Welcome to carbonstories.org. On this site you can learn about Michael Johnson-Chase and follow my blogs. With some exceptions, this site follows "theme based" cycling tours focusing on social and climate related issues. Slowed down observations of the world over days, weeks and months at 10 to 15 miles an hour can reveal a depth and quality of understanding about our environment often missed by faster modes of travel.

Southern Tier, Post 26

Day 28, Post 26: This morning's ride was stunning. From Kerrville I climbed a steep hill and found myself on 30 miles of local road winding through some of the most beautiful back country that I have ever seen. On every turn I found myself thanking the ACA (Adventure Cycling Association) in my mind for their insight by putting this road on the Southern Tier route. Some parts of Texas Hill Country that are as pleasant and beautiful as anywhere one would want to cycle, and I was in the thick of it. And because I happened to be alone this morning, there was only me, the fields, trees, birds, cows, bulls and small unassuming ranches, and no traffic whatsoever.

Later, after an exceptional lunch in Fredericksburg (turns out this town of 10,000 has two first rate competing Italian chefs), I found myself for about 40 miles in the kind of hill country I've been warned about. After each climb, just when I was at the point of deep exhaustion, there was another hill. I tried to give up all hope the hills would ever end. They do of course, but not until after Johnson City, TX, where I am currently housed in a pleasant dive of a motel. This is the kind of place that I like - working folks all around, a large family of South Asian owners, run down funky and seedy charm. The grandmother of the owner family must have had a stroke - she cannot form words, but she sure isn't shy - she talks up a storm with great enthusiasm, and everything she says is unintelligible. Weirdly, this kind of place makes me feel safe.

Tomorrow I hit Austin. I may need an extra day there - I plan to swap out at least one - if not both - of my tires, and replace my falling apart front panniers. If I'm lucky, I will also be able to visit with the brother of a very close family friend. And then it's off toward Houston. Central and Eastern southern Texas are as unknown to me as West Texas and the Hill Country was. I don't really know what the landscape will be like or what the feel of the towns will be... looking forward to finding out...

Check out my road cycling activity on Garmin Connect.
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1634953429

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Pic 1, The road just after leaving Kerrville.

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Pic 2, A bull grazing along the road.

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Pic 3, Another shot of the road east of Kerrville after the sun had burned off the overcast.

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Pic 4, Bluebonnets are the Texas state flower. They are everywhere!

More to come,

Michael

Southern Tier, Post 27

Southern Tier, Post 25