Time came to say goodbye to my Friend Daniel. This time as I left Houston I didn’t have the fear of uncertainty of the road like I did when I left Key West. Instead I looked forward to seeing the new countryside and inching my way west. Day 45 can be summed up as a day of travel. I hung around the city for a bit and left later in the day. About 40 miles north of Houston, I stopped at an Americas Best Value Inn. This place was the extended stay version which featured a small kitchen right in the room. For what I’ve paid for rooms along the way, this was the best deal by far. It would be excellent to somehow have this chain of hotels sponsor my trip. Perhaps I should write them a letter. Anyway, the only thing that I accomplished that day was a much needed brake bleed. For weeks now the fluid in my front brake calipers has been burnt up and the feel at the lever is best described as crunchy. When I would lightly pull on the lever it wouldn’t move. A bit harder squeeze and it would pull in real far and make me slow to rapidly. I bled the front brake fluid and the feel was great again. Steve if you’re reading this you were right on about the brake fluid making the feel of the lever weird. Next I did the back. I tore into the rear brake caliper only to realize that one of my pads was wore to the metal and then some. That would explain the complete lack of feel of the rear brakes for about a week now. A few times riding in traffic has been a little sketchy. When I changed to new rear brake pads before the trip I kept what was left of my old ones and just stuck those back on. They have about a months worth of pad left. I finished up and pulled the Goose up on the sidewalk by the room and locked it down like Ft. Knox.
Day 46. Agenda. Make it to Freestone MX Park to check out the pro national track and find a place to camp. Mission incomplete. That morning I got rolling right after checkout time at 11 am. Cold and his girlfriend Windy made a lovely appearance. When those two take over the weather it can be demoralizing. I was finding motivation to get on the road from every direction, not. The wind was coming from the north and that was the direction that I was heading. When you’re on the road this long, little things that are very minor on short trips can drive you crazy. Headwinds suck. My windscreen isn’t tall enough and all of the wind punches me right in the helmet. Then a nice crosswind will show up every four seconds and manuever my most upper extremities into a bobble head like motion. Hours and hours and days and days of this is rather unpleasant. Oh and let me not forget the ever present helmet itch. This fun feature hits me about once a minute ever minute. You could set an atomic clock to the regularity of my helmet itches. Just when I get one scratched the itch brigade shows up and lands on a different part of my scalp. I love it. There is no way I’ll come back sane if these helmet itches don’t stop. Ahhhh! Let me stop whining for a second and get on with day 46. I took 45N all the way Fairfield TX. Along the way I made one stop at a Buccees gas station. Daniel told me about the awesome restrooms. He said that they are the cleanest you’ll find and the most private that he’s seen. I pulled in there, fueled up, and mustered up a deuce just so I could check out the stalls. Daniel was right and Buccees didn’t disappoint. If you’re ever in Texas and need to unload, swing by a Buccees. They have a dorky little beaver character on the sign. You can’t miss it. Getting back on track. In Fairfield, I took 27W all the way to Wortham. I didn’t see any signs for the track and I know I passed it somewhere, so I stopped and asked a local police officer where it was. He told me to backtrack two miles and make a left. I did as he said and found the amateur track. By that time it was getting late in the day and I still didn’t have a place to stay. I told myself that I’ll find the track tomorrow. Back in Fairfield I found a place called Family Fun ATV Park that allowed camping. The price was twenty bones and they had a few ponds and electric hookups. Good enough for a hillbilly like me. That night I made a nice fire and laid on the ground beside it for a few hours under a very cold but beautiful Texas sky before I crawled in the tent.
A frost filled morning greeted me when I woke up. The night was bitter cold. My sleeping bag hasn’t been tested like that since the night on Mt. Pisgah. At certain points in the night I had to get all the way in the thing and pull the drawstring tight. It worked brilliantly though and I didn’t get cold unless I scurried out to take a leak. I got things packed up pretty early, squared up with the owner of the park and took off for McDonalds/my office to get some wi-fi. I searched for Freestone MXs website and phone number. After a few failed calls, Tony Miller the owner called me back. He and I made an arrangement that allowed me about a half hour to ride over to Wortham and check out the fenced in National track. He had one of his employees, Jack, meet me at the gate and let me in. It’s amazing to think that at one point in the year the place will be packed with 20,000 spectators and, at another time, Jack and I are the only people there. Once arriving at the sign in tower to sign a release I was overwhelmed with how clean and orderly the facility is. The sign in building it squeaky clean. The track is lined with newer looking, sturdy fence and the parking area has little road ways to keep the traffic organized. Each jump has a number to help people keep track of the riders locations (i think). It’s just a really nice MX facility. I spent about 40 minutes there running around snapping pics and trying to imagine some pros ripping up the sandy soil. Before I left, Jack hooked me up with a few “local” directions and saved me about five miles on my journey to the interstate. My next destination was Billy Bobs honky tonk in Ft. Worth. Billy Bobs holds the distinction of being the worlds largest country bar. It has a stage that’s been visited by all of country musics greatest artists. The walls are decorated by autographed photos, guitars, and cement hand prints by anyone from Johny Cash to Loretta Lynn. I stuck my hand in a few to size up the guitar picking hands. Most of them have rather small digits with Trace Atkins being the largest hand imprint I could find. Johny Cash and I have the same size hand. I know that doesn’t mean anything, but I’m fascinated by the little details. There were about 40 patrons occupying the building and due to it’s size it seemed empty. Every Friday and Saturday they have live music and Willie Nelson has been known to just pop in and play a set here and there. My night ended with a few more stops at some saloons playing live music near the stockyards.