Southwest Adventure 2015… Day 1

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 27, 2015/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, Southwest Adventure 2015, Touring/ 2 comments

Departure Location: New Orleans, LA

Time: 0545

Weather Conditions: 72 on departure and partly cloudy, to deluges of rain from Lafayette, La to Beaumont Texas.

Odometer: 3657

Daily High Temperature: 93 in San Antonio.

Destination: Kerrville, TX

Arrival Time:1845.

Daily Miles Logged: 603

Total Trip Miles: 603

State Visited: Louisiana, Texas

Rain, heat, Texan Muffuletta’s, and a case of “Black Paw.”

As I did my final pre-trip prep, my family got up to wish me well in my journey and to tell me bon voyage one last time.  My youngest son Orion wanted to sit on my RT one last time before I left and he told me that one day he would like to go on a trip with me on his own bike….  That would be great!



 We were treated to very mild temperatures for our departure as the rain was still to the west of Houston.  Our decision to push to Lafayette for breakfast proved to be good because that allowed us to put about 25% of our trip in the books with no rain and comfortable temperatures.

Breakfast was at Chick-Fil-A, a welcomed respite to the thought of McDonalds.  As we quickly tended to our meal, conversation turned to what lay ahead as the radar now looked quite menacing and the weather band was directly in our path.  We donned our rain gear and pressed on.


Just past Lafayette we were greeted by a downpour that reminded us of some of the foul weather we encountered two years ago on our trip to the Northeast.  The rain was blowing from multiple directions at various times and the driving wind was actually able to force rain water behind my face shield somehow.  Otherwise, my Tourmaster rain suit performed admirably and kept me dry in the extreme conditions.


On the subject of Tourmaster gear, my vented armored pants had a seam failure at the adjustment point for cinching the waist.  This is quite disappointing as I have only worn these pants on a few occasions and not what I was expecting in terms of durability.  I purchased a mending kit and will try to MacGyver a repair in the next few days as time permits… but I digress.

The worst of the weather was behind us by the time we reached Lake Charles, and all but an unpleasant memory by the time we made it just past Beaumont, Tx.  We stopped briefly to stow the rain gear away and top off our tanks and then we were back on our way.  We opted for a quick lunch in Katy, Tx so we could have any potential traffic pitfalls in the Houston area behind us.


Jon recommended Jason Deli, which was just fine by me as I am always up for a new experience.  I opted for the half sandwich and soup combo and selected their Caprese Panini with French Onion soup.  This was a good choice and everyone else seemed pleased with their selections.  I found it somewhat strange that Matt elected to order a Muffelletta sandwich IN TEXAS of all places… I did not ask him his thoughts on the sandwich, but the leftovers on his plate told most of that story.

A case of Black Paw…

After riding in the rain for a few hours with a newish pair of leather gloves, I was treated to a case of black dye on my hands that is still there, even after washing my hands now 12 times…


We had fairly clear sailing until we arrived in San Antonio and encountered construction and 5pm traffic congestion that set us back about an hour from our original estimated arrival time.  All in all, we made it through unscathed and once past the congestion (about 22 miles) we were back at our cruising speed of 75mph.  Rolling into the hotel, The Inn of the Hills, we were joined by another rider who will be with us for the next few days.  Most of us have just met Joe, but he seems to be a terrific guy and a skilled rider.  Much of our conversation over dinner was about his various business ventures and getting to know him.  He even shared an amusing story about his experience with one of our least favorite people in the music industry… but that is a story for another day!

Dinner was at a Kinchen family favorite that simply cannot be found outside of Texas… Mammacitas.  Excellent Mexican food and a great vibe about that place.  It reminded me that it has been too long since I have taken my family to Schlitterbahn… maybe next year when Melody is a little older.

 

    Tommorow, we push on west and will ride the Twisted Sisters route in the Hill Country and then try to lay up in Fort Stockton, Tx for the night.  We could easily make it to El Paso tomorrow, but I am glad that we are taking a little break to ride one of the great motorcycling roads in our country.  Here’s a description from www.motorcycleroads.com: A ride through this part of Texas will most certainly change your view of the state. You will ride amongst scenery as good as it gets, along clear rivers, through very twisty mountain type curves amidst real Texas Ranches. With million dollar vistas and cool clear waters along with friendly folks and knowing that you are riding the best this large state can offer, makes for great riding. This route is mainly very twisty passing over large hills and between not many gas stations. This roller coaster ride will no doubt blow you away. The road is not heavily traveled, but beware as sharp turns have certainly taken many motorcyclists down. Also, although the surface is mostly in very good condition, always watch for loose gravel, deer and slow moving locals heading back to their ranch.

This should make for some great GoPro footage!  Time to do laundry and call it a night…

-Steve

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2 Comments

  1. Your reference to a case of Black Paw made me laugh. Tonight is the first in three nights I haven’t had a fresh outbreak 🙂

    Which of the three ‘Sisters’ did you like best? I rode all three a couple weeks ago for the first time while on my Southern States Tour.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    1. Black Paw is a real thing… lol! I think my favorite was the first one. I was still finding my groove in the tight turns, but it was a thrilling ride nonetheless… So many roads to ride, and so little time to ride unfortunately.

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