Feb 24 (RD22) (AFHD 46)
We could smell the coffee perking early in the condo at Idlewood. It has been quite a while since we slept in “real” beds, and this one at Mitch and Cindy’s was super comfy! We took up where we had left off last night on the chatting and visiting and planning. Breakfast was simple and plentiful, and all too soon the gathering up of the paraphernalia of travelers commenced. Cindy has the knack of being able to talk, organize, and take pictures all at the same time. Her Facebook page was filled with the departure pictures before STella was around the curve and headed for the freeway. 🙂 We are so fortunate to have this purveyor of happiness as part of our family. Thank you, Cindy and Mitch for a fun-filled, food rich, and laughter laced visit.
It’s time to reconnect to the Southern Tier Route, and we vector our way back to the place closest to where we jumped off for the family reunion time. We felt fortunate to be going the opposite direction most of the traffic was flowing in this continuously growing part of the country. Both the road construction and commercial/housing building appears to us to be in the “boom” stage. The “flyover” road connections look more like what we think of with California freeways; double, triple and quadruple layers stacked up to the sky.
It was a cloudless bright sky when we pulled over to load up the bike with its gear/light array, and the wind had just started to pick up a little. Plans for the day included visiting President Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch (Known as the Texas White House) during the years of his presidency. Cathy had another stop or two to check out, and then the final destination for the day would be Fredericksburg. We are now officially in the area of Texas known as “The Hill Country”, and especially being on a bike, you can understand why. The winds were building out of the northwest, and with my direction of travel almost due west, I wasn’t going to set any speed records today. A lot of the route was on 4 lane roads, and typically I can count on a wide smooth shoulder to ride on. Not today, Kemo Sabe! At least the traffic was moderate enough that with my riding on the extreme right side of the traveled lane, vehicles could/would move to the left lane as they passed.
Cathy had arrived at the Ranch before I did, even with her other stops, and had driven around in STella on the Ranch Driving Tour.
It was a nearly 7 mile driving tour covering most of the actual ranch. The intent of the conservators is to keep it as nearly like the condition it was in at the time LBJ and Lady Bird lived there as possible. That includes the livestock that were there at the time: a small herd of American Bison, horned Hereford beef cattle, quarter horses for the ranch work, along with sheep and goat herds. LBJ liked to think of himself as a conservationist, and used all the different species of livestock to make the best use of the forages and grass that grew on his ranch.
Air Force One, the official plane of the POTOS, was too big to land at the asphalt air strip on the ranch, so a second plane, Air Force One-Half, was requisitioned to transport the President from the nearest airport that could handle AF1 to the ranch.
It wasn’t a long drive on west to the fair city of Fredericksburg. This town has done a great job of marketing itself. It doesn’t hurt, however, to have it as the home of Admiral Chester Nimitz, the highest ranking member of the Navy during WW2. As a direct result of this fortuitous event, the city fathers elected to build The National Museum of the Pacific War Museum here. I know, Jennifer, there aren’t supposed to be any coincidences, BUT, today would have been his 132nd birthday, AND, today was also the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Museum. And I’m here! And I’m happy to say, this museum is on a par with the National WW2 Museum that we visited in New Orleans. In large part due to the proximity of two former POTUS’s, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, the Museum is well endowed and highly professional.
Cathy spent several hours in this wonderful place on the following day and will add more pictures at a later posting.
Cathy toured the old part of this German Victorian town that has transformed itself into a high end tourist shopping Mecca.
It is convenient that Fredericksburg is on the bike route, and also that we have found a nice RV park for the night here. Looking forward to more westward biking on the morrow.
All’s well on the Southern Tier,