Friday, April 3, 2009

Over the hills to Vanderpool

Another one of those overnight stops where there is no cell phone connection, no telephones in the rooms, no internet connection, so this update is a day late.

We rolled out of the Woodbine Inn in Camp Wood bright and early this morning. The mileage for the day was only supposed to be 39 miles, but Michelle, our guide, who is from Colorado, told us there would be some tough climbs today. The first climb, around mile 8, was a nice, steady climb, but not too tough. We went from there to the town of Leakey on road 337, which had acceptable chip seal surface.

Out of Leakey the road had the worst chip seal I've seen yet -- very new and very rough. We had a smallish hill just outside of town that was tough because the wind funneled right down the road at us. The wind, as usual, picked up during the day. We biked further and came across climb 2, which again was about a mile and a nice, steady climb, but not too tough. Had some nice rolls around the countryside to the third climb, which seemed to be the steepest, but again about a mile long. The downhill from that hill was a bit scary because of heavy sidewinds which really buffeted the bike. A way further and we turned left to come to the Foxfire Cabins.

The cabins are in a quiet valley with a river behind them. I'm in the main house, which again has dead animal heads on the walls. What is with the mounted dead animal heads in Texas??
Everyone made the hills!! Michelle, who has guided this trip numerous times, said she was impressed that only one person had to be sagged in, and that was because she was running out of time before dinner. Linda and Michelle both said that as a group we are looking really strong and confident on the bikes. That is really good to hear. Lots of the group have slimmed down and are making the mileage much faster than at first.
Saw more sheep and horses, deer, and vultures eating road kill. Also had beautiful views of the hill country. The ride reminded me of Vermont. I'm especially homesick because I haven't been able to talk with Peter for two days.

Bike stats: 40.02 miles; 4 hrs. even trip time; 1,023 total trip miles.

Food for the day: cereal and a banana for breakfast. A protein bar, Go Lean bar, and two oreo cookies on the ride. Linda made a fantastic pot roast, with roast vegetables (brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes), salad, biscuits, and smores for dessert.

Tomorrow we get to Kerrville and a layover day. Mom and Tom will pick me up and take me down to San Antonio to visit Cletus, Phyllis and Ruthie (Tom's cat and dogs), and they'll bring me back to Kerrville on Friday. A short visit, but better than no visit at all!!

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