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Thanksgiving '03 in The Texas Hill Country


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Thanksgiving Ride '03


Short Version:

  • Good Weather (basically no rain, only a very light drizzle for 5 minutes)
  • Good Company
  • Good People
  • Good Cabin and Bed & Breakfast
  • One Rattly engine (rocks rattling around in fairing, I think)
  • No Accidents
  • One Ticket (doh!)
  • 950 miles
  • 50-ish deer (only two ran in front of us)
  • Not-so-good German Food
  • Good time was had by all

Long Version:

The Plan:

Cathy and I would head out on the beemer on Fri. morning for three days in the Texas Hill Country. The plan was to ride to Leakey (about 400 miles) on Friday, around Leakey and to Fredericksburg on Sat., and finally home to Plano on Sun.


We were afraid of the weather being too cold so we didn't make reservations. As it turns out, the weather was great the whole time so we were able to follow the original plan.



We left my place at dawn. It was a bit chilly (upper 41 degrees) but this was the coldest temperature we had to endure. My heated jacket liner was great and Cathy's new First Gear Kilamanjaro jacket and Gerick pants were working pretty good.


We were doing pretty good but we stopped to fiddle with the gear because of a crosswind on 67. Luckily I decided to cut it back from my usual 91 mph cruising speed because about 10 minutes later as I was topping a hill I saw a black hood coming the other way. About 1/2 second later the V1 went nuts. Instant-on is a bitch, nothing you can do about it when you are the only vehicle on the road...


The DPS officer was courteous but I think he would have given his grandmother a ticket on her birthday so I went away with one for 81 in a 65. I wouldn't have cared too much (I am WAAAYYYY overdue) except it was so *&^% early in the trip... That slowed me down about .0005% for the rest of the trip except, of course, when I was coming back through that section of 67.


Later that day, while eating some hot chocolate and ice cream in Fredericksburg we called the Frio Canyon Lodge and got a room. That's the place with the Restaurant and Swimming Pool in Leakey. We made our way down to Leakey and hit our only rain of the weekend. A light drizzle for about 10 minutes as we were going down 337.


Upon arriving in Leakey, we were dismayed to find out that Kate from Frio Canyon Lodge made a mistake in her booking and our room was taken. She did us very well, however. She sent us 4 miles south to the Wiskey Mountain Inn and gave us the $20 difference in the rates!


At the Wiskey Mountain Inn we stayed in a two bedroom cabin with a living room, kitchen, washer and dryer, etc. The hosts were wonderful. They ride a goldwing (she used to ride), they accept pets, and they didn't charge us the full price of the Bandera Cabin (their biggest cabin) because it normally sleeps 6 and we were only 2. I highly recommend this place for the next IBI down there or anytime you are staying there. They have cabins for 2, 4, and 6 people and can accommodate groups. The only catch is that they require 2 nights on Weekends (they might bend on that if we rent the whole place). However at $90, our cabin that slept 6 is still a steal!


Sometime that day we noticed that the old metal building on the NW corner in Leakey was occupied with the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop. I'm terrible with names (sorry) but we spoke with the owners for a while. They are a place for riders to rest, get something cool to drink, get some gear, gossip about the LEO's, get the number for the local defense attorney, etc. smile.gif



We woke up early and headed out for breakfast. We ate at a restaurant on 83 just south of the intersection in Leakey. We did the 100 mile loop with the Hwy. 55 sweepers. It was a great day for riding! We stopped for some cool pics on top of 55 and on 335 to take the typical tourist pics of the Kawallabe's (i.e. small kangaroos), gazelles, camels, etc.


While coming back from Camp Wood to Leakey on 337, I pulled up to a green pickup truck following a white blazer. Just before I passed it (on a double yellow) I realized it had red and blue lights along the top of the cab. That's when I decided to look at the beautiful scenery. laugh.gif It didn't matter too much, we were only about 4 miles from Leakey.


