Saturday, February 16, 2013

Get away for President’s Day

Click here for this trip’s map

About a month ago Reagan asked if we had any thing planned for the 3 day weekend around President’s day. As luck would have it I didn’t have anything. She wanted to get away for the weekend since she had Monday off. I eagerly awaited for the weekend to approach so we could start getting weather forecasts to determine what would be possible.

Saturday 2/16 – The weather was definitely in our favor for this weekend. Reagan had a speaking engagement in the morning and we were able to leave around 1pm. The plan was simple, we were heading to Kerrville, TX. to ride the Hill Country. Reagan didn’t just want to slug it out on I-10 so we took 90A for the first part of the trip. When we left the house we both had enough gas so we didn’t stop until Eagle Lake.

During the stop we met a nice gentleman on a Honda NC700X. As we talked it was evident that he owned a couple of dealerships, selling Hondas of course. He was planning to take the NC700X to Prudhoe Bay this summer. Listening to him, it sounds like this will be the pinnacle of his 55 years of riding motorcycles.

Eventually we left Eagle Lake and continued west on 90A with Reagan in the lead. In Gonzales we took Hwy 183 up to I-10 to continue west. Just before we got to I-410 we stopped for gas again. I took the lead and showed Reagan my new preferred route through San Antonio. I-10W –> I-410N –> I-35S –> I-10N. This route cuts out time and distance when getting through San Antonio.

The stretch from San Antonio to Kerrville was uneventful. We arrived at the Super 8 just before 6pm. This weekend’s stay is a freebie thanks to Wyndham points. I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular from the hotel but was pleasantly surprised. We got a room near the pool and what a room it is. Most hotels would call it a suite. I’ll definitely stay here again, especially with a $50 rate per night.

Dinner was had across the street at Santo Coyote. I ordered the Chicken Fajitas and was pleasantly surprised to see bacon in the fajitas when my plate arrived. Reagan called her burrito cheesy nirvana. We’ll check out their breakfast in the morning.

Tomorrow Reagan will get to ride the 3 Sisters and if things go well, I’ll even get to show her Stonehenge 2 which is now located in Ingram.

Today’s ride was 253 miles over 4 hours 53 minutes.

Sunday 2/17 – We weren’t in a hurry today. We made it across the street to breakfast a little before 9 and found a considerably busier place than last night. They managed to get my eggs right so I was satisfied. Santo Coyote is alright for breakfast.

We left the hotel shortly after 10am and topped off the gas tanks across the street. Then we headed west on Hwy 16 to Medina. We stopped in for some apple ice cream and refrigerator pickle mix. Then we picked up FM 337 toward Campwood. Reagan filled her tank in Campwood and then we headed up Hwy 55 a short ways to FM 335. We turned right on Hwy 41 to get over to FM 336 and then back into Leaky for a stop at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle stop.

Reagan got a patch for her ride on the 3 sisters and then we resumed our ride down Hwy 83. We headed east on FM 1050 to Utopia where we had a late lunch at the Lost Maples Café. I enjoyed a Cheese Pepper Steak. It was a double ground meat patty stuffed with cheese and jalapenos. Yum!!! Reagan ordered the steak finger basket and after they arrived she wished she had ordered the chicken fired steak it was home made. Reagan and I sampled the apple pie before we left.

Outside of Utopia we picked up FM 470 east through Tarpley. Then Hwy 16 into Bandera. With only 25 miles to Kerrville Reagan decided she was good to make it all the way back to Kerrville before filling up. So we took Hwy 173 toward Kerrville.

When we got into town we stopped for gas and then decided to head over to Ingram to check out Stonehenge 2. This time we found it.


Today’s route covered 260 miles over 7 hours 14 minutes. The new auxiliary fuel cell is working well. I still have another 160+ miles before I need refuel. When Reagan stops for fuel tomorrow it’ll be my last fuel stop until I pull into the drive way back home. Even with the aux tank being 0.2 gallons smaller than I designed, it looks like I’ll be able to 400+ miles to a tank and probably 350+ at out west speeds.

Tomorrow we are heading to Llano on our way home. Then a stop in Lockhart for BBQ.

Monday 2/18 – The ride home.
This morning started with a little work for me. A script that was supposed to automate system administration duties when I was away from the computer didn’t work as planned. The end result was an hour spent on the computer before we could leave. Lucky for me I caught it early enough that I didn’t put us behind, I just missed out on a relaxing morning of tea and pleasure reading.

We had the bikes packed and were rolling out of the parking lot at 8:20. The first leg of the trip took us north on Hwy 16 to Llano to visit Reagan’s Dad. Traffic was modest and the weather was pleasant along the way. As planned our arrival was just before 9:30.

Around 11 we went over to a local restaurant to get a late breakfast / early lunch. Since they weren’t serving grits or oatmeal any longer I opted for the daily special, Nachos! They were some really good nachos and quite the surprise for a west Texas restaurant.

Around 12:20 we said our good byes and headed south on Hwy 71 toward Austin. The temperature had warmed up into the upper 70s and I had my vents opened on both the pants and jacket. Traffic was non-existent until we got to Austin. And then….. well the intersection at 71 and 290 sucks. There’s no 2 ways about it.

We stopped for gas in Austin. I filled up both tanks having completed 400 miles since my last fill up yesterday. I still had another 50 miles left but Reagan needed fuel. My mileage was 41mpg. Nice!

With full tanks we got back onto 71 east heading over to TX 183 S. Apparently I’ve been sleeping for the past several years and didn’t realize in all the construction for the new TX 130 toll road they were essentially turning Hwy 183 into a feeder road. Really??? I think they could have found a better route to build a toll road to improve mobility.

We rolled into Lockhart a little after 2pm for a snack from Kruez BBQ. One of these days I’m going to remember to try their pork chops. This time though I enjoyed some brisket and sausage. Yum!!!

After our snack, the decision was made to continue on 183 S until we reached Hwy 90A in Gonzales so we could skip the slog back on I-10. No worries, I’ll get plenty of alone time with I-10 next month on my 100CCC. The entire afternoon we could see dark clouds as we headed further east. I checked radar on the Zumo a few times and it looked like we would miss the rain.

We arrived home just before 6pm, just as I had promised Reagan, “Home before dark”. And we couldn’t have planned our avoidance of the rain any better if we had tried. It was evident that rain had fallen before we arrived but enough time had lapsed to dry the roads so that we didn’t even get any road spray. But we got to enjoy the cool temperatures common after a rain shower.

Today’s ride was 316 miles, in 9 hours 33 minutes. That included the nice visit with Reagan’s Dad and the stop at Kreuz’s. A great day indeed.

This weekend we travelled 829 miles while introducing Reagan to some great roads of the Hill Country.

I was able to test out my new aux tank and I feel like it’s a definite success. I like the fact that it’s gravity fed so there’s no motor to fail and no switch to turn off. I just wait until the main tank gets to the 1/2 full mark and then open the valve from the aux tank. Gravity and time take care of everything from there. I believe this is a much better solution than I had on my old GS. Once I complete a few final details of the vent plumbing I’ll post a write up on the whole aux tank set up.

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