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Yeeha! Stephen

Taking Point in Texas

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Yeeha! Stephen

What was I thinking? I said, "yes" when asked to take point and show some new folks our beloved Hill Country. Yikes! They want me to decide where to go?, how fast?, how long?, where to stop?, where to gas up? Well... alright then.

 

I managed to get the entire day off Friday, and planned to leave early in the morning. I wanted to take my time going down to Kerrville, stopping often, taking some photos, and saving my energy for the Hills. Never took any photos. Duh.

 

Packed and ready before sun-up, I was saying Goodbye's to Miss Vicki when I heard thunder. What?! The Weather Channel forecast last night stated no chance for rain until Sunday. Rats, I'll have to leave in the rain.

 

A quick look at the radar on TV showed not just rain, but "Severe" thunderstorms in and around DFW. High wind, lightning, hail, the whole thing. I'm not venturing out in that.

 

The radar also showed a clearing line just to the West. I'll just wait it out and leave a little later. After all, I have all day. Yeah right.

 

So... 6 hours later, the sun is out, the pavement is dry, and the storms headed toward East Texas. Time to hit the road. Got to be in Kerrville for dinner at Roma's Italian Restaurant by 7ish. Plenty of time.

 

I've mentioned many times that I avoid I-35, from my area toward San Antonio, like the plague. Even so, I almost have to take part of it South out of Ft Worth, just to get out of town and to my favorite route South... US 281. Today is a big reminder of why the big speech. Jeez, the speed limit is 65 PEOPLE! Why are we doing 45?!

 

Made it to 281 and a great weight seems to lift from my shoulders. I'm getting the heck out of Dodge for a weekend and the Bluebonnet wild flowers are smelling good today.

 

It's a mix n' match season for the wildflowers here this year. Some areas are thick with them. And others are a little patchy. Still, the view is bursting with new green from the grass and trees, swiped with dabs of red from the Indian Paintbrush, yellow from the Black Eyed Suzan and of course the Bluebonnets.

 

With the flowers come the bugs, especially the butterflies. Splat! I'll be the envy of any BMW bug collector at the end of today's ride.

 

Approaching Kerrville I feel the tug of a fine Italian dinner pulling at my hunger pangs, so I wheel into the parking lot of Roma's to see what time they close. Looks like they closed a long time ago, the place is empty... out of business. Great! What are you going to do now, you blabber mouthed Texan, you?

 

A block or so up the street, I'm booked at the Days Inn, and wheel into the parking lot to see the Oklahoma gang, milling about outside their rooms. I whip in the lot and let out with the Rebel Yell... Yeeeeeeehhhhaaaaa! That should let them know who's in town!

 

While I'm wiggling around trying to find a spot to put my bike, Dean and Connie (Bigfoot & Littlefoot) wheel up, in from Louisiana. With Steve from Houston, and later in the evening Eric from San Angelo, later Eric from Dallas, Polo & Greg from Austin, it's Ho!Boy! This is going to be an International ride.

 

Intros done and short discussions of the day's activities going on, the subject of dinner comes up. "Where'd you say that Roma's place was?"... Well...guys, it's like this. It was there when I was here a couple of months ago. How about Mexican or Sea Food. I know a nice family type place that has good fried Catfish... We had Catfish.

 

Dinnertime is always fun. Funny how, so very soon, the newness of unfamiliar faces fades and the conversations start to flare up. "One time I was here... I've been there too... Have you been to... Last time I saw you... When my kids were little... Ha-ha-ha this and Hardy-har that..." It's great fun.

 

The plan is to meet some Austin contingent at the Cracker Barrel around 8-ish, so early to bed, and because of someone's Freakin' Car Alarm... early to rise. Hey, it wasn't loud Harley pipes this time!

 

At the Cracker Barrel, Polo shows with the news. Michael (RtRider) has fallen on his way to meet us. Bummer. Message is that he's not seriously hurt, but the bike is not ridable. Double bummer. After breakfast, Greg (Lime creek) shows and gives us the rest of the story. The bike may be totaled... triple bummer.

 

With that reminder of the dangers of the street, we strike out for the Hills with the duly elected Point man, Me!, leading the charge down Hwy 16 and on to the Trilogy of Threes. Farm to Market roads 337, 336, & 335.

 

Ralph had pointed out the route they had taken Friday, and they managed a good portion of the best of the Hill Country roads. They had cut 337 a little short and skipped 335, so I headed that way.

