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Old 08-23-2010, 07:30 AM   #1
kjolly OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Austin, Texas
Oddometer: 74
Uralling Little Roads in a Big State

This was an interesting route. Old Texas 20 was a route from Hempstead, TX all the way to Alpine, TX in the 1920s. Parts of it were paved, parts were dirt, and by the mid 30s it was being replaced by the new Highway 290 - which eventually stretched from Houston to El Paso. In the section from Paige, TX to Austin, TX they laid a whole new alignment for 290 south of where TX 20 ran, so Texas 20 is still there - as county roads - now called Old Texas 20 in a lot of places.

Old Texas 20 cuts off 290 just East of the 130 toll road - and runs pretty continuously to East of Paige - just short of Giddings.

No stripes, no shoulder, with a lot of single lane bridges. Pretty much paved unti you get to McDade.

The road parallels the Union Pacific tracks for most of the way.

Stopped in McDade for a look see. McDade was home to a notorious group of outlaws called the Notch Cutters in the years after the Civil War. There would be thieving and killings, and then the folks in McDade would hang three or four of the reprobates and things would calm down for a while. The most famous hangings were the Christmas Eve hangings. On Christmas Eve 1883 three outlaws were strung up right across from where my Ural is parked. On Christmas day the outlaws buddies came into town and there was a gun battle at the saloon and three more men were killed. The hanging and shootings were a regular thing in McDade until 1912. I kept my head down while in town.

Bank? Cafe? I looked through the window and it was full of bags of Purina Sow and Pig Complete - so maybe cafe is closer then bank nowadays.

Most of the the road east of McDade is gravel and/or broken aspghalt - not bad - just enough to get you rattling. This was a major state highway - but once it passed to the county they probably stopped maintaining the asphalt.

Next town down Old TX 20 was Paige - and my right hand mirror was spinning like a top - so open up the handy Ural toolkit -

This is a great road if you're looking for a quiet 40 mile ride.

Once Id gotten to the end of TX20 - and saw how close I was to Giddings I figured I should hit the Gidding City Meat Market - never had their BBQ - You can see the Lee County Courthouse there to the left.

So, since it was a quick ride out - Im not going to eat - just get some brisket and sausage and tote it home to my wife - who complains when she misses a BBQ run.

But I had to have just a taste. Nice brisket - good smoke, nice flavor - COW! Excellent sausage - more german style - beef and pork salt and pepper - simple - well cooked. Snows BBQ in Lexington gets their sausage here,

Re-invogorated, I decided to ride around through Fedor, past Lexington, and ramble around some county roads back towards home. Trinity Lutheran Church and Cemetery in Fedor is a pretty little German country church and cemetery. The earliest graves here are 1860.

At the junction of CR473 and CR472 in Williamson County I saw this old cabin someone is restoring.

Its on the property of the Lawrence Chapel and Cemetery

Its haying time around here - lots and lots of round bales of coastal bermuda hay drying in the fields - you drive by and you can smell that fresh hay smell. No one in this area really does square bales anymore - which is too bad for the kids who dont get to go out and buck 80 pound bales onto an old IH truck that you have to stuff a rag into the air horn to get started and stack them in Mr. Lindigs barn for a nickel a bale. Or have that old man come out at two o clock in the morning when you finally have the last bale stacked and youre burnt down to just a little crispy fifteen year-old cinder and he hands you a couple of quarts of ice cold Lone Star beer.

Little Roads in a Big State - gotta love it

Go Ride!
"If a hammer doesn't fix it you have an electrical problem"

Kevin Jolly
2006 Ural Patrol
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:08 AM   #2
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Valley of the Sun
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Great report and pictures and the roads look like they were made for the Ural.
2005 R1200GS
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