Monday, January 25, 2010

Vanderpool to Kerrville, TX

From the Left: Greg, Dani, J.D., Tirza, and Wiley. Wiley and J.D. were kind enough to pick us up and Wiley's folks fed us supper and fixed us up with a nice room in their house. We love these guys!

There were many stream crossings on today's ride. After each crossing though, we would climb uphill.... again

Riding along the Guadalupe River. Water! We haven't seen much for a long time.

Boots decorating fence posts near Hunt, TX. This goes for about a quarter mile.

Up in the Hill country. Taking a little break.

A really fancy game farm. People in Texas put more money into gates and ranch signs than anywhere we have been. This one is good enough to be considered art.

Vanderpool to Kerrville, TX
Day 82
60 Miles

Last night we slept very well in our cabin. It was nice and warm, and the wind didn't bother us at all. We had breakfast and started packing so we could an earlier start to Kerrville. We left by 9:00 am and
headed for the hills. Actually we had already gone over most of the big hills, but we had one more big hill to go over today before we could drop down onto the Guadalupe river and into Kerrville. As soon as we made it back to the highway from the cabin, we started our climb. At first the grade was pretty gradual, but for every pedal forward the road seemed to become steeper and steeper. Eventually, we came to a section of the road that was nearly as steep as anything we have ridden yet. We came to a state natural area that has an odd maple grove surrounded by juniper. Here the road was a bit like a wall. We shifted down to our lowest gears and started cranking for all we were worth. I had to stand on the pedals just to maintain 3 mph. Luckily, the hills around here are not all that tall, just steep, and we reached the top without too much trouble.

Once on top of this hill, our elevation profile showed that we would have a short flat section, and then drop down all of the way to Kerrville. Once we got to where the hill dropped off though, the elevation loss was hardly noticeable. The rolling hills were small but extremely steep. We would drop down a few hundred feet at over 20 mph and then hit what seemed like an equally tall and steep uphill as soon as the downhill ended. The riding was really fun, but harder than we expected for a “downhill” section.

We were trying to get to Kerrville before 5:00 pm so we could get Dani into a doctor and hopefully get her on some antibiotics. But, by the time we made it into town and got some groceries, it didn't look like we were going to make it. We bought some home test strips, however, that will hopefully settle whether or not Dani has a urinary tract infection.

We rode to the city park on the skirts of town and found the campground in the park. We set up camp and ate some cookies while we decided what we were going to do for dinner. Rather than cooking tonight, we decided we should go out to eat instead. We picked a route back into town on a city map, and headed for dinner. Less than a mile from the campground a truck drove up alongside us and some yelled out to us. I looked over my should and recognized a guy and we that we had talked to way back in Kent Texas. I yelled back to him and he asked, “Do you guys want to come over to my place for dinner?” Without much hesitation I said, “Sure.” Dani and I pulled over and they pulled in and stopped. We threw our bikes in the back and jumped in the truck. Wiley, the guy that we talked to in Kent, and his friend J.D. Introduced themselves. We couldn't believe our luck. We had randomly met this guy 11 days ago, and he and JD were just coming back into town from a business trip, and they happened to see us again. We have never had any encounters where we met people twice on our trip. What are the odds? To top it all off, Wiley and his parents Dave and Brenda Fudge invited us, just some bike riding strangers into their home for dinner. We shared a big table with Wiley, J.D., Dave, Brenda, and Wiley's girlfriend Tirza for a supper of delicious pot roast, salad, bread, and wine. After supper, we sat around the table thoroughly enjoying the conversation. We have not been in a house with a family for supper since Christmas. One thing led to another, and everyone started asking us if we were planning on sleeping outside tonight. We assured them that we were, and that we would be fine. The Fudge's, however, insisted that we would be much more comfortable sleeping in the warmth of their house in a nice bed. After a little coaxing, we decided they were probably right. Dave drove us back to the campground where we gathered our tent and other gear we left there. When we came back to the house, Mrs. Fudge had a whole room prepared for us, and gave us a nice basket of treats and refreshments for the evening. We were completely overwhelmed at the generosity of these people. We hadn't been here more than a few hours and we already felt like we were at home. The odds that we met someone in Kerrville, TX that we also met in Kent, TX 11 days ago, and that his family is so nice and accommodating, well, those are amazing odds. Tomorrow we plan on taking a rest day and hopefully we can get Dani into a doctor and get her feeling better.

Texas, here's to you.


No comments: