Monday, November 8, 2010

La Grange TX to Kountze, TX Nov 8

After leaving La Grange we were on a new map with no profiles for hills so we didn't expect any climbing but guess what, we still had "rollers" as we call them, to deal with for another couple of days then the terrain has really flattened out.  Now we can almost coast up the inclines that are in front of us.  For several miles we biked along "Antique Alley" or at least it seemed like that.  Round Top, population 70, is the capital for  antiques. We have also left the beautiful rolling country with huge Live Oaks lining the roadway and traded that for Loblolly Pine forest.  We have been assured by many people that pines will be the predominate trees for many miles to come.  Along with the pines are the presence of logging trucks that barrel down the road in great numbers.  We have been fortunate that many of the roads are sparsely traveled which gives the trucks room to avoid us.  Another term that we have picked up for the area here is the "The Big Thicket."  It refers to the incredible thick undergrowth that we see along the road when there is no pine forest.  It's a great place for the wildlife and birds.  A special area has been set aside for as a National Preserve.
We have had a couple of nice encounters with people as we have been biking.  On one occasion, we were flagged down by a person waving his arms and yelling for us to stop.  Turns out he was the owner of a weekend house that a biking club uses.  There were several bikers there who had just finished their ride for the day and were getting ready to eat lunch.  We were treated to lunch, lots of snacking goodies and some good conversation.  Then we left to get 30 more miles of biking before we called it a day.  Another time, two fellows driving on a historical tour treated us to cold drinks and snacks out of their car.   And finally when we arrived in Kountze today we were looking at our map when a car pulls up and asks if he could help.  Turns out he was the police chief of the town.  He had us follow him to the police station where he invited us to tent for the night on the lawn then took us to the library where we are now.  We will pass up the tenting and check into a motel, as the nights are still chilly, too cold for us to start chilled.  These little episodes make our day. We just read our comments and were pleased to hear from those who jotted a note.  Somewhere along the way, we will do an inventory of our biking gear for those interested just in case someone out there might want to follow in our tire tracks. 
Now for some photos from the past few days.

 We have seen so many classic Methodist Churches along the way.  And here is one good example.

Texas Longhorn posing for a photo.
 Ann biking into Round Top.
 Another view of the pretty town of Round Top, with the magnificent live oaks.
 We are coming into the small town of Thicket, near the Big Thicket National Preserve.
And another photo from Round Top.  We must have felt like taking a camera break.

Biking down a lane of massive live oak trees.  Sure is different than the desert.  After we finally got used to the wide open empty spaces of the desert, we now feel boxed in by all the trees.  Hard to be satisfied!

We expect to be out of Texas in 2 days!  One thousand miles in one state is enough.  But we still have 1000 miles to go..............will keep you posted.  Bill and Ann


  1. Wow...seems like you have been in Texas forever! Enjoyed the pictures...a pretty part of Texas. Looking forward to seeing you soon! In case you haven't talked to Mom, she is doing great! Seems to feel better, and her appetite is good.
    Love, Sis

  2. I drove thru Tx pan handle and that is all I could handle. I am really joyful that you will be out of there soon. 1000 miles to go will go faster once you are out of Tx. No more hills! You might face oppossing winds in the next 3 days, as low coming in is bringing currents from the Gulf of Mexico. But, flat terrain will help you not suffer as much as in the town of Silver City, NM, about 2000 miles back. Enjoy, God Bless. Ernesto.

  3. Hello... Ken and I were just checking where you are... we are in Phoenix enjoying a couple of days off before heading into the desert once more... only about a week left in our travels and we have 15 days till our flight home.... hope you are having as much fun as we are... ride with care

  4. Bill and Ann... your presentation at the Anacortes Library was very entertaining. You showed some of the gear you used including a tent that I thought you said weighed 1.5 pounds. We are in search of such a lightweight tent for our next cross-the-country bike trip. Where did you get it? The one we hauled across North Dakota and Minnesota last year was 9 pounds. Please respond to Thanks