Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Comfort, TX to Hunt, TX
45 miles (2228 total miles)

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.

Two folks we met at breakfast in Comfort - Mike Williams and Buddy Spiller

SR 27 out of Comfort - typical Texas Hill Country

We turn off onto a rougher road

Some of the buildings in historic Center Point - our first town

We knew we were supposed to cross the Guadalupe River here but it didn't look right

The road did go right in front of the dam though

The Lazy Tipi canoe rental - one of many along the river

The road along the river was scenic but very rough

An old style irrigation system that ran on what looked like old wagon wheels

Route 173 had nice trees and vistas

A few wildflowers by the road

Ranch houses nestled under the hills, far back from the road

Leaving no doubt we're in the hill country

Trees get denser here

Thought this was a park, but it turned out to be a housing development

Trees along and in the Guadalupe River

We cross the Guadalupe again

A sandstone church in Kerrville - our second town

The partially hidden court house in Kerrville

An impressive mural at our lunch stop

Another dam across the Guadalupe

Entrance into one of the expensive houses between Ingram and Hunt

The last stretch of road for today, along SR 39

One of two historic markers for today

A number of houses used this mottled sandstone effect

Historic marker about Hunt, our last town of the day

Kids hang out on pillars across the Guadalupe at a crossing

Another family enjoys the river crossing

Another fellow biker - Zig Sondelski from Bountiful, Utah - whom we met at The Hunt Store

The last 5 miles, from Hunt to our B&B

Well-worn rocks at our last river crosssing of the day

Pat didn't think much of the guard rail across the river here

Another grand stone entrance to an expensive house

The Bed & Breakfast - our indulgence for the night

Three big dogs, but they were very friendly (so were the cats)

Pat in front of the little cottage we stayed in

A garden trellis with trumpet-shaped flowers in front of our cottage

End of the main house

Pat checks out the river landing behind the house

Cliff across the river from the B&B

Another view of the cliffs

Pat relaxes in a hammock down by the river