Labor day weekend brought about the opportunity to sneak in a longer ride. When you work full time you have to take advantage of those extra days off. I had some ideas of where to go and tossed them out there for Margaret to choose. The winning destination was Marble Falls, TX.
We got a late start on Saturday morning not leaving until almost 10 am. Our destination took us in a southern direction so we took the usual route when going south and stopped at Cranfills Gap, TX to eat lunch at the Horny Toad Bar & Grill. I’ve always enjoyed going there. The ride to get there is nice, the food is wonderful, its comfortable, and the owners are very personable. We do like to try new places to eat but once we find one that continually provides a wonderful experience we tend to stick with it.
We finished eating about 1 pm and the temperature was already reading 100 degrees. The Horny Toad kindly filled our thermos’s with ice and water for the trip ahead. I planned on a long route to Marble Falls, TX on small FM roads so we could meander through the country side and enjoy the sites Texas has to offer. We were not let down! Some of the roads we ended up on were little more than a bit of asphalt plopped on the ground that served as a road which we rumbled along at an easy going 30 mph! I often thought at any minute we would be on gravel. There were a lot of deer to be seen on these roads too. One time we saw a small herd of 6 deer that went bounding off as we slowly rumbled by on the bikes. Another time we rolled up to within a few yards of a deer before it finally decided to leap the fence by the road and run off. In the area between Gatesville and Lampasas, TX we got on some beautiful FM roads and didn’t see another vehicle for about an hour. I got lost for awhile on these roads as every road crossing we came upon lacked signage. We basically just flipped a coin as to which way we would go and knew we would get to our destination eventually, which we did.
Upon arrival in Marble Falls we checked into the Holiday Inn Express, showered, and went out to eat. It was a long hot day, we were tired, and about the only thing on our minds was getting some sleep for the adventurous day ahead.
After a nice light breakfast we headed out to Longhorn Cavern State Park to see the caves. We arrived an hour before the tour time and had the run of the place to ourselves for quite awhile. This gave us a perfect opportunity to get some pictures and video of the historic structure and cave entrance before people started mingling around. The cave is 68 degrees year round and made for a nice couple hours to keep us cool. That was our plan, and it worked. Our guide was quite flamboyant and exciting with her descriptions and history of the cavern. Its nice to see someone that enjoys what they do and observe how it reflects in their job routine. It was a great tour, interesting history, and beautiful cave.
From Longhorn Cavern State Park we headed back to Marble Falls and had lunch before heading to Pedernales Falls State Park. Now it was getting into early afternoon and the heat was over 100 degrees. Our plan had been to head to Pedernales for an afternoon of cool swimming. Again, our plans worked out well and upon arrival we headed for the river. It was quite low due to the summer heat but still provided us with a very nice afternoon of wading, swimming, and lounging in the little water rapids. We wandered upstream quite a ways and there was no one to be seen almost the entire time we were there. We had a hard time unwinding from our hectic lifestyle but when we were finally able to, our bodies just gave out. We laid in the water for hours while it trickled over us and kept us cool. The experience was so relaxing that when we finally had to leave and head back to the hotel our legs were weak and wobbly. It took all we had to say goodbye knowing our mini vacation was soon coming to a close.
The next morning was incredibly cool which was uncommon since the previous couple days had been over 100 degrees. We soon found out why on the ride home, a storm had been moving around north Texas all night and had brought the temperature down. As we cruised at a comfortable 70 mph north on US-281 the storm front was just to the north west of us. It was pushing the cool air east toward us as we skirted the edge of the storm almost the entire trip home. The temperature remained 75 degrees according to the thermometer gauge on my bike the entire time. We never got hot and it turned out to be perfect riding weather. That is until we reached Glen Rose, TX. It was here the storm caught up with us and began a torrential downpour as we came into town. We pulled over at the first place we could find which was a Sonic Drive in and sat outside under the cover while we had an afternoon munch and watched the rain. Even this worked out well, we were cool, bellies full, and enjoyed the casual time before continuing on towards home.
As we left Sonic the rain moved out and within half an hour we were dry again. The rest of the ride home was just as perfect as it was from Marble Falls. We couldn’t have asked for a better 3 day trip than we experienced. It was hard to sleep that night because we kept talking about everything we did for those 3 days. Tuesday we both had already scheduled time off to use as a wind down day from the trip before having to go back to work on Wednesday.
Again staying true to the inclusion of some sort of media with most posts, I made a video from the trip. It’s impossible to capture the essence of everything we did, but it still gives a nice over view to share with you. Hope you enjoy it. Ride Strong, Ride Safe.