I left the motel at 7:51, stopped by the gas station for a bag of “Orange Slice” candy, and set off for the hills.
Just by luck, I snapped this picture. I had no idea that just around the corner, was a 0.3-mile, granny-gear-mandatory climb. The pictures of the road will not be very good today, because I was busy concentrating on pedaling, breathing, and wiping away the sweat that was running into my eyes.
The first summit was just after Rim Rock Road. As with the next two summits, I knew the top because of the warning sign.
I reached the town of Leakey at 10:30 am. One summit down. These cabins might have been a decent place to stay in town. There are lots of cabins in the area, probably because this is a popular hunting area at other times of year. But I was still feeling fine, so there was no need to invoke the safety stop.
At the general store, I saw this on the bulletin board. Notice that they have kolaches.
I went up the road, but couldn’t locate the bakery. Just by chance, I had stopped by the Leakey Senior Center, and a man getting out of his car in the parking lot asked if I needed help. I asked where the bakery might be, and he gave me directions, but then asked if I would join them for lunch. Well, sure!
Jim (R) and Joan (L). Jim invited me to lunch at the Senior Center, and wouldn’t let me pay. Jim and Joan have a sign and advertising business.
The Senior Center serves a lunch every week day. Folks come in to eat and socialize. Edie here had been in the area 40 years. Originally growing up in Maine, she had actually spent time in Hawaii (Scofield Barracks) in 1945, at the tail end of the war. The lunch served is actually a decent amount of calories for an active person. I was surprised that Edie polished hers off so quickly, but later found out that she had stored half of it in a gladware for another meal, as several others had. I finished every bit of mine, of course.
I never did find the BBG Bakery. Oh, well – there will be other chances for kolaches.
At the edge of Leakey, I saw one of the few rivers that actually had water in it.
More climbing, of what I dub the Terrible Two. 1.2 miles of 10%, then down the other side, then 1.0 mile of 10%.
The downhills weren’t so bad, as the turns were reasonably wide. Also, a headwind helped to keep my speed under control.
Almost at the intersection of 337 and 187. I thought Vanderpool was to the right. Is there actually a place called Utopia?
My plan was to stay at cabins up the road, but I stopped at the Lost Maples Country Store for refreshments.
L-R: Sabina, Arnulfo “Arnie”, and Chris. They were friends that met at University of Texas, and were in the area for a wedding.
This is Thomas, one of the owners of the store and campground. He had been in an accident (drunk driver hit him), and was in 6/10 pain for a long time. But he was a master of gratitude, and was still positive about the way things turned out.
I met a lot of people on the porch of the Country Store. This is John (L) and Johnny (R). They were from Dallas. John’s youngest son was in a nearby camp with the Lyons, so in the meantime, he and Johnny were hiking in the area. John liked maps, and was very interested in my ACA map.
I called ahead to the cabins up the road, and found that they wanted $145 a night. That’s probably worth it if you have a hunting party, but it’s way more than I needed. Camping at the country store was only $10. They don’t have showers, but the bathroom is open all night, and they have wi-fi. I filled my pot with water, and doused myself outside. My tent is oriented so that the wind blows through.
I did have freeze-dried food, but if there was ready food in an area, I take advantage of it. I got these things from the store, and ate them on the porch, which was shaded and breezy.
As I was working on the porch, a few deer walked by. I’m seeing a few every day, but they’re really hard to photograph.
I’m not going to tag today as hard. I just stayed in my granny gear on the steep grades and kept very relaxed speed. Maybe the reason others burned out was that they were trying to attack the hills too quickly?
Tomorrow, after breakfast at the store, maybe I’ll be able to make Kerrville. There’s only one steep climb on the way to that, then a general downhill trend.
Miles today: 40.2 (with steep climbing)
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