Leaving LaGrange was a bit difficult, since the cue sheet was not quite accurate. The only consequence was that I rode an extra 4 miles that day. The night before Bill had told us about an antique fair in Round Top. When we reached Round Top, we must have ridden for five or six miles with tents on both sides of the road. The fair was bigger than the town. I have never seen such a big antique fair, even in Mt. Dora, FL! At about mile 25, we took Texas Scenic Route 390 and stayed on it for about 25 miles. While there were rolling hills, the beauty of the countryside made cycling up and down well worth the ride. The fields looked as though someone had taken a paintbrush and made broad sweeps of red, purple, yellow, and blue across the landscape. This picture could never capture what we saw, but it does give an idea of God’s beauty in Texas wildflowers at their peak.
The ride gave us a chance to see two types of cattle raised in Texas. The Longhorn was brought by the Spaniards, and has been bred with other cattle in the area. This fellow was standing beside the fence, looking like he was posing and creating quite a traffic jam for a brief time.
The Brahman is another popular breed in Texas. We found this fellow in a pasture with a dozen or more of his “women-friends”
At one of the SAG stops, my puppy, Pasha, found the "Peeps" to be quite enjoyable.
I found Independence, Texas filled with history. It was first called Coles Settlement, but was renamed Independence after the founding of an academy in the town by that name. This is the restored home of John P. Coles for whom the town was first named.
A Baptist church was founded here in 1839 and soon (1846), Baylor University was founded on this site. The school was separated by gender. These columns are all that remain of the original female academy.
For more information on Independence, TX, see http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Independence/IndependenceTexas.htm
After some lunch at the local country store we headed toward the Antique Rose Emporium. It is billed as a combination plant nursery, gift shop, and theme gardens. The roses at the Emporium are “living antiques” from the past, actual descendants of plants from more than 2000 years ago. It was hard to pull ourselves away from such a place of beauty. http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/
While we did not go there, Washington on the Brazos is not far from this area. It is regarded as one of the most significant historic sites in Texas. It was here that a group of Texas settlers met and declared their independence from Spain in 1836.
From our easy ride in the country we turned onto a busy highway for the last few miles into Navasota. Crossing bridges on this highway were particularly scary, since there were no shoulders, but lots of traffic. A transport hauling a mobile home just barely missed a couple of riders before they crossed the last bridge. Finally, we arrived at the motel, where Bill was waiting…a most welcomed site. The following morning, a rest day, while I cleaned my bicycle, Bill took one of the women to rent a car in Bryan, TX. Just out of town on the way back, the timing belt went out on his truck. Fortunately, the woman was right behind him and brought him back to the motel. In one of those amazing happenings, the Ford dealer was only ½ mile away, and the tow truck was already out on the highway where the truck had stopped. So in less than an hour, his truck was at the Ford dealership. Before the day was over, the service man called to tell us what was wrong and that it would be fixed by the next day. Bill and I had planned to explore the area during the day, but that was not to be. As I am finding so many times on this trip, things always turn out for the best. We had the whole day just to be with each other. It was a great time!