Two things were moving at a snail’s pace on the start of Day 125. First, there was the actual snail. On my way to grab some free continental breakfast I walked from the room to the lobby, next door, to get breakfast and couldn’t help noticing a snail with some weight on him. “Darn!” I thought. I was going to miss a good opportunity to get a picture. I didn’t have my camera on me and I thought that by the time I’d get breakfast, grab my camera and return, he’d be gone. Then the light bulb went off. IT”S A SNAIL! He wasn’t going anywhere soon! Hell, I could have piled up two plates of food, drank a coffee, took a shower, shaved, flew to the moon and back and he would’ve still been on the sidewalk. Surely enough, I did get breakfast, walked it back to the room, grabbed the Canon, walked back to the sidewalk and he was only two bricks over from where he was before. This slimy little guy wasn’t shy and seemed to be in a hurry so I snapped a couple of pics and let him get back to his travels. I went back to the room ate my breakfast and, while eating the scrambled eggs, couldn’t help but wonder if they were the same consistency as the snail would be if I ate him. I then tried to bust out a post and was hit head on by the second thing moving at a snail’s pace, the internet connection at our motel. Actually a snail’s pace would’ve been acceptable. At least I’d be able to finish what I was doing. This connection was not only slow, but dropped signal five times every four seconds. Eventually I just had to give up on the idea of getting an up to date post finished.
Checkout time came and the guys and I headed out to begin the four-hour journey to Bobs house, near Houston. We decided to make one last, quick, stop at Luckenbach to say so long and were on our way again. Since we had all day to get to Bobs place, and were in no hurry, the guys wanted to show me their deer lease. It’s the place they stay during hunting season. Usually they hunt during the day and head to Luckenbach in the evenings. It is situated in the hill country on an old farm. The shed-like cabin has everything the guys need to pull off a few days of hunting. While there, Bob gave me a quick tour of the farm and a really neat old truck that has been completely taken over by cacti. It was as rustic looking as anything I’ve ever seen. Soon after, we
left and headed for Bergheims General Store. This place had perfectly worn, old wood floors, a tiny post office attached, denim jeans, cowboy hats, and everything else that the country folk needed. We grabbed a few cream sodas and snacks and kept moving. Next stop was Clear Spring Restaurant. We went there for the seafood, but I was enticed by the catfish, or riverfood. Bob ordered an appetizer fit for a king. It was, literally, a mountain of onion rings. I looked at it like a game of Jenga and tried to take an onion ring out of the stack without it toppling over. Lucky for us, we all picked at the plate wisely and got onion rings with no mess. We ate our entrees, picked at the plate of onion rings until we couldn’t take anymore and continued our journey east.
At one point we passed through New Braunfels, maybe even before we ate at Clear Springs restaurant. I spent three days hanging around New Braunfels and Greune, TX on my way west due to rain. It was kind of odd seeing that area again. I wasn’t sure that I’d ever be there again when I left it over two months ago. As I passed through, it almost felt like that was an incredibly long time ago on a completely separate trip. Twilight zone-ish. Well, our trip through the pretty hillside ended when we came upon I-10. From there it was 153 miles east to Houston, all interstate. We stopped at an Exxon to fill up. Feeling like we might run into rain, I put my wet weather gear on, even though it was hot and sunny outside. My intuition was proven accurate when we reached Houston’s city limits at sunset when the rain came. The gear did it’s job and for a half hour or so, traffic was tight, visibility sucked, and I just did my best to not lose sight of Bob’s truck. After making it through Houston, using some aggressive riding I learned in California, we hit the country side and arrived at Bob’s house. He let me park the Goose in his garage and took me inside to meet his wife, Wilma. Right away, I was impressed by the neat country charm of the house and Wilma’s very welcoming hospitality. These folks do nothing but be themselves and have no idea how wonderful they are. I am picking up on ways to make myself a better person and I couldn’t be around better examples. We spent the night looking at some of Bob’s pictures, (if you think my pics are good, you should see his albums) getting to know each other, and eating some long-awaited kolaches. They are pastries, stuffed with a fruit filling and delicious when heated up. John stuck around for a bit before heading back to his place. Bob, Wilma, and I made it past the midnight hour before hitting the sack. That was another great day and one I’m very thankful for.