I didn’t want to put Luckenbach in the rear view mirrors, but the nature of this journey keeps me moving. I will miss Luckenbach and the great people I’ve met. I’ve mentioned before that I’m headed to Big Bend National Park for a short stay. The trek there is going to take me three days with two overnight stops along the way. One could easily do the ride in a days time on a more comfortable bike and an early start. The Goose, as great as it is, has a monkey butt producing stock seat that makes 150 miles tough on the hind end. There is somewhere around 350 miles from Luckenbach to Big Bend if you take 10w most of the way there. That’s the way I’m going.
The day before I set my tent up a little different than normal to see if it would work better in the cold conditions. Instead of throwing the tarp on the ground as protection for the floor fabric of the tent, I put the tent on the grass, popped it up, threw the tarp over the tent, and then put the rain fly over the tarp. This added a bit more protection from the wind and just another layer to help keep whatever heat my body was making inside. That night the temperature only made it down to 30 degrees. The night before the thermometer touched 21. The set up worked great and I didn’t feel cold one bit. The day’s agenda included stocking up on some food and supplies and covering some miles on the 10. Fredericksburg TX has a Walmart and from what I can tell on my map it might be the last big store on my way west to the park. Gotta love Walmart. Of course everything I needed was under one giant roof. I stocked up on food, bought a new tripod (old one broke), more socks, and a mini backpack. One hour later in the parking lot I had the back pack zip tied to the backside of my wind screen. It’s not that I needed more luggage room, it’s just a really convenient spot to toss some snacks and my camera for easy access. To mount that sucker I whipped out my, not so sharp, knife and whittled a few holes right through the windscreen for the zip ties. It worked brilliantly. After the modification it was time to hit the road.
Taking 10w out of Fredericksburg was a reality check for me. The terrain really settled into a desertish feel and this ol’ country boy from the plush, green, mountains of West Virginia felt a million miles from home. That’s what I was after. Really seeing something different for a change. The highway is lined with small plateau-like mountains covered in red and green shrubs. There was hardly a real tree in sight. It’s not quite what I expected from Texas. I expected to see this sort of change start in New Mexico. Along the way I made one stop in a small interstate pull off town called Junction, where I would find one thing that looked familiar. The ever present golden arches, which was great because my camera needed to be recharged and you know they have wi-fi. A half hour later I had everything I needed and it was time to push on to my last stop of the day, Ozona Texas. Ozona is a strange place. It’s called the biggest little town in the world. That designation comes from the fact that it is the ONLY town in all of Crockett County Texas. Crockett County (named after the one and only, Davey Crockett) is 2,807 square miles of land. Compare that with my home counties massive 212 square miles of land and you can see why Ozona is kind of a big deal in Crockett County. For me, Ozona was pretty sleepy looking. It was kind of like stepping back into the 1980’s. There were only a few franchises that I was familiar with. I arrived there around 4pm and decided to ride around and check the rates for all of the motels. One franchise that I’m very familiar with, Americas Best Value Inn, had the lowest price in town by ten dollars, so I went with them. On a side note, I was turned down for a one night tent stay at the towns two RV parks. How convenient. I really wanted to stay in a room anyway because I’ll be camping in Big Bend for a week and who knows if my stanky ass will get a shower in that time.