Texas Hill Country
Well, leaving Austin TX I knew that I was in for some tough times. The route from Florida to Austin had been largely flat with nothing more than a few hills thrown in, certainly nothing to very difficult. After all, I had made it that far on a single speed, and while it was tough, it was not impossible. Well, leaving Austin that all changed. Simply getting out of town was a challenge for someone not used to vertical climbs. It was a good thing that I was able to add gears or I would still be back within shouting distance of town.
As the days progressed, the hills got bigger and the scenery even more beautiful. The people of the hill country have been spectacular. For whatever reason, Texas has some different land rights issues, and thus every piece of land is fenced, and I do mean every piece. This creates a whole set of challenges for finding a small patch of un-fenced woods to set up a tent. Luckily, I have found people in towns that were more than happy to let me camp in their back yards, thus easing the burden of camping.
The last two days, travelling down route 39 and the Guadelope river and then routes 55 and farm road 334 have been simply spectacular. The climbs getting there were gruesome, with near vertical ascents in three places, but luckily Newton got it right and what goes up must come down. The grade down from the peaks as I work my way towards Del Rio have been amazing. The weather has been overcast in the morning, but the afternoon and evenings have been full of sun.
Last night as the sun set over the distant mountains and the near full moon shown down I was reminded why I love to adventure travel so much. It was simply a magical moment and one that I won't soon forget.
The Bike Around America image gallery has been updated with more pictures, so please enjoy!