Cline Ranch
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Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Labor Day Weekend, 2004

(Click the map to enlarge it.)

bulletRide Length: 630 miles
bulletRiders: Just Me
bulletWeather: Hot.  Really hot.  Really humid.  I also got rained on a few times, but nothing of any real significance.

(You can click any picture below to enlarge it.)

Our family has a farm in Greenvine, Texas, but we live in Houston.  You've probably never heard of Greenvine; it's about 9 miles from Brenham, TX (I'm hoping at this point you've heard of Brenham). 

My plan was to ride my motorcycle from Houston to the farm and meet my family.  It was raining Thursday evening when everyone else headed out, so I stayed behind hoping it would pass.  Waiting, waiting, waiting... OK... it is not going to stop and it was getting late, so instead of riding my bike up there, I drove a car.

Saturday morning, I drove back to Houston, to get my bike.  The plan was to drive it to a place called Cline Ranch and meet some of the folks from the Houston Land Rover Club.  Having replaced my rear tire a few weeks ago, I stopped off at one of the local BMW dealers and got a new front tire. 

As soon as I pulled into the service department in the back, I saw this Dakar.  Turns out the guy riding it had purchased it only 5 weeks ago.  He said he bought it set up just like that, which makes me wonder who's bike it was before he got it (I posted a note on, maybe it was someone there).  Anyway, he was on his way to California after the dealer installed new tires on it for him. 

Once my tire was replaced... which took them forever to do by the way... I was on my way to Cline Ranch.  I headed west on I-10 and was going to take back roads all the way to San Antonio.  Looking west I saw a NASTY storm right in my path--completely black skies--and you could see the rain coming down in sheets off in the distance.

I decided to head north to see if I could go around it, but everywhere I looked west... storm.  I decided to just skip going to Cline Ranch and head back to the farm.  Besides, it had taken so long to get my tire changed, I was already running way behind schedule.  I decided to try it again in the morning. (150 miles)

Sunday morning I headed out after eating my "farm breakfast" (a "farm breakfast" is prepared by my wife's dad.  It consists of anything you want--pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, toast--whatever.  All you have to do is ask; he loves to cook).  It didn't take me long to figure out the love-bugs were going to be an issue.  I felt like I was in a hail storm.  It was solid love-bugs for about the first 20 miles.  I had to stop twice in those first miles to clean off my lens, head light and wind screen.

I really didn't have a route.  I simply picked roads that appeared to go in the general direction I was heading--towards San Antonio.  The goal was to stay off major highways.  Actually, the goal was to find as many "off-the-beaten" path roads that I could find.  Seemed to work out.  I made a few stops to capture some photos:

By the way, I didn't know there was a "Brotherhood of Catfishermen"... not to mention they have a section of highway they've adopted...

Park Road 37 on the way to Cline Ranch was a lot of fun.  It was quite twisty with lots of hills as well.  It wasn't all that fun when you got stuck behind grandpa pulling his RV, but if you pulled off to the side of the road and waited about 10 minutes for him to get a few miles ahead of you, you could definitely have a good time.

I finally arrived at Cline's Ranch around 3:00 in the afternoon.  It turns out taking back roads and stopping every 50 miles to snap random photos sure does add time to your journey. 

The ranch was a really nice place.  The guy that owns it let's people ride around on his property for a fee.  It was a nice place:

The off-roading was quite fun and was a welcome break from a long day of riding my motorcycle.  One of the guys, Charlie I believe his name was, got in a couple of tight situations and ended up denting the rear of his truck and shattering the back glass:

Moving on... after all, this isn't a Web site about Land Rovers... the scenery was quite nice (if you want to see the pictures from the Land Rovers at Cline Ranch, you can check them out at the Houston Land Rover Club's Web site):

I ended up leaving around 5:00. 

I tried a slightly different route on the way back to the farm--again, no plan, I just headed in the general direction of the farm.  I hit rain north of San Antonio, which was a welcome relief from the heat.  It only rained for about 15 minutes--enough to drench my lower legs--then as quickly as it came, it was over.  If it wasn't for the rainbow, you would have never known it rained. 

I made a few stops for more obligatory photos:

I followed the signs for the Texas Independence Trail on the way back to the farm. 

Looking in my rear-view mirror, I saw a beautiful sunset, so I pulled into a gas station in Red Rock, TX and snapped a few more pictures while enjoying a bag of chips and a Coke:

It got dark in a hurry.  Perhaps I shouldn't have made all of those stops?  At least the bugs weren't as bad.  I got back to the farm around 9:00. (390 miles)

Sunday started out with another "farm breakfast" and an hour or so of Veggie Tales with my daughter.  Looking outside... damn, more rain.  I helped pack the car and decide I better go ahead and get rolling. 

Well, more love-bugs, but no rain.  As a matter of fact, the further south-east I went, the more the clouds disappeared.  It's actually a perfect day outside... I should go ride.  Actually, I'm about a foot deep in the couch right now.  I think I'll stay here for a while. (90 miles)

Thanks for coming along with me.

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