Unfortunately for two red sportbikes, I didn't seem them coming up behind me and warn them before they zoomed past me, the truck, and the blazer. All on a double yellow... Sure enough he got on the radio and it appears that sportbikes are still not fast enough to outrun the radio. About 1 mile outside of Leakey the Sherriff (in a white truck with gold lettering) and the DPS trouper (Sanchez) had them pulled over.


Cathy and I stopped at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop to chat with the owners and about 15 minutes later the two hooligans came riding past with heads held low. It's really too bad they didn't have a V1. It turns out the green truck is the Forest Ranger. He didn't even stop. Those two probably got it for speeding when they came into town, the Ranger didn't stop to bear witness to the double yellow pass!


After all that excitement Cathy and I made our way up to Fredericksburg. We found a great little road that actually passes through a bunch of pastures. It's not a great sportbike road but it is really beautiful and just kind of cool. It is paved the whole way, has a lot of cattle grates, and a lot of livestock. I HIGHLY recommend it if you just want to take it easy for about 20 miles.


Once in Fredericksburg we called Gasthaus Schmidt, one of the 4 Bed and Breakfast (B&B) coordinators in the city. Fredericksburg has over 300 B&B's in the area! We picked the Ainsley House. It was a little pricier but it was worth it.


We stopped at one of the Wine Tasting places and picked up a couple bottles (Cathy is a wizz at packing). Afterwards we ate at the Altdorf Restaurant. I do not recommend it. I was very unimpressed with the food and it was cold. Luckily the Oberdorfer is the same there are anywhere!



Sunday I ate some of the pastries the B&B left us. Then we went to a German Bakery and had some coffee (not impressive) and some more pastries (very impressive).


When leaving town, I noticed a white van with a BMWRT.com sticker on it (my BMW BBS). I went past and gave him the thumbs up. He pulled up next to me at the stopsign and we had a quick chat.


We took the back roads to Lampass and then hit 281 home. Traffic was quite a bit worse but we managed to make it back by 4.


On the George Bush Turnpike we got the thumbs up from a guy in a 911. Not often you get the thumbs up from a guy driving a 100k car!


We made it back and we were quite bushed. Luckily Turkey, Stuffing, and Potatoes were awaiting us from Thanksgiving dinner!

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Yeeha! Stephen

"When leaving town, I noticed a white van with a BMWRT.com sticker on it (my BMW BBS). I went past and gave him the thumbs up. He pulled up next to me at the stopsign and we had a quick chat."



Hey Mike,


You just crossed paths with Yeeha! Stephen at that stop light. Sorry we couldn't have talked a little longer. We had been stopped at a bakery for breakfast just before we saw you, and were heading home at the time.


That van was full of Christmas gifts. Miss Vicki and I were down there shopping in Fredericksburg and the Country Peddler Show at the Fair Grounds. We also hit Bandera, Kerrville, and Johnson city on this trip. Bought a lot of Mexican pottery and stuff. The Country Peddler Show comes to Arlington near my home, twice a year, but it's so much more fun to visit the Hill Country instead.


We also hit one of the wine stores. The Fredericksburg Winery has a red that I like called, Enchanted Rock Red. I pick up a case every time I'm down there in my cage. this time included.


Saw a couple of different groups of BMW riders that weekend. We were in Lukenbach Sat afternoon and saw 3 different groups of GS-es pass through. And Sunday, just North near Llano, saw a group of KRS riders.


Ms Vicki was making fun of me when I would roll the window down and wave at all the bike riders.

I was Soooooooo jealous!! I shouldn't have been, I've been to the Hill Country 7 times this year and 5 of them I was able to bring the bike.


Maybe I'll be on my scooter next time we cross paths.



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Was down there the prior week with a group from Austin and had a grat time --weather was excellent then as well. That great road you mention, with the cattle crossings etc., if north of F'burg was the Willow City Loop. As nice as it is now, you should check it out in the spring when the wild flowers are in bloom. As far as food, I'd recommend you try the brewery there on the main drag. The beer is great and the food is excellent as well.

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Nice to meet you Stephan. Seeing as you are in Arlington, you aren't too far away. Maybe we will run into each other sometime. smile.gif

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