The 6-week journey will be across the “southern transcontinental route”, covering southern sections of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Florida. Arrival at the finish line in St. Augustine, FL is projected for April 10, 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The middle of hill country

Hi everyone,
Hope that you did not worry about us too much while we were out of service both on the internet and the phone.  The expensive gadgets that we got failed while Paula's Target track phone worked some of the time. 

So now to catch you up on our travels.  We are up to flat #18, we are in Ingram, TX, we had spaghetti for supper, we have to shower, etc. in the RV tonight because this park has no public facilities, we are 2 days from Austin, TX, THE MIDPOINT OF the TRIP, and life is good!

Yesterday, Wed., started well in Del Rio with an exceptional breakfast served by two women staying in the park for the winter.  They do this 2 days a week.  The park has a great kitchen/dining room and Betty and Sue and manager Dan served up biscuits and gravy, pancakes, eggs, french toast, bacon, sausage, coffee, and juice for $5.  Got our guys going in style!

At a stop in the afternoon a local rancher came up on a golf cart to inquire about our existence.  David Wied and his dog Fancy (cocker spaniel) live across the road and he invited us over to see a beautiful sight if we would like.  We all piled on to the one golf cart (with Fancy) and when we got into his yard he instructed Mike to get off and go over to a lean-to and pump up a tire on another golf cart.  Bullet, an old yellow lab, sauntered over and climbed aboard with Mike and Paula and we proceeded to ride down to the Nueces River, flowing through David W.'s 14,000 acre ranch.  It was very beautiful and he talked and talked about the land, his wife (he called her his "girl friend" which he also called his dog!), raising sheep, hunting, skeet shooting (had a little machine on which he sat and swiveled back and forth all the while releasing clay pigeons over the river), finding arrowheads, and drinking "adult beverages" (which he did the whole while we were with him).  In one of his sheds he had the most beautiful RV we've seen.  He is a Viet Nam Vet, married into the ranch.  We did not meet his wife.  It was a great experience.  Finally left about 5:30.

Paula and I drove ahead to the RV site in Camp Wood, parked and started to hook up when I discovered that I had left my purse on the seat of the golf cart.  We unhooked the trailer and drove back toward the ranch.  On the way we met Dave and Mike and stopped to tell them where we were going.  Mike asked if I was missing something.  I told him that my purse was at the ranch and he and Dave said that David W. had come by in his truck to return the purse.  So Thankful!!!!

Today, Thursday, March 18, we have rolled through breathtaking scenery in the hill country of Texas.  The biking was very hard and this morning Mike got stopped on a steep incline with a flat.  Dave came and got us, we drove back to Mike but couldn't find a place to turn around until we were back in Camp Wood where we stayed last night.  When we finally got back to Mike he was steamed at his bike and not being able to get up the hill, but wouldn't get into the RV.  He told us to go up to the top of the mountain and he would be there as soon as he could.  He made it somehow and kept going for the rest of the day.  

We met in Leakey (pronounced Lakey) for lunch.  Paula and I went to The Hog Pen for some food and visited with Penny, the local newspaper editor, in preparation for a picture to be taken of the guys when they arrive.    It is a very prosperous looking town with restaurants, antique stores, a nice market, 2 banks, and a wonderful woodworking shop that would make our friends Allen Monroe and John Styer drool.  Population:1700

We didn't follow the bike map after Leakey so that we could avoid too many more steep hills.  Along the way we met Paige and Matt, young couple biking from San Francisco to Austin.  They had everything on their bikes--really loaded.  We also met a group of young men riding west on the same trail we are on.  They started out with 6 guys:  2 dropped out in Pensicola, FL, finding the grind too much.  Here in TX they are not doing well together and may not hang on too much longer.  They met on the internet and planned the trip without ever actually seeing each other.  One of the issues is starting time in the morning (one wants to start out at dawn, another thinks that 11 AM is soon enough). 

We are along the Guadalupe River just west of Ingram.  Tomorrow we will be meeting two reporters in the Walmart parking lot in Kerrville about 7 miles away.  It is to be another hard day of riding through the hills.

We got an update on our phones so hopefully we will not be so out of touch in the future.  

Hope to be able to send pictures soon!

Love and blessings,

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