the river. The driver had a 10 gallon hat as big as my Da Brim.

Once we returned to 290, we still had about 20 miles to go. It was 5:00. At Johnson City, we got on the same road we had taken the day before. Along the way I stopped to wait for Christian. There was a mule who came to the fence to say hello. I went over to pet him. I decided he looked like a "Buster". He hung out at the fence until Christian caught up. From there it wasn't too much further to the park. I arrived before Christian at 7:30. We went to the same site as before. This time, no rain or thunderstorm. We both showered, ate dinner, and went to bed. We had ridden 75 miles and many hills--we were pooped!

No comments: