Inks Lake and Beyond...
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Saturday - Sunday, June 4th & 5th, 2005


(Click the map to enlarge it.)

bulletRide Length:  640 miles
bulletRiders: Mike (Josh's dad), Dr. Josh, Richard,
Joel - Brewer90, and Jake - Joliet Jake,
bulletWeather: Hot Humid and Hotter!

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

Saturday

After planning a ride based on an article I found in Ride Texas magazine, I asked several friends to join me for a weekend of riding.

It started around 8:00 Saturday morning.  Josh and his dad, Mike, met me at my place to begin our journey.  The first thing we did was stop at Los Dos Amigos for some breakfast, call the wife to let her know we were heading out, and call Richard to let him know we were on our way out west to meet him:

After a short ride west on I-10, we met Richard in Sam's parking lot:

Mike on his Valkyrie, Josh and Richard on their KLRs and me on the Red Devil, took off to Inks Lake State Park

For the most park, we stayed on back roads through Bellville, Nelsonville, Fayetteville... and so on.

We stopped at a cafe in Fayetteville and had a Coke at the local cafe.  Actually, we stopped a lot.  We stopped for gas because the Valkyrie got pretty poor mileage, we stopped for sore butts, we stopped for water...

Of course, we also got to suffer through one hell of a crosswind for the first 100 miles or so.  I'm not sure what a trip would be like heading west out of Houston and there not be a crosswind.

Anyway, we pressed on...

As pretty as the scenery is, we took the opportunity to ride through Buescher and Bastrop State Parks:

After driving too fast through the twisties in the park, Richard told us something didn't feel right in the front of his bike.  Sure enough...

... the main nut that holds the front of the motorcycle together (you know... the main nut you remove to get to your steering head bearings) was loose.  In order to get to it, we had to remove his handle bars, etc.  Fortunately we found a shady spot to do the work:
 

Once we got the bike fixed, we pressed on...

It didn't take long for us to get hungry again.  We stopped at Donn's BBQ off of highway 969 and had something to eat:

One thing we did notice... there were gazillions of LOUD Harleys running around everywhere.  I mean everywhere, and I mean gazillions!  We found out that there was a 40,000+ bike rally in Austin.  Because of this, we saw, and heard, literally thousands of Harleys all weekend.  Most folks riding them were in shorts and tank top shirts, but that's enough about them...

Our plan was to camp at Inks, but we wanted to make a stop at Josh's wife's sister's husband's parent's lake house in Granite Shoals:

When the opportunity to stay there (as opposed to camping) presented itself, we spent some time thinking it over.  About 3.2 seconds later, we decided to stay at the house.

After the 250-mile, fully loaded journey to the lake house, we decided to unload all of the camping gear we wouldn't be using and put it in the garage and head out for some more riding.  Of course I had to snap the obligatory bike-at-the-lake-house picture first:

We rode over to Inks and rode Park Road 4, but we took it a bit easy because of all of the deer.  We stopped a few times and took some pictures:
 

From that last vantage point, we saw this:
 

A few more random motorcycle shots and then we pressed on:
 

Remember the deer I mentioned above?  Well how's this for some deer?
 

I can only guess whoever lives there must feed them every evening, because there were literally 40 or 50 of them milling about.  They looked at us, but that's about it.  They didn't seemed phased. 

Needless to say, we continued to ride a littler slower for the remainder of the evening.

Our next stop was at the Buchanan Dam:
 

Then guess what happened? 

We got hungry. 

So once again, we found something to eat!
 

Riding back to the lake house, we found a scenic overlook and stopped to snap a few more pictures:
 

We made it back to the lake house just before the sun set and put the bikes in the garage and called it an evening:

Total miles for the day: 295.

Sunday

I awoke about 7:30 Sunday morning from the extremely comfortable nest I had made the previous evening:

The plan was to meet a couple of members from the Chain Gang, Joel and Jake, at the Bluebonnet cafe in Marble Falls at 8:30 for breakfast.  From there we'd venture off and ride the route from the magazine.  Joel and Jake timed it pretty well, because at exactly 8:30 they arrived:

After my ham and cheese omelet, grits and Texas toast, we saddled up, stopped for gas, and began the route.

We left Marble Falls and headed to Llano.  From there we traveled north on 16 to Cherokee, turned east on 580 and ended up in Nix, Texas.  Population... six.

One of my goals was to find the Nix Store as described in the magazine.  Sure enough, we found it.  We all unloaded and took advantage of the photo opportunity and take a bio break: 
 

After some discussion on the route...

... we headed to Lampasas, and found a well-off-the-beaten path farm road (CR4006 CR207) to Bertram. 

I did find this little fella on my tank bag while in Nix:

He was so loaded down with the pollen he had collected, I was not sure he could even fly (I bet my motorcycle felt the same).  After I sent him on his way, we pressed on.

The route was simply awesome.  There were wild flowers lining both sides of the road with green fields and cattle in the distance.  We saw very few houses, and there was hardly any traffic.  What a fantastic ride!

You may be asking yourself, "OK, where are the pictures of that?"  I can only say it was such a beautiful ride, no one wanted to stop in the middle of the moment.

...

As all good things must, four of us had a 250-mile trek to get back home, so we decided to super-slab it in order to make it back at a decent hour.

Joel and Jake broke off at Georgetown, while the rest us stopped to eat!
 

Unfortunately, that about sums up the ride.  The rest was four-lane divided highway, fuel and water stops, sore butts, and traffic... welcome back to Houston.  Fortunately the HOV lane is open to incoming traffic on Sundays, so we headed in relatively safely. 

Richard dropped off just after Katy, I peeled off in Houston, and Mike and Josh carried on to Pasa-"Get Down"-dena.

Total for the day was 345 miles, for a total two-day trip of 640 miles.

That puts my mileage right at 15,000.  Looks like an oil change is in my future this week.  Looks like sleep is in my immediate future...

... though, I could eat.

Thanks for coming along on our ride!

 

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