We rolled out of the park and got moving. I was rested and determined to make it to Austin in good time. The hills were more of a gradual climb all day, with wind at a minimum. I just used the Texas atlas that I had gotten from Bob Strange and picked out my route every night for the following day. One thing Bob told me to do was hit up Brenham, TX—the home of Blue Bell Creameries. For the past week we have been getting up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to get as many miles done before noon in order to avoid the heat. We got to Blue Bell at about lunchtime and had a picnic, and then I went in to get some ice cream to cool us down. I got rocky road and Cooper got peaches and homemade vanilla. We talked to some folks and rested, and that afternoon we did a couple more hours.
On Friday we were a couple days away from Austin and moving down highway 290 when we got waved down by a couple who wanted to talk. I told them about what we were doing, and explained about all the stuff on the blog. I mentioned I had fallen behind on the photos due to the fact that my external hard drive was on the fritz. Bob and Lori asked how they could get a new one to me. I was shocked that they wanted to buy me a new hard drive. These things aren't cheap: over $100. I told them of a bike shop I was planning on going to in Austin, and they dropped it off there for me. Thanks so much, Bob and Lori Marsh.
On Sunday morning I couldn't sleep at all, so we got on the road very early. We had to do 38 miles that day to make it to Brian's and Chris's place. They are originally from my hometown, and we know some of the same people. When they heard about me coming into Austin, they contacted me to let me know we were welcome to stay with them during our time there. The temperature at six o'clock that morning was 67ºF, and the humidity was 10,000%! I was soaked about ten minutes into the ride. The hills leading into Austin made themselves known, but I was adamant on making it to Austin by early afternoon. Things tried to stop me: flat tires, headwinds, hills, and rain. By noon I had done 33 of the 38 miles, had two flat tires, and was exhausted. I was so excited to get to Brian's and Chris's house, and I thought the last 5 miles would take me just over an hour. . . . Three hours later, I pulled up to the house. Brian came out, and we talked while I unloaded everything and sorted all the laundry we had to do. Then we took Coop out back and gave him a much-needed bath. I showered, and we hung out and caught up with the goings on of mutual friends.
Now I am planning on riding around this great city. I have to go to REI to exchange gear and get some new stuff. I have some gear work to do before I continue on to the hills and desert. I'll post more about Austin while I am here. And also, I am uploading pics while I write.
Till next time,
Love and Licks,
Sean and Coop