A very cool departure from Fredericksburg this morning at 42 degrees. The sun looked like it would heat things up pretty quickly, but the accompanying NE winds were predicted to keep the day time high at or near 60. This was one of the few times that our campground was directly on the route, so I could depart from there and Cathy went back in to Fredicksburg to make use of the two day ticket I had purchased yesterday for the National Museum of the War in the Pacific. She was as enthralled and entertained as I had been the day before and adds these photos for her several hour experience there.
The route I followed today had been totally changed from the Adventure Cycling maps of a few years ago. It pretty much followed the Perdenales river and was a bicyclist’s dream! I had a smile on my face all morning, with all five of the biking elements rating 10’s! Road surface, scenery, terrain, traffic, and yes! even a tail wind!! I was a very happy biker! The route snaked along the river bottoms where there was room for a road, and then shot up steep inclines to the ridges before plunging back down to the river again. Some very nice high speed downs, and an equal number of gut-grinding ups. The low, low gear of my bike is well broken in now.
This “Hill Country” of Texas was settled later than most of the state, partly due to its remoteness, and partly due to the extremes of temperature and terrain. Those hardy souls who did settle and persevere have left a lasting legacy. The “Ghost Town” of Hye is adjacent to the elaborate “main house” of the Morris Ranch. This hotel served as a place to stay for those waiting to visit the Morris Home.
As I said earlier, the route follows the river, and to keep construction costs at a minimum for these lightly used roads, the river crossings are just at or above the river level and the river pours across it as long as it’s flowing. At home we always referred to these as “Missouri crossings”.
The scenery was beautiful, with bluffs rising abruptly from the river’s edge. And the added human effort of this nearly mile long display of cowboy boots was pleasingly appreciated. The residence was aptly named “Boot Hill”.
A shortage of camping spots is to be expected in an area as little traveled as the country we’re in now. The result is we’re pulled into a “Picnic Rest Stop” and will call it home for tonight.