Well, my 2006 Ural is gone, and I sold my Bonneville to a guy from Houston – why? To buy a NEW Ural – a 2013 T-model. Like Jim down the street said when he heard those Russian valves go clattering by one morning – “you’re a bear for punishment.”
Here’s my new RPOC
And with a new bike the thing to do is RIDE, so I rolled my RPOC around Central Texas for a few days.
First day’s ride – 260 miles or so
The first day I headed down towards the coast –
Headed into the rising sun
The weather was great the first day – I rode out through Rosanky, and headed down to Moulton.
Moulton, Texas and Pearl Beer
You don’t see many Pearl Beer signs anymore – great sign – crappy beer.
Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, Texas
Just down the road is Shiner – home of Spoetzl Brewery and Shiner beer. Got here too early for the tour.
Cotton Harvest was in.
The cotton was already in down here – but there was plenty of lint on the sides of the roads.
The Blessing Hotel
My destination for lunch was Blessing, Texas. The town was created in 1903 when the railroad came through. The local rancher who platted the town put in to the Post Office to name it Thank God – but they rejected that and sent back the name Blessing. The Hotel was built in 1907 (by the same rancher), and it’s still operating pretty much the way it was then.
The entry hall at the Blessing Hotel
Rooms are about $35/night – no TVs, no radios, no WiFi. In the back is the Cafe.
Hotel Blessing Cafe Plate Lunch
Where the ladies lay out a spread every lunchtime. Pretty dang good green beans, turnip greens, potatoes, cream gravy and fried chicken – all you care to eat – and cobbler to boot.
Tres Palacios Bay
Since Blessing is only 15 miles from Palacios – I made the run down there just to get a picture by the water. They have a nice bayfront – and you can see the weather was miserable.
Running up to Halletsville
From Palacios I ran back through El Campo and up into Halletsville, where I spent the night. Halletsville is the only town in the world named Halletsville.
They do have a nice courthouse.
Bad sign – good food
And while the Bel Air Cafe does not have much of a sign
Chicken Fried Chicken
They serve one monster chicken-fried chicken.
Day 2 – Halletsville to Mason, 275 miles
The second day I ran from Halletsville up to Mason, over the Devil’s Backbone, down to Mason, then up across the Edwards Plateau northwest of Harper. It was a nice day’s ride.
Lots of oilfield trucks
The area around Gonzales and Shiner is in the Eagle Ford shale play – so there were oilfield service trucks all over the place.
Prickly Pear Tunas
Getting off onto the little Farm to Market roads cut down the truck traffic a lot – and the prickly pear tunas were ripe – time for jelly!
Edge Falls Crossing
Coming into Kendalia I took a loop out Edge Falls Road – and made the crossing of the Guadalupe.
Kendalia General Store
And I had the good fortune to hit Kendalia right at lunch time – so I had to stop at the Kendalia General Store. Catfish was the special
But I couldn’t pass up the Kendalia burger.
West of Harper
One of the best roads of the trip was Ranch Road 385, west of Harper. I saw one car in two-and-a-half hours of riding. The road runs up over a peninsula of the Edward’s Plateau.
Coming down off the Edwards
And then within a couple of miles – it drops right back off and down into the valley of the Llano River. The photo doesn’t do it justice – I rode up and down this a half-dozen times – the view was amazing – the road just drops away and BOOM -there it is.
Way down at the end
I took 1871 on into Mason, and checked into the motel. The gal at the desk didn’t seem too thrilled – and I was pretty grubby at that point – but she put me in a room in a different building, down the hill, past the RV park – as far away as possible – squint and you can see the office up at the top of the hill.
But the ladies at Santos Taqueria are still making the best dang Gorditas you can find in the Hill country – so I drowned my sorrows with a combo plate.
Day Three – Mason to Austin – 184 miles
On the third day I ran back to Austin, up through Pontotoc, Bend, Lampasas, and then down the Lampasas River through Oakalla and then to Andice and back home.
The weather man had been threatening big rain for two days – and I’d lucked out. The third morning the air was thick – it wasn’t foggy – this is condensation on my camera lens.
Right off the road in Pontotoc are the ruins of the old school.
Flowers at the School
It was a nice morning, no traffic.
RR 501 Headed to Bend
And when there’s no traffic you can stop in the middle of the road and take pictures.
Along the Lampassas River
This road along the Lampasas River was a treat. It ran right down next to the river – through a tunnel of trees. And you can see even here morons throw their trash out the window.
Andice General Store
And since I was close – and it was lunchtime – I stopped in at the Andice General store – no picture of the burger – ate it too fast.
It was a great ride.