Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting to the Hill Country

I woke up this morning before the alarm clock went off. Finally I was heading out of town on a motorcycle trip again. I went walking and then sat down at the computer for a little bit before I completed my workout. Bad idea, the computer sucked me in I never finished my workout.

The weather forecast for today showed a nasty front coming in and it looked like it was going to park itself on I-35 between Austin and Fort Worth. I started to wonder if my riding buddy for this trip was actually going to make it down. I mean, he's not as addicted to the whole motorcycle thing as I am, he's perfectly content to go a week or more without riding. That's probably best for him though because he has some other priorities in his life that I don't. Around 7:30 I got the first call from him, he was watching the weather and was concerned but assured he was still coming down. The second call was at 9:15, saying he was going to wait for the hail and tornado warnings to pass before he left. Whimp. The last call was at 12:32, ok as excuses go this is a pretty good one. He couldn't leave because the storm had blown down a tree in his backyard and it ripped the power line from his house. It's definitely original. So I told him I was heading to the Holiday Inn in Boerne and I hoped he could make it. See this is what I mean about the addiction level, I would have left earlier in the day, probably while the tornado warning was going on so I wouldn't have know about the tree limb falling down or the power lines being ripped out. I guess I'd better have some more branches cut to insure that does happen to me on a future ride.

So figuring my riding buddy has stood me up, and I'm stuck with a $95 HotWire room in Boerne I pull out of the driveway grumbling under my breath about the general b.s. of the world. I stop by the post office, bank and AAA office (wanted to get a Texas map, yes my GPS works). Then I stopped at my favorite Exxon only to find that they no longer carried Premium or even Plus grades of gasoline. Now I was really fit to be tied. I got back on the freeway and headed south toward Rosenberg. A few miles down the road it struck me, I was heading out of town on a motorcycle on a Friday and I didn't have people nagging me about VoIP problems or anything else. Sure it sucked that I was going to be alone on the trip but that would be OK. Sure my room costs would double but I'd get the weekend to myself and who knows maybe there would be wild naked girls partying in my room both nights. Earth to Brian, come back Brian, we aren't in some alternate reality, there will be no parties going on in the room, you're headed to Camp Wood..... Back to planet earth, a weekend alone would be great. I can reflect on things and read more about Futures Trading so I can find the catch in some software that another friend is so excited about.

Hello!!! Can we get back to the ride report???? I guess when I'm by myself I don't get to decompress with others at the end of the day and I babble in my blog. So I stopped for fuel at the Chevron south of Rosenberg and then cut over on spur 10 to 90A. I took 90A west to Hallettsville. To this point I really hadn't gotten into any rain, there was the occassional sprinkle but not really enough to wash off the dirt. Once through Hallettsville I turned north on FM340. Now the rain was starting again and it was clear mother nature had big plans, it was dark, very dark. It's not often that I appreciate my HID headlight at 2:45 in the afternoon. Then it came, the rain, lots of rain. Ever wondered what it would be like to stand under a 1,000 gallon water tank and have it's bottom suddenly disappear? Well I think I have a pretty good idea now. The rain was falling so hard that I couldn't see more than 50 feet in front of me. And then it started hailing on me. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Funny enough, I thought of my buddy Chuck who didn't want to come down because of the tornado watch. Now I was thinking there might be some merrit to getting the heck off the road. So I turned onto the first dirt road that I found and turned around. Sorry, no graceful u-turn. It was a 3 point turn with my feet on the ground. I pulled up under a tree figuring it would help to shelter me a little from the hail. Then I remembered the lightning. I'm not a rocket scientist but I realized that was bad.

I decided to head back to 90A since it was just a few miles back the way I came. At least if I was riding through HELL, I wanted to be on a wide and familiar road. By the time I got back to 90A the storm had seriously subsided but I stayed on 90A toward Seguin anyway. Exploring a new road would have to wait for another trip. Did I mention my jaket leaked? Oh yeah, it leaked big time. I probably would have stayed more dry if I had taken the jacket off and huddled underneath it beneith the tree during the lightening storm.

So I'm riding down 90A, nice and wet but I'm on a motorcycle trip. I had to remind myself that riding a motorcycle in the rain is still more fun than sitting at home solving computer problems. I make it through Seguin and head up to New Braunfels where I was supposed to meet Chuck. The rain had stopped by Seguin. I hadn't received any calls this afternoon but I was hoping to see a text message saying he was on his way. When I stopped at I-35 and 46 there was no text message. So I continued west on 46. HWY 46 from New Braunfels to Boerne wasn't one of my greatest routing decisions but at least there was some pretty scenery along the way.

I get into Boerne and make a wrong turn before realizing my error and finally make it to my hotel for the night. When I pull in there is a sweet looking old Pontiac Firebird and then I see all the Corvettes in the back. I check in and ask what all is going on this weekend. There are 3 different events including a car show for the Vettes.

Once checked in, it was time to get out of the wet clothes and find some food. Luckily I had scoped things out on my way in and there was a oddly named placed called Cheesy Jane's that I wanted to try out. It was OK but I get a little nervous when people want to wait on me in an establishment serving hamburgers. At least the waitress was nice and my grilled chicken salad was ok.

Today's ride was only 242 miles in length and I really didn't get started until 1:30. The destination had been planned previously and the room paid for due to the two of us meeting up for the weekend. The Holiday Inn is definitely a fancier hotel then I would normally stay in but the bed is comfortable and I was happy to get out of my wet clothes.

Tomorrow the plan is ride the 3 Twisted Sisters (335, 336, 337) and since I'm by myself I'm going to check out 39 and 1340 as well. Plus there's a ranch road that is supposed to go from 335 to 336 so i'm going to try and find that too. That's why I picked up the Texas map. All of this is dependent on the weather though. Forecast says thunderstorms in the morning and clearing later. So what I don't ride tomorrow I'll certainly ride on Sunday. But I will make it to Camp Wood tomorrow, that's where my next room is and it's a little cheaper too.

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