With a motorized head start we were still on track to arrive in Austin on the 12th, in time to meet up with Chris Ayers. Riding down US-71 to La Grange was an unmemorable ride we appreciated the Texan large shoulder and relatively low volume of traffic. La Grange was our stopping point for the day to pick up the replacement tires Amanda’s Uncle Dave had ordered. Our timing was less than perfect arriving at the post office 5 minutes after closing. Frustrated and now stuck in a town when we would rather keep riding we inquired about camping at a nearby church. Turn down due to liability issues the church arranged for us to stay in a local motel with the warning to bring our belongings inside and keep the door secure. Eek.
Quite over hyped regarding the risk, we learned that the motel was run by a local family and was an incredible deal for the price of FREE. A fully furnished mini apartment we rearranged the beds to park the bikes inside and provide room for cooking on the stove. While trying to get on the internet connection I was educated on how to buy a quality hoverboard by the two boys of the inn keeper. A family run business we were definitely not staying in a Ramada, but the rooms were clean and serviceable.
The following morning brought disappointing news from the post office, my package had not arrived. Understanding our frustration and the difficult position of our trip the postmaster offered to forward the mail to Del Rio as soon as possible and at no charge. Thanks USPS!
Relieved for now, we left the town continuing on US-71 unlike the prior day traffic was concerning and forced us onto a side road. The scenery changed from high speed trucks to cattle and oil derriks. Our peaceful backroad lasted a few miles before we rejoined US-71 and pedaled into Smithville, TX. Planning just to stop for lunch and refill our water. Riding out of town my eye caught a sign for Bone Distilling where we stopped, several samples of Akvavit later the bikes were wobbly…
Giving up on the big road we opted for the long windy backroad, where were were rewarded with wildflowers and longhorns. Bunches of them! Being horrible with time management pays dividends in the form of tacos and a playhouse stealth sight. A first for this trip!