Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Sunday, April 13, 2008
It was very cold when we got up this morning which made it very hard to get going. The tent was very wet from condensation, too. Luckily, we didn't have far to go for breakfast, just a mile down the road into downtown Comfort. We sat next to 2 guys who were dressed in fancy cowboy wear, which we didn't think was too unusual, but when we got to talking with them it turned out that their "hobby" as they called it was to travel around to shows and do wild west action shows. The older gent was a 3-time world champion and 4-time national champion in the Single Action Shooting Society markmanship contest. He had an alias or show name of Ed Sieker, Texas Ranger; Mike's show name was Ranger Star. They were both very pleasant to talk with.
We started down State Road 27, a nice, smooth road with a good shoulder - a nice, easy way to start the day. Pat kept noting that we could take this road all the way to Ingram, a good 2/3 of our day's route, but we turned off onto the more scenic (read: narrower, bumpier, more complicated) Adventure Cycling route. It was pretty: we went down to the Guadalupe River - a beautiful, clean, spring-fed river that started somewhere in this area and went down to the Gulf Coast. We went along the river most of the day, crossing it several times. There were several dams along it, so the water level changed from one place to another but it was fairly high for the most part. There were several spots with canoe & tubing rental places, and we saw several families and kids enjoying the river - canoeing, fishing, wading, and so on. The roads were narrow and tree-lined with little traffic, but the bumpiness really detracted from our enjoyment of them.
We went through 4 towns today - Center Point, Kerrville, Ingram, and Hunt - all of them tiny except for Kerrville, the Kerr County county seat. Center Point had a few historic buildings. Kerrville was not very impressive except for a few lovely buildings, churches, and the court house. We stopped at a McDonalds there to use the bathroom, but realizing it was lunch-time, we had some lunch as well. There was an amazing mural inside that I got a picture of. We decided to pick up something for dinner in Ingram since we heard there was nowhere to buy food after that. We stopped at a small food market and got a small jar of peanut butter, some crackers, and some tuna fish lunch packages, but it didn't seem much like dinner. A local policeman happened to come into the store at that point and we asked him if there was a place that made sandwiches to go; he directed us to a little place called Spirit Wind Java where we got excellent chicken and roast beef sandwiches. So we made out all right for dinner and we still have the peanut butter and tuna fish for tomorrow, when we won't be going through any towns at all (that should be interesting).
After little Ingram, which had started right where Kerrville left off, it was only about 6 miles to tiny Hunt. It was clearly an area with some money, though; the houses along SR 39 were all quite grand. There was still a lot of pretty hill country scenery around, though, and still the same bumpy road surface. The road surface slows us down considerably besides being pretty tiresome to ride on. We stopped at The Hunt Store in Hunt (one of 3 or 4 buildings in town) to get a cold soda and found another touring bike parked outside. Inside the store, we found Zig Sondelski from Utah, who was traveling the same Adventure Cycling route eastward. We traded stories about the route, the hills, the bumpy Texas roads, and so on. Five and a half miles later we arrived at the Sundown Carriage House Bed & Breakfast, which we had decided to splurge on so we wouldn't have to spend 3 consecutive nights in a tent. It is a lovely place, run by a very hospitable couple, Al & Sandra, who have been very helpful and accommodating. The house fronts onto a very lovely stretch of the Guadalupe River. The only drawback was that we didn't have a cellphone or internet connection, so we won't be able to update our website until tomorrow at least - sorry, fans!
A couple of comments about yesterday's post. The stone we thought might be limestone seems, instead, to be sandstone and is very prevalent in this area. Also, I didn't explain very well the significance of the flood gauges by the dry creek beds. Apparently, the creek beds and ditches dry up in the dry seasons but can fill with water very quickly in the torrential rains that often come through here. It rains so hard that the ground can't absorb it and the low-lying roads often become badly flooded. We felt very lucky to have come during a dry spell.