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Old 01-15-2013, 09:47 AM   #51
Evomx971 OP
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Iowa
Oddometer: 300
WNWT Day 8

Monday morning, guess I better get up, get ready and go... NOT to work Sorry. Can't help it.

28 degrees outside and partly sunny in the morning. Decided to fiddle about before going for another Hill Country ride. Got up to the high-30's so struck out on a 164 mile loop through Llano and Mason with about 30 miles of dirt road mixed in.

Here's that Bavarian restaurant/inn next door to my place that I ate at Sunday night...

A few miles north of town I went by Enchanted Rock. It's 325 feet high and apparently the native americans thought it was haunted because at night, when the rock would cool off, it would make a bunch of weird noises. Supposedly they made sacrifices to appease the "spirits" that lived in the rock. I was fresh out of virgins to sacrifice and didn't want to cough up the $6 to drive through so just snapped a couple pics from the road. If you squint and use your good eye, you can see a hiker/climber on top of it in the second pic.

Nice ride up to Llano, swoopy two lane through the beautiful Hill Country. They had a great courthouse...

Another great two lane over to Mason. A lot of the roads today were "open" range. Cattle guards in the road then anything goes. Had to be particularly aware... don't want to hit a cow (heavy, mostly immovable object, would get mad at me) or a cow pie (slick, stinky). Best to avoid both.

Stopped for gas and a Gatorade in Mason, then got on the James River Road among a few others. This is a dirt road that runs through a couple of huge ranches. Reminded me a lot of the better roads in Baja. On the Triumph with street pressure in the tires I had to take it fairly easy. Several sections were washboarded fairly bad and there were a few rutted sections. Great ride, made you feel "in" the landscape rather than seeing it from afar the way paved roads can do.

The road crosses through the James River in several places. Some dry right now, some not.

This area really reminded me of a section in Baja not far from Coco's Corner called Frog Canyon

About halfway through the dirt road section, I came up on this crossing:

As I was researching routes, I'd read that there was a 80-100 yard crossing and I guess it didn't register with me really how far across that is. Apparently it "should" only be about a foot deep all the way across. You can't see in the picture, but there's about a 3 foot waterfall just to the left the water is running off of. I just about turned around... but then common sense kicked in

If there's a waterfall, that pretty much guarantees a big plate rock under the water and more importantly, the only vehicle I'd met on the road was a semi tractor-trailer rig. Not quite sure what he does if he meets another car or truck on that road. The trailer sounded like it was about to shake apart on the rocks and washboards. I could just barely see his tracks where he'd crossed it. Well then, doesn't sound like it should be bad at all. Yippee Kay Yay...

...and since I didn't fall or drown out, I'd say it wasn't bad. I wouldn't be surprised if it was deeper than a foot though. Definitely over the axles and skid plate. Had my legs up on the tank and my pants still got pretty wet.

Right as I was taking a pic, a rancher came through and waved, got about halfway across and I think he saw I was still taking pics so gave it hell.

Met several other ranch hands out on quads and sideXsides, all waved and seemed friendly to the guy out screwing around on the motorcycle. The "Star Ranch" was one of the big ones that I'd say owned a bunch of the land I was going through.

Get back in the sticks and you really get to see some wildlife. A few large deer herds ran through... couple of huge bucks in there. I came up on 15 or 20 head of cattle in the road and for a bit I think they thought I was a ranch hand trying to herd them... had an impromptu cattle drive going for a bit but I probably wasn't yelling the right profanities at them and they got wise and pulled off to eye me a little better. Saw large herds of goats with very cute white kids running about. A roadrunner went across in front of me... right after I saw a dead coyote. Hmmm. beep-creepy-beep. A really pretty fox ran through. Burros. Freakin wild kingdom back there. Too cold for the snakes I reckon.

Back on some higher speed pavement for a bit, then got on some great one-lane no center-line type roads. My favorite was Crenwelge Rd. Super-super fun. Not all that far from Fredericksburg.

Didn't get as warm as it did on Sunday at least not how it felt. A few more clouds had the sun turned down a bit. I was fairly comfortable all day except my feet just kept getting colder and colder. I love the radiant electric heat in my room... like sitting around a campfire. Trying to balance warming my feet with getting a 1st degree burn...

Monday night has a lot of places closed, but Bejas Cantina was open for some Tex Mex... the queso was just 'ok' but the salsa had a heavy black pepper taste which I like and was one of the best I've ever had. The Girlfriend and I can put away the chips and salsa when we go to the mex places.

I'm a connaisseur of huevos con chorizo so decided to give theirs a try. Usually they come scrambled... these were crispy tortillas, then fried egg and ranchero sause with the sausage on the side. Never had them this way but they were good.

Tuesday should be the last really cold day and then start a warm up. I think I'll hang around Fredericksburg one last day and see some local sites, laundry, maybe wash the bike, maybe a short ride, maybe take a nap.... Wednesday I'll start moving south again with my first stop being San Antonio. Excited to see the Alamo and Riverwalk again. Visited when I was around 12 with the family.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
'11 Triumph 800XC ABS / '94 Honda XR650L / '06 Yamaha YZ125
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