March 16, Monday
We began our packing, but I wanted to get the registration out from under the rider's seat. The rear seat came off fine with my secret cable system, but the front seat would not budge. Argh. I eventually had to unload the side boxes, remove them from the bike, and then continue to remove the luggage rack/frame and the rear underseat shelf until I could get into the area where the seat mechanism sits. I popped the appropriate levers, and finally discovered that a cable from the intercom to the FRS or CB radio - which I don't even have with me on this trip - had lodged under the release lever. After re-routing that cable, removing the secret cable release system, and replacing everything, we packed up again and got on the road to Blanco TX.
The Texas hill country is beautiful. True hills, many good size rock cliffs of what looks like various limestones, green areas along creeks and rivers, and dry scrub tree areas makes for an interesting ride. We took some main roads to get out of Austin, then just made a left turn southbound and followed farm and ranch roads through
Post office and general store
the countryside, crossing several streams that would normally have had water flowing right over the roadbed, but due to the worse drought since they've been keeping records, they were all dry. We arrived at Blanco State Park, situated at the immediate south end of the town of Blanco, but it was full. So were the other 4 state parks in the area. I began calling private parks, when I got a call from Steve Hensen, who had been recommended to me as someone who could help me with my tire replacement. Steve is a member of the San Antonio BMW Club. The tires had arrived at his shop already, and he told me this was a good time for him to get to work on them. So, we rode north about 6 miles to his spread on Lonesome Pine Loop. He and his fiancee Helen, have a gorgeous place, perched on a hill overlooking a series of beautiful valleys spreading out to the east. The sun rises over the valley and is about as perfect a Texas sight as you can get. After they met us and we chatted for a while, and the tires were done, they invited us
Steve and Helen
In the dance hall at Luckenbach TX
to stay with them in their guest cabin. Guess they wanted to make sure we weren't some of those "Anonymous Book" users that travel the country trying to get free nights in people's houses. ( The Anonymous Book is a listing of BMW Motorcycle Owners Association members phone numbers, listed by geographical location, who are willing to help out someone with bike problems ). Steve and Helen fed us supper, outside overlooking the valleys, and we retired to the guest cabin.
March 17, Tuesday
Happy St. Patrick's Day. After helping Steve do some gravel work on some new paths around the greenhouse and some breakfast tacos by Helen, we suited up and went for a ride. Steve led us through some great biking roads, eventually ending up in Luckenbach TX of Willie Nelson song fame. This is a cute little spot with an old Post Office/General Store, a dance hall and not much else. The store is filled with tourist goodies concerning Luckenbach and Texas, plus a tiny bar at the back. There is always somebody picking away at a guitar, there's a small outdoor stage with license plates from all over the USA and the world nailed up on the walls and beams. A fun little spot to stop - apparently a biker's destination spot too. We rode home, then after a lazy few hours of sitting in the sun reading, Deb and I took Steve and Helen out to dinner - Mexican food of course. Another beautiful evening - temps during the day finally topped 80f, and the weather was perfect.
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