Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Pearland, TX to Eagle Lake, TX
64 miles (1963 total miles)

This morning started out cloudy and slightly cool, perfect for biking. We were slow to get going, though - it was tough to leave Sarah, Steve, and the kids. Sarah cooked us pancakes for breakfast and took some pictures as we left, which she then emailed to us. They are the first 5 pictures below. We headed out County Road 59 which was a pleasant road most of the way - a little busy at first but quiet later. We then picked up Rt. 6 which was wide and very busy, but had a good shoulder so it wasn't bad. It was lined with shopping center after shopping center - we were sorry we weren't hungry, there were so many places to eat! It was a little hectic though, and we were worried that US 90, the next road we'd be on for 40 miles, would be busy as well. We turned onto US 90 at a huge intersection and found that it, too, was crammed with cars and trucks, but it later calmed down quite a bit.

Not much excitement today. The most entertaining thing was the railroad, which we were riding by most of the day. We saw several trains pass us during the day - one was so long it required 4 engines, another was an Amtrak train heading east, one was slowing down to a stop and made us feel like we were moving very fast as we sped by it. The scenery consisted of many large fields of crops for the most part, we saw very few cattle or other farm animals today. Some of the fields were just tilled, some had just sprouted, some had good-sized seedlings already coming along, others were just wild growth, either pasture or lying fallow. Along the train tracks, there were mostly bushes and short trees, the usual wildflowers, including a new, pale yellow flower of which there were large patches in several places, a few streams - mostly dry but a couple very full - and one river, the Brazos.

We went past a few towns, mostly at the beginning. Sugar Land was just past Pearland - after about 20 miles, we stopped at a great donut place on the far side of Sugar Land (delicious cinnamon rolls!) and then realized there was no easy way back to the road. We stopped to ask a policeman how to get back and he told us the only safe way was to go east to the next road (about 2 miles back!) and loop back around on it. Needless to say, we took a slightly less safe and less legal way back, hoping the policeman didn't happen to notice. We went through Richmond, the next town, and got worried that we would be out of places to eat lunch after that, but then we came across the town of Rosenberg, and even though it was a little early, we stopped for lunch at a nice diner there. Good thing, because the towns were a lot more sparse after that. US 90 was a very straight road with a mostly good, smooth shoulder, a little boring but other than that, a good ride. The clouds broke up a bit in the afternoon and the sun was blazing hot again. We were always thankful for all the cloud cover we got. The breeze helped some too; it was southerly, so it came at us from the side and didn't hinder us at all, and it did help cool us down some. The trucks passing by were more of a problem; they sometimes went by so fast, they nearly blew us over! But they always gave us plenty of room as they went by.

We got to Eagle Lake about 4 pm, after going 64 miles in 5 hours and 40 minutes of bike time. We showered and then walked over to see the lake. There was a little park right next to our motel with a path that led to the lake. There were a few people fishing in the stream going into the lake, but they said they weren't having much luck that day. One of them confirmed that the note on the park sign about the alligators was for real - he had seen alligators, 9-foot-long, at the lake himself. We walked along a boardwalk over some very marshy areas and came to an observation deck where we had a glimpse of the lake, but that was as far as we could go. We saw some birds in the water - too far away to see very clearly, but it looked like they might be ibis. Then we had dinner and went back to update the website.

Sarah's hibiscus flowers look in fine shape this morning

Sarah catches Sari getting ready to leave

Pat, the suntan man

They're off again! Pat & Sari head out Sarah's driveway

A major intersection to negotiate - Rt. 6 & US 90

US 90 - 40 miles of our route today

A colorful engine on a passing train

Shipping containers stacked 2 high

Later on US 90 - a more scenic spot

The Brazos River

Another train goes by - we saw several today, including an Amtrak

Fields on the other side of the train track

Fields to our left - the plants here were further along than most others

We have a friend whose last name is Beasley, so this is for her

Scrubby bushes, spiky grasses, dried-out drainage ditch

Those nasty chiclets are back, but just on this one rather long bridge

Pretty Indian Paintbrush and Blue-eyed Grass

Bushy vegetation along the train tracks

We saw lots of Wild Onion, a pale yellow flower

Giant grain silos

Our home for tonight

Park sign going into Eagle Lake - they weren't kidding about the alligators

The path toward the lake

Lush vegetation in a swampy area near the lake

The closest view of Eagle Lake we could get from where we were

Sari rests on a bench in the observation area

These glossy ibis (we think) were a little hard to make out from the observation deck

The boardwalk to the lake area