7.04.2007,5:50 PM
Texas Hill Country: One Sister
The route from Luckenbach back to Hwy 16 led us through Fredricksburg again. By then the streets and sidewalks were crowded with tourists. But shortly out of town we returned to that pastoral road and landscape that I was beginning to truly wish were my own home territory.

Kerrville was anything but what I expected after all that I had heard from others. Although many spoke highly and fondly of the town, it was too big and naked (devoid of trees or any real poignant attractions) for my preferences. We also had to navigate congested construction to traverse the town that was obviously experiencing growing pains. My experience of the town was more irritation than enjoyment.

Soon again we were back on the Hwy 16 that I was growing quite fond of. A few miles south of town the road narrowed, as if we suddenly embarked on a small road entering a magical kingdom. Giant gnarled oaks and lush dark green grass cuddled the roadsides and the tarmac winded this way and that, twisting and turning down and up ravines and ridges. Riding this magical road commanded all my attention and I was barely cognizant of the tree canopies reaching down over us as we rode. Rather than attempt to keep pace with Graeme in front of me, I slowed to ride more leisurely and enjoy the ambiance of the road and its essence.

Eventually we arrived in the small town of Medina and saw a line of bikes along the road and in front of a small cafe. This was our lunch destination, joining those riders of Two Wheeled Texans that braved the inclement weather and from various departure points around Texas. Many, like Graeme and I, extended it into a two or three-day weekend trip, especially with the infamous three roads referred to as the Three Sisters beckoning nearby.

I tossed off my boots which were still damp, visiting and eating in stocking feet and unzipped over pants to cool off. Despite the still threatening storms, the temperatures were warm and the humidity sweltering. Many riders praised the apple cinnamon ice cream found at the cafe, but I was disappointed that it was merely flavored soft serve. Regardless, I enjoyed the flavor and the coldness of the ice cream.



Filling my Camelbac with left over ice tea and ice, I geared up and meandered outside where many riders were preparing to leave. Three of us decided to ride part of Hwy 337, one of the Three Sisters, and ride north to visit a Motorcycle Museum. The ride was wonderful despite the surprise mile or o of gravel where 187 was under construction.

mm 1

The variety of motorcycles in the museum was astounding -BSAs, Enfields, Harleys, Triumphs, Hondas, BMWs, Nortons, Indians and a few I had never heard of. Several were from the early 1930's and all represented a huge range of cc's and power. The only make I did not see was a Ural although there were three other models with side cars, including an old Harley.

mm whizzer





Leaving the museum Graeme and I retraced our route and I hunted for a gas station, not as common to find out there in the heart of the hill country. I made it back into Medina with about 15 miles to spare on the tank. Of course, just as I finished filling the tank, the sky opened up and we were deluged with rain. Taking shelter in the small wooden station ala general store, I downed a cup of coffee with ice and we debated on where to head next.

Riding back on Hwy 337 I had a chance to enjoy the scenery; this was indeed the heart of the Hill Country with ridges and valleys, ravines and winding twisting roads. This trip did not afford enough time to ride the roads of the Three Sisters. Considering that I will be doing that this September, I didn't feel a loss at missing out on this chance.

I later learned that bike accidents are common on the Three Sisters. Chatting with a man while gassing up in Llano, recently a rider was killed when he crashed into a group of twelve bicycle riders on 337. Apparently the rider had been distracted by the scenery while navigating one of the curves, rode too close to the edge and didn't see the cyclists until too late. All twelve cyclists went down, but it was the rider that lost his life. These roads may be sweet, but they deserve respect and full attention.

hc road1

Chasing sunshine and dodging storm cells, we eventually tired and decided to find a place to hold out for the night. I had been doused with a tsunami from a passing SUV and was chilled from being wet. And we were both getting tired.

We were close to Comfort by then where a few others from the TWT group were staying the night. We checked into a room despite the announcement at the desk that there was no hot water. Sticky from sweat and and road wash, I stripped down and took a very brief shower anyway. I felt like I had dived into a Maine lake in the spring after the first snow melt. Man, was that cold!!!!

Four of us rode up to a small restaurant in town called Guenther's Creekside Grill, featuring German and Cajun food. I ate a wonderful meal of Weinerschnitzel, salad and grilled vegetables. I hadn't eaten weinerschnitzel in decades and was rewarded with a delicious meal.

I was tired enough that I nodded out on the sidewalk while we all sat and talked bikes, riding, roads and......... I think I fell sleep before I hit the pillow.

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posted by Macrobe
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