 

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There were a couple of bike rallies in town this weekend, so the Hill Country was flooded with bikes. Sometimes preventing us achieving warp speed at prime spots. Secretly though, that was ok with me, cause I'm not a warp speed rider and surely not a warp speed leader.

 

We finished 337 and turned North to 335. 335 is the Roller Coaster of roads down here, undulating with peaks that get your wheels light and valleys that compress you spine.

 

After 335, we turned West and on to Rocksprings for fuel. I had to discourage a few from eating a snack at the station, because in just 30 minutes we would be in Utopia (literally) and the Lost Maples Café. Steve McKinley showed us this one on an earlier "Pie Town Crew" ride, and I assumed that all good point men should stop here.

 

Assumption made, I didn't hear any complaints. Well... Polo's burger bun came off the grill a little worse for wear, but that's it, I swear.

 

It doesn't show on the map, but TX 55 from Rocksprings to Barksdale is a downhill, big sweeping turn, high speed, highway that has that up-state New Mexico/Red Rocks sort of look to it. Very scenic and very fast and Greg, Polo, and Dean couldn't resist. My pace was too slow and they went around me... Yeeha! I picked up the pace a little for the OK guys but was still worried about them not knowing the area, and kept it to just under "warp". Big fun and a must do if you're ever here.

 

After lunch the OK boys wanted to do Luckenbach, so we reversed our direction, back up 337 and 16 to and through Kerrville. A few riders begged out, Eric F, Polo, and Greg headed home & Eric R visited friends in town, so Luckenbach saw only 5 of us this time. We were lost in the crowd of cruisers in the tiny parking area. And that was late in the evening when things were thinning out. Oklahoma got their picture on the porch of the old Post Office and if it comes out, they can prove they were "Somebody in Luckenbach".

 

Returning to the hotel it was time to decide dinner again. Easy on me deciding a place to eat, everyone said Mexican was ok, and there was one nice place, just a block or two down the street. Nuff said...Let's eat!

 

A little more of "Tellin' Tall Tales of How It Used to Be" and I'm beat, it's time for bed.

 

Up early Sunday morning and the weather is starting to look sad. It's not raining; it's a heavy mist. The kind that won't wash the roads clean, just make things extra slippery.

We rule out doing one more Twisty on the way out and opt for the more direct route. Straight through where all the cruisers are going to be. It's early, and with a quick bowl of cereal from the hotel breakfast bar; maybe we can beat the cruisers and the church traffic.

 

Too late. A group of HD riders has traffic slowed from the 70mph speed limit, down to 45 or 50, sometimes less. Sad to say, even that wasn't slow enough for a few of them. For as we approached Fredericksburg, an Antique/knick-knack/mini-van mom kind of town, one of their riders blew a braking point, fell, and due to their tight formation... took out 2 other bikes. It was a disturbing thing to see from a few car lengths back. The gray, overcast, rainy day made it that much more sad. All the riders jumped up immediately, so I'm assuming no one was injured. I hope only pride, and some chrome bits were damaged in the mishap.

 

Later in Marble Falls, we saw the aftermath of a similar accident, where police and paramedics were called to the scene. I hope the best for them too.

 

Dang, it's looking like Texans can't ride in the rain.

 

After Marble Falls, out comes the sun and dries up all the rain, and the itsy ditsy BMW crew is up for pie again. (Humor - Ar Ar)

 

We stop at one of my dining favorites... the Koffee Kup in Hico Texas! (High-co)

 

I just love their Beef Tips and Rice. The OK boys are up for Chicken Fried Steak. And of course, we finally have pie. Coconut and Lemon... Yumm-yum!

 

Now, the OK crew is looking for their own rhyming Crew name. They don't really have to, because like it or not, having "Pie to Die For" has automatically made them official members of the "Texas Pie Town Crew" Yeeha! To that!

 

After lunch and a fuel stop, we talked of future get togethers and said our goodbyes and we split for home.

 

Overall, I did my best at leading the ride. I didn't know how to do it, so I rode the way I usually do. Not too fast, about 5 over. Not too slow, about 5 over. wink.gif All the while looking out for dangers in all forms. Only saw a couple, and we were able to avoid any performance awards. So, I'm claiming success. And another Yeeha! To that.

 

What a weekend.

 

Ya'll come back now...Ya' hear?

 

Stephen

apologies to Guy for copying his format. tongue.gif

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R_D

And you said you couldn't write.

 

I'm changing my signature after this post. By the way shouldn't you make the little old lady an honorary member next time you see her at the Koffee Kup?

 

Are you sure that the town that it's in is not "Hicko"?

 

Thanks again for being such a great host. I hope that we can return the favor some day. We won't be able to match the roads but hopfully we can make up for it in hospitality.

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KMG_365

Wow, Yeeha! What a great 'Tale! Makes me want to go get some pie! smile.gif

 

I'm definitely going to have to come out there and see what all the talk about the Texas Hill Country rides is all about! Leslie will get to see some of them on her way back out with Marty in a few weeks (I'm so jealous!), but Steves1150 and I are only grazing the border with our BBG ride end of April. Now, when is that "In Search Of . . . The Best Steak Dinner in Texas"????!! smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

 

Also, sure am glad to hear that Michael is okay! smile.gif . . . even if the new GS is not. frown.gif Hmmmmm, PhillyCrash totals his street bike in the dirt, and then Michael totals his dirt bike on the street, hmmmmmm, maybe Howard should make Michael a killer deal on his new RT and buy himself a GS! laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif It seems safer (and cheaper) for all concerned, somehow . . . . tongue.giftongue.giftongue.gif

 

BTW, I scraped up another banged up squid this morning on his Suzuki SV650 (with 1800 miles on the clock! frown.gif ) and gave him a ride to the Trauma Center. He high sided coming up to a stop light! Oh brother! smirk.gif Gotta love that ABS! He'll probably get away with a broken right thumb, and some real bad aches and pains--thank God for good gear! I'm sure glad Michael and Howard had the sense to prepare for the worst. Now, you guys: STOP CRASHING YOUR BIKES, or I shall be VERY put-out! smile.gif

 

And Yeeha! and crew, if you guys EVER get out to Dry-Town please give us a call and we'll give you the $.10 tour! Oh, and I know this great Italian restaurant that used to be down on . . . . smile.gif

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SteveB

Thanks for being our Cruise director. The pace was great thanks for taking it easy on me and the CS. smile.gif Actually the bike earned my respect on this trip, I had no idea it would handle so well! New friends, great roads, the wild flowers, weather... what a trip! Now if the weather will cooperate we're off to the Smokies. smile.gif

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Ralph

Stephen,ya did a good job of leading. Thanks!

We ran into an almost disaster later in the day as an old lady decided to make a "U" turn in the middle of the 4 lane and then stop in our lane. Geeesh! But the rest of the way home was a breeze. (literly) A strong side wind stuck with us the rest of the way home. But a wonderful trip anyway. I think we logged on about 1700 miles. Over 600 of them in the twisties. grin.gif

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EricR

Yeeha, ya done good! You're just too darned polite. Ya should've snacked on some of that slower traffic. grin.gif

 

That snafu in Marble Falls was probably the incident involving some VROCers. They were stopped at a traffic light and got rear ended. Some kid in a pickup rear ended the dually that was stopped behind them. The force of the impact pushed the dually into the bikes. Supposedly, the kid in the pickup got a DUI (oh yeah, this was approx 10am). shocked.gif

 

No injuries and the bikes were apparently ridable after tugging on the rear fender, etc...

 

EricR

Dallas, TX

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swmckinley

Stephen,

I heard that you did a bang up job on the Hill Country Tour. I can think of no one better suited for the job of "Ambassador of the Pie Town Crew" than you....and I think that you should add that to your sig. line too. Thank you for representing our crew so well and I am am sorry I had to miss the ride as parental responsibilities prevented me. Again, JOB WELL DONE !

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RT4TY

Yeeha Stephen, I knew that I was gonna like you...when you dashed into the Days-Inn parking lot and "ripped" your own signature "YeeeeeeeHaaaa". I'm think'n...my kind of people!

 

Thank-You so much for your hospitality and consideration. I look forward to our next ride. I also enjoyed our "Family" conversations while at Luckenbach. Them kids, they grow-up so quick...and we get older ( so enjoy each day )!!!

 

I really enjoyed your Trip Tale. It was so good...that I printed a copy for my wife to read (I was think'n of... expoliting the "Social-Growing-Aspect"...in order to get more "Kitchen-Passes" to get out and RIDE some more). She

did enjoy your report too!

 

Thanks Again, and we'll see you in Eureka Springs!!!

 

Ty Wood ( Silver RT ) ---> RT4TY.

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