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.
Getting A Late Start
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, it's 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.
Small Country Roads
We finished eating at about 1 pm and the temperature was already reading 100 degrees. The Horny Toad kindly filled our thermos 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 countryside. We were not let down! Some of the roads we ended up on were little more than a bit of asphalt plopped on. This 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.
Alone In The Countryside
There was a lot of deer to be seen on these roads too. One time we saw a small herd of six 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 a fence. 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 a while 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.
Longhorn State Park
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 a while. This gave us the opportunity to get some pictures and videos of the historic structure and cave entrance. The cave is 68 degrees year-round and made for a nice couple of 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. It's nice to see someone that enjoys what they do and observe how it reflects in their job routine. It was a great tour, with interesting history, and a beautiful cave.
Pedernales Falls State Park
From Longhorn Cavern State Park we headed back to Marble Falls. There we 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.
Unwinding And Exhaustion
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.
A Cool Ride Home
The next morning was incredibly cool which was uncommon since the previous couple of days had been over 100 degrees. A storm had been moving around north Texas all night and had brought the temperature down. As we cruised at a comfortable 70 mph the storm front was just to the northwest of us. It was pushing the cool air toward us as we skirted the edge of the storm. The temperature remained 75 degrees according to the thermometer gauge on my bike the entire time.
The Storm Caught Us
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.
Some Time Off Before Work
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.