Southwest Adventure 2015… Day 2

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 29, 2015/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, Southwest Adventure 2015, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Kerrville, TX

Time: 0700

Departure Odometer: 4258

Weather Conditions: 75 and mostly cloudy at departure.  Slight rain in Bandera, and monsoon in Iraan, Tx

Daily High Temperature: 89

Destination: Fort Stockton, TX (pulled up short 61 miles and called it a day in Iraan, TX

Arrival Time: 1835

Daily Miles Logged: 464

Total Trip Miles: 1071

State Visited: Texas (Yes… Still Texas!)

As we gathered for breakfast, one thing was made abundantly clear to me… no one in our group appreciates my sense of fashion and style.  (or seeming lack thereof!!!)  I had no idea that one was supposed to pack separate clothes for breakfast than what will be part of ones riding attire for the day.  (For comedic value, I was dressed wearing the shirt I had picked out for the day, a pair of shorts, and my socks (full length socks because I wear full length boots) and my crocks.  Yes… I am THAT guy…

After breakfast, we topped off our tanks and rolled off towards the twisted sisters route that Jon mapped out.  Our first stop was the cowboy town of Bandera.  This town has been recognized by the federal government as the “Cowboy Capital of the World…” and it is not hard to imagine from the look and feel of the town.  It was like a snapshot in time that harkens back to a bygone era where cowpoke would amble into town to get a drink at the saloon, have a shootout, and then head ‘on back to the ranch to rustle up some cows… or some other cowboy stuff.


            We encountered a short rain shower that led Jon to don his rain gear.  The rest of us weren’t so inclined.  By Jon doing so, he ensured for the rest of us that we would have a rain free morning.

Our next stop was the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum that we found out was only open Friday-Sunday.  We were somewhat let down as to the size of the museum as we were led to believe that it, like everything else in Texas, was one of the largest collection of vintage motorcycles in the country.  Not so judging from the size of the building


 From this point, we tackled the Twisted Sisters in the Texas Hill Country.  We were told to pay heed to the posted speed limits and warning signs in the turns as they were literal and not just a recommendation.  I believe we all began respecting this advice, but as the morning progressed, we realized that many of the turns could be tackled at a more brisk pace with little regard for concern.  Our group splintered for a while, but we all ended up at the same place within a few moments of each other thanks to Jon’s meticulous GPX files that were loaded in our Garmins.

Much of what we read online about the sisters was true, such as the lack of traffic on the roads and the beautiful sights that are along the way.  This included spots where bison, deer, sheep, horses, and many other animals were visible along the route.


      Lunch was at the Mill Creek Cafe in Leakey, Texas after we completed the planned route.  Our original choice was ruled out by the owner of a local business next door where we were trying to find parking.  By her recommendation, we moved along to the Mill Creek Cafe.  The meal was marginal at best as their buffet seemed leftover, dried out, and overall subpar.  Matt and I elected to order Club sandwiches, his with chips and mine with the usual putrified frozen fries that leave so much to be desired when a restaurant is simply too lazy to make their fries fresh and to order.


    After lunch, we pressed on towards the Guadalupe River for a 55 mile ride along the banks and towns that line the route.  In hindsight, this was a little of a let down compared to the ride of the morning.  Once we made it back to I-10, we said our goodbyes to Joe as he began his journey home.  Joe is a super guy and I hope that we get to ride with him again in the future!


 I-10 west of San Antonio has a posted speed limit of 80mph.  This meant that our cruising speeds were somewhat north of that, but certainly below 35% higher than the posted limits.  Our run along 10 was mostly uneventful until we hit a patch of heavily grooved asphalt that cause our bike to squirrel along in an highly unsettling manner.  The weather was cooperating just fine until we were roughly 70 miles from Fort Stockton.  We could tell that our plans were about to be changed.

Jon routed us back to the previous exit, Iraan, Texas.  This was in part due to the fact that the HD riders were about to run out of fuel, and that the weather was deteriorating very rapidly.  This detour put us off of our intended track by 28 miles; 14 in, and 14 out.  By the time we made it to the fuel stop, we recognized that we had just a few moment before the skies opened.


As I was taking this photo, lightning struck making this neat effect

Our safe harbor of choice was to be a dive called the Old House Cafe.  Dinner was mediocre, but the fellowship was terrific as we exchanged humorous tales and barbs with one another.  The joke of the night seemed to be that the hotel only had 4 rooms and that someone was going to have to bunk up with someone else.  We had great fun with the various permutations of who was going to bunk with who… but they always came back to Jon plus someone else.

When we arrive at the hotel which was less than one block from the restaurant, the clerk informed us that she had 5 rooms for us.  Jon announced that he had agreed to pay the clerk $20 to keep up his ruse, to which we announced that we would each be willing to pay her $20 extra to have our own room!  We all had a good laugh…

Tomorrow was already going to be a challenging day, and now with an extra 80 miles to make up, even more so.  It is still being determined what our landing place will be tomorrow, but I look forward to the adventure that awaits…

-Steve

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