Friday, August 31, 2007

Utopia: It’s not just a fictional state of paradise.

(It’s also a fine breakfast destination in the Texas Hill Country.)

Amy, Lee and I decided on a short jaunt to the Lost Maples CafĂ© in Utopia for breakfast on Wednesday. With the Iron Butt Rally going on, I feel a little wimpy for such a mild ride, but it’s all I have.

On the way, we passed the venerable breakfast destination, the OST, or Old Spanish Trail restaurant in Bandera. The business next door had a fire break out Friday night, and firefighters had to cut a hole through a wall in the OST to douse it. I’ve heard of a “hole in the wall” place to eat, but never in the literal sense. The hole, along with smoke and water damage forced the OST to close, but rumor has it they will re-open in time for this weekend’s “Celebrate Bandera” festival.

Our route took us through the Hill Country State Natural Area.

This is a good sign, if you’re on a GS.

This water crossing looked extremely slick. I told Amy to hang on and not move a muscle. We motored into it about five mph. The front wheel immediately started to slide, and I see-sawed the handlebars rapidly to keep us upright. It was over in about two and a half seconds, although it felt like minutes. We stopped on the other side, and I looked back as Lee rode in. He seemed to have no trouble. I was puzzled, until I realized that the weight distribution of our bike two-up was much farther rearward than his, causing the lightened front wheel to slide more easily. Note to self: Both Amy and I need to scoot forward on future water crossings.

In an attempt to prevent the dreaded “plowed into from behind” scenario, Lee grafted a stop sign, with street sign still attached, onto his helmet.

Much of the Hill Country really is Utopia, and not fictional.

Ahh, breakfast at last! Lee and Amy look happy.

There was some road construction coming out of Utopia. The signman was either shy, or in the witness protection program.

Off to Lost Maples General Store for a cool beverage.

The Broken Bone Ranch. Heh. That could be me, from a dozen years of racing motocross. Let’s see. Clavicle, Tib, Fib, Scapula, Wrist. Not to mention torn ACL and dislocated shoulder. Sure was fun though!
(Sorry for the poor quality, I snapped this at about 70 mph.)


Finally, back where we (almost) started:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tubing the Guadalupe.

Amy and Niko and I decided a little floating would be a good thing, seeing as the rivers are running like demons after all the rain.

We headed to Bergheim to rent some tubes for a leisurely drift down the river...

What a couple of "boobs"

Much nicer!

Started off easy enough...

This looks interesting...

Ho hum....

Getting Better!


Waterfall break:

The mother rapid?

Yes indeed--Yippee kai yay!

We return for more Thursday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sea World

Went to Sea World with Tony and Rita, their kids and grandkids two weeks ago. We spent a lot of time in the water park, visiting parts of it I'd never been to before (Splash Attack).

It was great to see Tony and Rita again; it had been a year or two since we last met.

Their kids are growing fast, and beginning to show signs of good upbringing.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hmmmm, not too bad

But I thought my friends/family rating would be higher, since I'm extraordinarily lucky in both.

This Is My Life, Rated
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Monday, August 06, 2007

Is there any place finer than the Hill Country?