Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Diverted in Texas

with one comment

We knew, that is, we were lead to believe, that the remnants of Hurricane Karl would drop prodigious rain on our little corner of paradise, Friday afternoon.  I can’t say with certainty that it happened since the hot granny and I made a point of being in the wind Friday morn to avoid that very event.

That’s right, friends and neighbors, with a sure need to escape the allure of the big city we packed our tent and headed for the country.  We rode north, way up north, past US-290, to the general vicinity of that cradle of Liberty, the site of the signing of our Declaration of Independence, Washington, Texas (called, “Washington-on-the Brazos”, to distinguish it from that other “Washington”).

Leaving the big Bluff, we made for US-77, the road I affectionately call “the dope and wetback highway”.  In the town of Odem we noticed an unusual number of county sheriffs, DPS (State Trooper) vehicles and SUVs with logo of US Customs and Border Protection on their doors.
Who’d a-thunk it?

Roughly 100 miles up the road, near the city of Victoria, the shape of the coast changes.  This part of the state gets more rain, there’s more rivers and more greenery. We are entering the area of Prairies and Lakes; the terrain begins to undulate.

A little rain found us near Victoria, and again near the Czech city of Hallettsville, home of the Kolache festival.  The mostly cloudy sky had made for a very pleasant ride so a few spots on our windshields wasn’t much of a trade-off.  In good time we reached our destination, a private campground nearly midway between the bustling (and I mean, “bustling”) town of Navasota, and the city of Brenham, home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, the best ice cream in the country (sez Forbes, that’s who).

After pitching our tent, we rode into Navasota for our customary meal at the Filling Station. It’s kind of a retro diner with good food and waitress who know how to make you feel at home.
Thereafter we returned to the camp, did some plain and fancy socializing and enjoyed the resort’s amenities and music by The Posse Band. Those boys played some rocking blues and some real country stuff that took me back to the first time some horny shit kicker cautioned me about “cussin’ in front of a lady” .

Good times, but we finally called that night a day and retired.

If I ever, ever, win anything on a poker run you can bet that whoever reads my words will know about it in less than three sentences.  But, being lucky in love, I can live with being less than lucky in gambling.

First bike out for the 135-mile poker run was at 9:00 a.m.  and there were a lot of riders and pillions gunning for that fat purse.

We surely enjoy riding in this part of the state.  The countryside is beautiful and we don’t run across a “gated community” every couple of miles.

Texas is where the cotton grows, the oil flows, the wind blows and it never snows.

There wasn’t any wind to speak of but we saw evidence of  thriving agribusiness and gas and oil production.
In the space of a couple of miles we saw fields of both cotton and grain, some ready for harvest and some recently harvested.  In the fields and at near-by gins the huge bales of cotton, called “modules”, were ready to be shipped.  Fields of alfalfa stretch for as far as the eye can see.  It is small wonder the Founding Fathers loved this rich land

Jill rode pillion, and though there was usually just a bud from the Hill Country riding with us, the contenders bunched up at the checkpoints.

The stops gave us a chance to fuel and check out some of the ladies’ eye-catching riding apparel.  Curiously enough, the less apparel there was, the longer it took to check it out. I’m no scientist so any explanation will have to come from another source.

One of the very cool stops is  Yankee’s Tavern, at Carlos, TX, home of cold beer and free advice, as well as some excellent burgers.

Not only do the poker run contenders stop for a cold one and chow, but the place is popular with the local motorcycling community.  This makes for quite a bike show in the parking lot.

This very cool Ridley, “America’s automatic motorcycle”, was parked near the door.

We finished collecting our hands and decided to get some grease (eat).  The “Asian Cajun” was near our campsite but when we rolled into the parking lot we discovered it doesn’t open till late afternoon.  The proprietress, a very friendly, outgoing  (and quite attractive) lady came out and spoke with us, offering us water and telling us we could take a break at the picnic tables standing by her building. We told her we’d return for supper.  We did.  The food is great and the staff is sugar cured.
(Asian Cajun is located on TX-105, a little nearer to Navasota than Brenham)

In the meanwhile, though, I broke my rule and my fast, by eating Mexican food while north of US-290, before we returned to draw our poker hands and enter the open class, “people’s choice” bike show.

Photography was not permitted but I did get a couple of pictures before the Homeland Security guys showed up.

I wasn’t the only person who predicted that some rich kid would trailer in a show bike and win the prize, so I wasn’t the only person proved right.  That’s too bad, too, because there was a very good variety of motorcycles entered by real motorcycle riders.

The bike in the foreground is a 1950 model.  I didn’t get a chance to speak with her owner so someone more knowledgeable than I will have to supply any details. It’s a beautiful machine, though, as is the Rocket III next to it, and more deserving of a prize than some unrideable motosculpture.

Now this beauty, decked out in Gypsy MC gold, is deserving if for no other reason that is entirely hand-built. Check out the snazzy cup holder attached to the backbone.  She got my vote.  I like the builder, too.  Gypsy J.R. is a for-real biker of that old school others like to believe they are part of.

After our run to the Asian Cajun we returned to twist the night away to The Posse Band’s music.

Sunday dawned nice with rumors of rain blowing in around Houston. We saw it beginning at Schulenburg, roughly 170 miles from our door. We saw it get heavier the farther south we rode.  At Refugio, 60 miles from home, travelers who were headed north told us that the rain was heaviest at Corpus Christi and some of the Interstate lanes were closed going into town.  Taking a road less traveled, and skirting the super slab,  we managed to get to our door, thoroughly soaked, thoroughly tired, and spiritually renewed.

We’re alive, and in Texas.


Written by fiddle mike

September 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm

One Response

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  1. as usual, brother mike got my mouth watering again for some good ridin’…. guess i have to get rid of the mothballs on her and get her shiny again….
    thanks michael!


    September 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

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