Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Tour Day 2 - Temple to Hillsboro

Hello from the Motel 6 in Hillsboro, Texas! It was 83 fun-filled miles today with temperatures in the 60s, a tailwind, a tiny bit of rain, and amazing sights seen.

We started the day at the only available breakfast option, Denny's. Which is across the parking lot. Which is where we had dinner yesterday. This lack of options does not reflect well on Temple, Texas.

But bike touring is not all fun and games. It's not an endless succession of hip, fashionable towns and inspiring locales. Sometimes you have to take what comes. You have to be strong. You have to persevere.

Especially if you are a trial lawyer and a die-hard Democrat like Jim.

We had lunch here at the Coffee Station, which was the only place in town.

It was amazing. Red, white and blue tablecloths on every table. Flags everywhere. And the crowd! Everyone was straight from church for brunch. The women were all coiffed, and the men's shirts were neatly pressed. And let me tell you, there were no minorities here! (Except for a couple Hispanic girls who were working.) The number of chins far exceeded the number of people.

Jim was aghast. "I can't believe a place like this exists". I reminded him that a day and a half ago we went out to eat at a cafe in Austin where the guy who seated us had wooden disks the size of coasters inserted into his earlobes like an African tribesman. And he needed to spend more time at the American Legion hall.

I'm sure Jim was the only Democrat present, unless there was one washing dishes in the back somewhere. I am, of course, a Republican. George W. Bush himself inspired me to switch.

As it happens W. and Bar stopped by and asked me if they would like them to pose with me in a picture.

OK, they are cardboard cutouts in the corner. The group table next to the cutouts asked if I would like them to take their picture. I said, no, it's better if I do it myself, and I proudly showed them my picture. There were five of them, a couple in their 50s and three older women. One of the old ladies told me this:

"There is another cafe with a cutout of W. down the road in McGregor. My eyesight's not so good, and I was standing next to it and I asked it if he was in the buffet line. They all laughed at me."

She was a dear.

On the wall next to the life-size cutouts are these very inspirational framed posters of Glorious Leader.

The food at Coffee Station was quite good. They have a Sunday special where you pick a meat (a variety of chicken-fried options, fish, etc.) and two vegetables. I had a 6 oz sirloin, fried corn (basically stuffing) and fried okra. Jim, who is trying to see how many meals in a row he can get chicken-fried steak, had chicken-fried steak.

Here's what the non-presidential regions of Texas looks like. It's a convenience store near the Lake Whitney dam.

This is Big Jim's Road.

Jim had been talking all morning about how excited he was to get to ride on Big Jim's Road. Well, he didn't get to. He was ahead of me and he missed the turn. I went the right way and called him and got his voice mail. I told him he missed his turn. He called back a few moments later, and I said "Do you just ignore the signs for the dirt roads?" You have to go about 2 miles on dirt roads to get to Big Jim's Road, which is another mile of dirt road. Jim decided he'd just continue on the road he was on and follow the signs to Hillsboro.

Hillsboro has a gorgeous courthouse. Taking the picture cost me, as soon as I got back on the bike it started raining heavily. It had just been a drop here and there before then. I just rode through it since I was only about 3 miles from the 6.

Jim got in to the 6 before me, and immediately ran out and got beer. (Good job!) Unfortunately all that's available is BudCoorsMiller swill. He though he did good with the Ziegenbock Amber, but the fine print on the label reveals it to be Michelob in disguise.

Just like last night, our Motel 6 is right next to I-35, the NAFTA Superhighway. All that's here is a bunch of chain restaurants and motels. We had fried pickles and turnip greens at the Black-eyed Pea. This broke Jim's chicken-fried steak eating streak at three meals.

Here's the MotionBased page.


Anonymous said...

"But bike touring is not all fun and games. It's not an endless succession of hip, fashionable towns and inspiring locales. Sometimes you have to take what comes. You have to be strong. You have to persevere."

Why oh why go touring in Texas??


Drew Roth said...

It's warm.