Knowing that this would be a short riding day, I took the opportunity to visit Wal-Mart to get some food and replenish my cash.
There’s a tropical depression forming in the Gulf, so the long ride tomorrow (Wed) may be cooler.
Adventure Cycling (ACA) said to follow Hwy 90 up to Anderson. The problem was, nowhere on the road was there signage indicating Hwy 90. I saw multiple signs like this one, but there was no 3090 referenced on the ACA map at all. Route Doubt was creeping in. Fortunately, I was able to use the GPS on my phone to confirm that I was on the right track.
The town of Anderson had a donut shop, which had the drive-through common for this area. Even though I had only gone 10 miles, I stepped in for a snack.
I got the last blueberry kolache, and lembas (apple fritter).
Does this look right? It appears to be square because it was cut from a sheet. The bread was not as sweet as a pastry, but was a nice balance with the filling.
This is what most of this short day looked like. Narrow shoulder, rolling terrain, lots of open space.
An ACA addendum said that the store and restaurant in Richards were closed. No, it wasn’t. I had lunch there.
I wanted to stay at The Checkpoint (Checkpoint Harley), which was the only lodging for 60 or so miles until Shepherd. It was up road 1486, but when I got there, saw this:
Something was kicking up enormous dust clouds. When traffic came by, the flag person would wave them on, and the machine kicking up the dust would pause.
The construction wasn’t as bad as it looked. Less than a mile up the road, the Checkpoint was on the left. The gate was locked, so I called the number on the sign. Message machine. I began to worry a little. The only other option in the area or forward was camping. Although I do have the equipment for camping, I prefer not to do so in the heat and humidity.
I called again, and Doris picked up. Thank God! She said she’d be at the gate, shortly, and used a little golf cart to get from the house to the gate (yes, it’s a big place – 80 acres). The first thing she did was hand me a cold Gatorade. Doris was originally from Germany, but had been running the ranch with her husband Ernie for years. She gave me a tour of the grounds, and set me up in a room.
Doris told me that the road ahead was shaded by pine forest, and absolutely flat. Probably the best news I’ve heard in a long time! It bolstered my confidence in making the 60 miles to Shepherd tomorrow.
After a shower, I took a dip in the limpid salt water pool. I must have spent 30 to 40 minutes in there, which is a long time for me. The above-ground pool was deep enough to swim in, but shallow enough so that my feet could touch bottom at any point. The water jet of the filter pump was like a massage, and I spent a lot of time working on my back.
I took a nap in the afternoon after swimming, and when I awoke, met Jim in the nearby building. He was just relaxing after a day’s work on an overhead power right-of-way, where he supervises a team doing the groundwork. He and his friend Kyle (not shown) might be here for a year completing the job. Jim was from Miami (“Miama”) Texas, near Amarillo. His wife Kelly and 2 young daughters had visited him over the weekend, so he had a lot of food left over, and said I could help myself.
Now this is a lot better than the freeze-dried dinner that I would otherwise have had. Jim cooked a lot of meat on the grill, and his wife made a terrific Mac and Cheese from scratch. My compliments to the chef(s). These calories will help me tomorrow on the 60 miles to Shepherd.
This is Ernie, and their very sweet rescued dog Susie. Ernie was an avid hunter, and had stuffed versions of some of his trophies, including a coyote that was terrorizing their chickens, and tons of deer. There are also wild pigs in the area, so he had one of those on display. It was big enough for a luau with 80 people, by my estimation.
There were no other short-term guests at the moment, so I had this whole bunk house to myself. It was warm enough that I just napped right on top of the quilt this afternoon. There was an air conditioner and fan. But the weather here was about the same as a summer day in Kaimuki, with similar trade winds.
On the other side of the room are a refrigerator, microwave, desk, and sink (the toilets are outside). There is solid wi-fi here, which I’m on at this very moment.
Tomorrow’s goal: Shepherd, TX
Miles today: 21.7
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