Staying another day in Luckenbach was an easy choice. That wasn’t the only reason I decided to stick around though. The day before, I gave my new buddy Bob my word that I’d show up again. He told me that I had to stick around and watch Jimmy Lee Jones play from about noon to 4pm. I had some plans of my own for the first part of the day and I modified them so that I could at least watch him play before his set was over.
I woke up nice and toasty in cabin #3 at Armadillo Farm campground. A rare thing happened that night. I slept like a baby. Perhaps it was the cozy cabin or perhaps it was the relaxing atmosphere of the tiny town that helped catch some much needed ZZZ’s. The Goose, on the other hand, did not have quite a good night. When I stepped outside in the 21 degree air and looked at my trusty steed all covered in a thick hairlike layer of frost, I almost felt sorry for the bike. Personally I’ve never seen such thick frost on anything. Could be a Texas thing or it could be a Goose thing. I mean, the bike IS soooo cool it could make its own frost. The mornings frigid temps provided a perfect opportunity to test my cold weather set up. Checkout time for the cabin itself was noon and at about 8:30am I took off for Fredericksburg to grab some breakfast and wi-fi. My cold weather set up is basically wearing all the gear I have at once. When I left for the twelve mile trek to town I was wearing a set of long john pants and shirt, a tee shirt, two hoodies, a pair of jeans, one pair of socks, protective jacket and pants, riding boots, winter gloves, a balaclava, and a shit eating grin. The only thing that I didn’t have on was the rain gear. That’s my last defense against the cold. I’m happy to report that 21 degrees didn’t bother me a bit. I had some breakfast at McDonalds of course, and wrote up a post while I was there. I’m pretty sure McDonalds is the only place that you’ll find public wi-fi in Fredericksburg. After finishing up, I made it back to Armadillo farm with just enough time to take a shower and move all of my gear down the hill to the tent sites, where I’d be staying that night. I knew it was going to be a cold one again and was actually looking forward to really testing my cold weather sleeping arrangement before getting out to, the very remote, Big Bend National Park and finding that I need an extra blanket or something. With my new spot all set up and the $10 tent fee paid, I made my way to my new favorite place, Luckenbach.
It was about 3pm when I arrived. Bob and John were there and Bob wasted no time ribbing me for not being there earlier. After a few laughs we snapped some pictures. He is gonna put some pics of me at Luckenbach on a disc and send it home to my mom. You just meet the best people while traveling. Bob and John had to head into town to get a thermostat for his truck, so I went in to catch the last half hour of Jimmy Lee Jones playing. When I walked in, a fella named Ron that I met the night before, announced that the West Virginian had arrived. In an instant, Jimmy Lee started singing John Denvers, Country Roads. Honestly, this is the longest I’ve been away from home and when he was playing, an overwhelming sense of pride washed over me. I fought back a tear. West Virginia is a great place to live especially if you like the outdoors. I love it and it will always be home, but right now I just have to see some more of this great nation. I couldn’t thank Jimmy Lee enough for taking time to do the best rendition of that song that I’ve heard. Apparently John Denver was visiting the Shannondale area of Jefferson County West Virginia when he came up with some of those lyrics. Whatever his inspiration was, I always feel honored that he wrote that song. Jimmy Lees set was over shortly after four. Another guy took over the corner and began singing. In Luckenbach the musicians are just people who come out of the woodwork to play for free and fun in front of a small, appreciative crowd. To be sitting there, witnessing moments so perfect and unscripted is truly a blessing. Some of the musicians that show up are just Joe Blows and others are world renowned. It doesn’t matter who is playing though, the place just keeps a low key, REAL, vibe the whole time. I’ve never seen anything like it. A bit later, Bob and John arrived. The rest of the night was spent listening to the random performers, snapping a pic here and there, and getting to know the other dozen people there. In just two days I felt like a local. They have a saying in their, not so highly populated town, “Everybodys somebody in Luckenbach”. I will go back there someday.