After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing, we wound our way east on gravel roads, through pasture land, prairies, over creeks and lots of grasslands. Finally we found ourselves on a ridge overlooking the river and I still kick myself for not stopping to take a few photos. The views were awesome. Our goal -although that was secondary to riding- was to see if we could find two places on the bend where the Chisholm Trail crossed. I had information that the trail had crossed NW of Gainesville near the mouth of Fish Creek. Apparently the river reared its dragon head and the trail was changed to the western side of the bend. From the topo maps, I think I can pick out the general area. It would be fun to try to find it. What we found was, you can't get there from here. Our county road dead ended. Or so we thought. The old bridge across a wide and deep creek had deteriorated and was blocked. No going across on the bikes, but we did on foot. Then we saw below how the county and locals dealt with a decaying bridge; build below it. By dumping tons of gravel. The road on the other side looked inviting. But how to get there. Well, simple enough. You open the gate and ride through it. Which Ed did. We decided to place further exploration of this road on hold until the next time. Because right now, we were running short on that commodity. We marked this and decided to revisit it next time. Now it was on to Sivell's Bend. Which we found. Another ghost town, but more active than the previous ones. The school was good sized for a ghost town. And that is all we saw there. But then, we decided we needed to head back and find a camp site. So again, further explorations were placed on hold for next time. And south we went. This time, in the name of hurry, we split the ride between 25% tarmac, and the rest gravel. In fact, we pretty much followed our route north, except this time the other direction. Don split off to head home and we we veered west and south. Where should we end up? Why, Greenwood!!! This time, the little quiet town was alive and buzzing. Like Pavlov's dog, I smelled frying fish and began to salivate. Ed and Bryan pulled over near the shed to check the maps and I shed my gear, heading for the food and buzz at the General Store. It didn't take much to convince the guys we should eat here. Inside were couples and kids of all ages sitting at tables eating, chatting, laughing. It was homey. In the corner was a seated musical round. Four guitars, one bass, two mandolins, one violin and the all played like they do it every day. I think the lady on the mandolin was no younger than 75, the violin player in early 70's, and one of the guitarists in his late 30's. The others were in between somewhere. It was great. Here was Dale's pickin' and a-grinnin'. I was thrown back decades to rural Maine, and I loved it. What a great community. The fish and coleslaw were great, the hush puppies the best I've ever eaten (I don't normally like them at all), and the beans were yummy good. I saw pieces of pie floating around, but I was too full for any. I opted for an ice cream.
Camping in the Grasslands After some time enjoying the entire scene, the setting sun inspired us to move on and find a camp site before dark descended. We rode up to a small camp ground on a hill in the grasslands; empty. We had it all to ourselves. I found a clear spot yet still nestled under tall trees. A good spot to view the moon and stars while catching a breeze. We barely got our tents and bags set up before the thickness of dark. It felt like a nice cool blanket and we adjourned to a table to relax and shoot the breeze. It was quiet and lovely. Then time to drop off into dream land.
Goodnight little red cup.
Labels: dirt, Texas