La Grange 2, TX

I had searched for churches the previous night, and decided to try St. James Episcopal, which was 1.6 miles distant, across the Colorado river. Worship was at 10:30, with adult class at 9:15.

St. James Episcopal
St. James Episcopal Church. Not a very good picture – this isn’t even the front, but it was where people were entering in the morning, and where I rode up to.
There was no adult class, as their rector was on sabbatical, so folks were just having coffee and donuts (and kolaches). I met a lot of folks, but only got a few pictures after the service. This is Diana on the left, and her husband Ken on the right. If I’ve mixed up some names, someone please correct me. I’m not that familiar with the Episcopal traditions, but Diana was the one carrying the cross into the service. The sound of their choir, plus a real pipe organ, was astounding.
Bill and David
This is Bill (L), who was straightening up the pews after service. I think he may have worked for IBM previously. On the right is David, the visiting preacher. Again, if I’ve messed up the names, someone please correct me.
Bill and Julie
Bill and Julie Bishop invited me to a festival that the Catholic church was putting on in Ammannville. Throughout the summer, there is one of these gatherings almost every week at some church, and everyone is invited. By the way, Bill was a Pulitzer finalist author.
Picnic at Ammannville.
Picnic at Ammannville.

At first, I declined the Bishop’s invitation, thinking I’d just relax and catch up on computer work in my room. But I realized that seeing local events is what this trip is all about. They picked me up at the motel shortly after lunch.

Kaley and Gary
This is the festival queen, Kaley (the king was busy), and Gary, the photographer and editor of the Texas Polka News that he’s holding over Julie.

There was a polka band playing. Bill said that due to the hot weather, they usually alternated between polka and waltz, or something less energetic. I realized that they were singing in Czech for the polka. By the way, Julie and Bill are good dancers.

English Professor Audrey Wick was a friend from St James. She is an author, and just sold a fiction novel (romance). Her son Luke is in intermediate school.
bird nest
This nest was under the eaves of one of the buildings. The 4 chicks are real.
Audrey got snow cones for Luke and myself. Just crushed ice again, but the syrup was all right. It was a lot like an ordinary drink, with ice that you can chew.

There was also a charity auction, with donated items fetching astounding prices, to raise funds for the church. I saw a couple jars of pickles go for over $100.

cottonwood room
Back at the motel room at the Cottonwood. Look at all that space.

father's day special
I went back to La Marina for dinner, and got the special. Huge Texas-size portions, and I ate maybe 5 or 6 of the catfish strips, leaving 4.
A common question that I get is how long the trip will take, and honestly, I have never made the calculation.  This would be a good time to take stock of where I am.  Estimated miles behind me = 500 (estimate, Pacific Coast) + 418 (Southern Tier 1) + 514 (ST 2) + 452 (ST 3) + 360 (ST4 so far) = 2244.  Miles ahead = 64 (ST4 remaining) + 386 (ST5) + 443 (ST6) + 410 (ST7) = 1303.  Days behind = 59.  At this pace, I would still have about 5 weeks.  If I take any side trips, like the spur to New Orleans, that’s extra.

Tomorrow’s goal is Navasota, a little over 60 miles distant. Should be fine if I just take it easy. There are refreshment stops along the way, so I’ll be following the ACA route, again.

Miles: 5.0


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  1. guess fried fish cannot keep too well in heat. hope you had a happy father’s day. feeling your pain of hot weather since it has been cooking this week (century mark today) amd looks like five more days of this. at least we’re not biking 50 miles or so in this weather — and you probably have to deal with humidity too. glad you had some sociable downtime today. stay hydrated.

    1. You stay cooled, too. In some ways, it’s better to be on the moving bike, because the wind provides cooling. No hotter than it felt when we did our bike ride to San Gregorio almost 40 years ago. Likely a long one today, but not hard.

  2. Rod, it was a pleasure meeting you, and we will be cheering the rest of your journey! Keep up the fabulous posts. This English professor gives you an A+ for your writing skills!

    By the way, you are the not the only celebrity to choose the Cottonwood Inn. Josh Duhamel filmed a portion of Lost in the Sun ( there, and Hope Floats ( with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr. contains a shot of the motel. So you chose a place with real character!

    Ride on, Rod!

    1. Hi, Audrey (and Luke)! Sorry for the slow response: I had no internet last night, or at any time yesterday after leaving the Cottonwood, for that matter. I’m now at a McDonald’s, sipping an OJ, and using their wi-fi.

      I’ve actually never seen Hope Floats, but want to check it out from the library when I get home, just to see if I can spot the Cottonwood.

      What will the title of your book be when it comes out?

      1. I’m sure after this southern adventure that you will have lots of movies to watch of places you have been! That would be a fun list to create. Lots of movies have been filmed in New Mexico and Texas small towns.

        Thanks for the interest in my writing. My debut from Tule Publishing will release early 2018 and is tentatively titled FINDING TRUE NORTH. I plan to post updates on my Twitter and Instagram pages of @WickWrites.

        Great progress, and congrats on the long stretch to Navasota! Looks like you are going strong this week.

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