After working the entire weekend clearing dead trees and other excitements, I swore I'd go riding Memorial Day come rain or shine...
Oddly enough, rain and shine did come, with the day hot as all git-out and very windy, intermixed with rainfall from the billowy and puffy white clouds. Texas weather. Sheesh.
It was baking hot by the time I set out for an afternoon ride, generally feeling the need to end up in Fredericksburg for din din.
There's a great little road from Kerrville to Fredericksburg, known as "Old Centerpoint Road" and it's a nice change from the somewhat flat and California retiree traffic laden Hwy 16. From Kerrville, one catches Cypress Creek Road / FM 1341 which eventually leads to Old Centerpoint Road. FM 1341 is a great road in itself, sort of a mini-version of one of the 3 Sisters for a bit - lots of twists, curves and hills, albeit on a smaller scale - but actually a nice ride.
A few miles down 1341, at a low water bridge, you can see a stone building off to the right. This is the Cypress Creek Community Center which used to be a one room school house if I remember correctly. It's worth a stop to sit under the big oak tree and look back on history. Sounds romantic, but in reality I was hot and had a leg cramp and this was a perfect place to sit in the shade and cool down.
Cypress Creek Community Center
Continuing on 1341 will lead you under I-10, and a few hundred yards past the freeway a blacktop road turns off to the left. From the Kerrville side there is a sign that shows "Hassenwinkle Road" and then a sign that simply says "YMCA Camp". This is Old Centerpoint Road that leads to Fredburg.
It's a great little narrow country lane that winds through farms and pastures, crossing a few cattle guards and meandering through great country scenery. The only traffic you may see is a farm truck or 4-wheeler heading to a pasture, but the road also passes through loose livestock areas so be aware of the occasional cattle or goat herds.
Multiple choice question...
A. Veer left to avoid the poorly camouflaged black cow waiting in the bushes to spring at you like a tiger
B. Veer right to avoid the running deer
C. Calmly stay right in the middle, hit the brakes and scream "Save me Jesus!!!!"
D. Swear that you will never, ever, ever again try to take a picture of a quiet country lane while riding,
realizing that animals have waited for this moment for years.
E. All of the above
At any rate, riding in the hill country is always full of surprises (deer) and one should (deer) always be on your toes (deer) and alert (deer) and today was no (deer) different. For some reason, at dead noon in 100+ heat, the suckers were out in full form, lurking behind every bush and waiting to race out with fawns in tow. Saw a bunch today...
Old CP Rd leads into Fredburg eventually, but I decided to head over to Luckenbach and see what wasn't happening. Bear Creek Road splits off towards Luckenbach so I headed right, continuing on the nice narrow blacktop road until reaching 87 for a short jog up to Grape Creek Road. Grape Creek was a nice easy ride, with a section that was unpaved, a little silty and freshly graveled, but no big surprises.
Grape Creek hits Old Hiway No. Nine and then Grapetown/Luckenbach Rd. I'm surprised it isn't called "Old Grape Creek Road". Number nine... number nine... number nine... namdaednoemnrut... namdaednoemnrut... namdaednoemnrut...
After sitting in the 100+ heat for 15 minutes waiting for the sign to turn green and say "Go", I got mad and ran it. Yeah baby yeah!
Turning left on Old No. Nine on my old GS and and getting older as I rode, I found the old German farmstead of Ferdinand Hohenberger, a beautiful example of an old German farm.
Just in case you didn't believe me...
Old German engineering and new German engineering. Note the similarities.
Same aerodynamic shape, same weight, same handling, but now in a much smaller package! Woohoo!
A little ways past the Farmstead, Luckenbach Road turns off to the right and eventually hits FM 1376 where a short jog to the right led into Hondo Crouch's little bit o' heaven.
Hadn't been there in a few years, and it seems to have grown some. Especially the prices. There were plenty of bikes parked around and I grabbed a cold drink and cooled off from the sweltering heat in the shade of the oaks.
There were the usual tourists wandering aimlessly, doing what everyone does in Luckenbach - not much... except taking a pic by the post office sign.
Out back there was a good band playing with folks enjoying themselves. I sat in the cowboy hat section.
This guy (or gal... I didn't check) had the right idea and didn't move a muscle the entire time I was there.
After getting cooled down with a few gallons of ice tea, I decided to head for Willow City and caught Luckenbach Road to Hwy 290 and then Jung Lane over to FM 1631.
The heat was atrocious but it still felt great to be on the bike. The old saying "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun" came to mind. They need to add "GS riders" as well. Yikes.
Jung Ln led north to FM 1631 where I was able to open the bike up and cool down a bit.
Cave Creek Church
Nearing Willow City, I turned off to follow the signs to Rheingold School, and eventually found the deserted old school house and community center.
Needless to say, I was alone in the midday heat, not an Englishman or dog in sight so I snooped around a bit...
This reminds of that motel I stayed in in Cody...
Waltz across Texas with me... unfortunately my dancing partner is a fat German gal named GehlandStrasse.
From the school I continued on to FM 1323 and Willow City, feeling pretty dehydrated from the hot wind. I was desperate for a cold drink, so I swung into the parking lot of Harry's and hid under a short tree. Hearing strange noises coming from inside, I changed my mind and decided to head on over to Crabapple.
I caught Eckert Rd towards Crabapple from 16...
Another nice and easy ride through farmland and pastures.
Unfortunately, just past "Rabke's Deer Processing", the bridge was closed for rebuilding and I had to reverse back to 16.
Beat from the heat and surrendering to my growling stomach, I leadfooted it (leadwristed it?) down Hwy 16 to Fredericksburg to find a cold drink, some shade and good German food.
Being Memorial Day, I feared the teeming, sweaty masses of tourists who would be lumbering aimlessly about the town. I was pleasantly surprised to find relatively few masses and teeming was minimal. The heat must have taken it's toll on the tourists. WooHoo!
Silver Creek Grill
I sat in the shade and watched the touristas stroll past while enjoyed the breeze from several large fans on the patio. One question came to mind... Why do people buy safari clothing just to visit a tourist town? It seems like every other male tourist shows up wearing a dark green felt indiana Jones hat with stampede strap, vented gray green Columbia fly-fishing shirt, khaki safari pants with zip off legs, hiking boots and a fanny pack. For God sakes people you just have to walk from your minivan to the ice cream shop and back to the minivan!!! Sheesh! Oh well.
Mmmmmmm.... sausage sampler... mmmmmmm... ice tea... mmmmmmm...
A perfect way to end the day!