Other than knowing I had to ride 73 miles, the hardest thing about leaving Navasota was leaving Bill. Knowing I would see him in just three weeks made it a bit easier. He did get the truck repaired and was on the road after lunch. He spent last night in Mississippi.
We rode for a while on a busy road, but it had a big shoulder. From now on, “big shoulders” will have a new meaning!. Then we turned onto a calmer road (a lot less traffic) and began to see the beautiful wildflowers again.
For some reason, courthouses fascinate me. Just off the route I found this one in Anderson, TX. Matt and I talked one time about documenting all of the courthouses in Georgia. I wonder if anyone has done that?
As we rode past Anderson and into the Sam Houston National Forest, the sights began to look more like home. There were lots of pine trees, live oak trees with Spanish moss, azaleas in a yard, bayonet plants, and FIRE ANTS! Hopefully, none of the riders will get into to fire ants when they take to the woods to answer “the call of nature”. The forest is also home to the red-cockaded woodpecker, designated an endangered species in 1970, who makes a home by pecking cavities in the pine trees. On a bicycle, you can look and listen more closely for wildlife. But, I just couldn’t see or hear any of those fellows. During the winter months, the bald eagle is not an uncommon site on Lake Conroe. Unfortunately, I didn’t see an eagle. About the only “wildlife” I spotted was a puppy and some crazy women riding across the United States!
Stopping at interesting stores (especially those with food) is a favorite past time of cyclists. The Nut House was no exception. We found ice cream, candy, and of course, nuts.
Hille tried the tractor, but decided to stick with her bicycle for the rest of the trip.
The closer we got to Cleveland, the flatter the road became and the more frequently log trucks came by (more scenes like home). But, there were some distractions along the way.
In Cleveland, a little larger than Metter, we stayed at the Super 8. The owner had a welcome sign there to greet us. Or maybe his daughter is a Womantours girl in training!
Everyone has been asking for Texas BBQ, and we were almost out of Texas. So Ramsey arranged with a friend she knew (Robert, a prison warden) there to take us to a “The Shack” for dinner. Normally closed in the evening, the owner opened especially for us. Not only did he have “the best BBQ in Texas” (ribs and beef) he also treated us to the story of how Texas BBQ originated. And, he had sweet tea! But, it wasn’t as good as Polly’s! At the end of the meal we found out that Robert was treating us! Nothing like Southern hospitality! Thank you, Robert.