Hank – We dropped off the rental on the southwest side of Austin and hit the road. After months of mostly flat terrain we immediately felt the difference. There’s a reason why this area is called hill country. We got on Hwy 290 for a bit and then diverted to the Adventure Cycling Association Southern Tier route. We followed that all the way to Johnson City. The good thing about the climbing was the time coasting downhill and getting my butt off the saddle. Regardless, my backside was feeling it at the end of the day. Crossing the creek that was flowing over the road made Kathy very uneasy. I went across first to show her how and that it wasn’t as bad as she feared it to be. She felt much better even though one of her shoes got wet in the process. She was a trooper for the remainder of the ride.
Our original plan was to camp in Pedernales State Park but Kathy wanted to go a little further today so we went on to Johnson City instead. We checked in at the hotel and got cleaned up. I volunteered to get dinner for Kathy so she could relax and rest. The first restaurant I went to, recommended by the clerk at the desk, was an absolute dump. I went to a nearby Mexican restaurant where I could enjoy a drink or two with my meal and bring Kathy something. The food was rather bland but at least it wasn’t fried or smothered in gravy.
Kathy – We said our goodbyes to Robin and Sheila. We are thankful for everything they did to help us. I left my flower seeds for Texas with Sheila. She will plant them once the weather warms up. That is the 33rd state which I have flowers planted (or soon to have planted) in. Only 17 states left in our bike adventures to all 50 states.
After swapping out the rental cars, we packed up the van with the bikes and bags and headed to Austin, Texas where we started riding again. We rode 36 miles in 78 degree weather. We had a nice sidewind that sometimes seemed more of a headwind. The wind gusts were pretty strong at times too. The main difficulty today was our elevation, approximately 2,000 feet. We had some rolling hills as we rode into Houston, but today the climbing really started back up again. It was a hard day of riding but overall everything went well. I am happy to have today’s ride completed.
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