We planned on leaving Friday about noon and driving down to the Lakeside Lodge in Burnet, TX for the Texas Bluebonnet Festival and bike ride. Anne went into work while I took the whole day to get the bikes ready, do laundry and prepare for the trip. When Anne left for work there were big thunderstorms in the area and 40-50 mph winds. When Anne came home about 11:30am the storms and rain had mostly subsided but the wind was still very, very strong and the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees into the 50s.
We decided to go anyway, so we packed everything and headed south. It's about a 4 hour trip south down I35 then west past Fort Hood, Killeen, and Lampasas, TX, then south into Burnet. We arrived about 5pm and headed toward our B&B, the Lakeside Lodge. We had stayed here 2 years ago. It's right on Lake Buchanan (thats spoken "Lake Buckanan") on the northeast side. The road out there was wall- to- wall bluebonnets ,Indian Paintbrushes, and other wildflowers . This year is probably the best in 5 years due to the rains we've had. It was beautiful around the lake. Our "cabin" turned out to be a small trailer (it looked like one of those construction trailers, one room and a small bathroom), but it was clean and we were only staying one night so it worked out OK. We stashed our stuff and headed back into Burnet to meet Richard and Karen Fronsee, our friends who've gotten the traveling bug this year. We were to meet them at the southeast corner of the town square at 6pm. This is where the packet pickup was last year and where the bike ride started.
The wind had not subsided on the whole trip. It was about 20-30 mph from the north (very unusual) and the temperature was in the lower 50s. We met Richard and Karen and walked around town for a little while. We walked over to a western town display that the town had setup. It looked like they did a play there, probably the western shootout that they advertised as part of the bluebonnet festival. Also there was a nativity display with a western flair (the Inn was adobe with wooden beams sticking out from it) that must have been used at christmas. We happened to meet at the perfect time to see the Burnet pet parade start up on the north side of the town square about 6:30pm and do two loops around. They had small dogs, medium, dogs, large dogs, cats, unusual animals (hedgehogs, rabbits, goats), people/animal look-alikes , and pets in costumes . It was _very_funny_ and entertaining. We asked some locals where a good restaurant was and they pointed us to a fish place within easy walking distance, so we headed over there and ate dinner.
It was _so_cold_ and windy when we left dinner that we practically ran back to the car and planned for the next day. The weather reports didn't look good. They were saying that it would drop into the 30s and the wind would stay strong, 20-30 mph. We'll see... We each headed back to our cabins for the evening.
When Anne and I awoke we turned on the local forecast. It had gotten down to 34 degrees in Burnet overnight and we had heard the wind howl all night long. The forecast was for strong winds and high temperatures in the low 50s. Brrrrr... We got up, cleaned up and got dressed, packed up everything and headed over to a restaurant to meet Richard and Karen for breakfast. We had already decided that it was way to cold and windy to bicycle, although it was very sunny otherwise. We left a few minutes early so we could at least go by and pick up our packets, get our T-shirts (very nice this year) and maps, and see what was planned by the organizers (nothing). We finally found the packet pickup at a park quite a ways away from the town center, very far from where it was last year. There were a few bicyclers around but not very many and we didn't see many all day long. It was just too cold and windy. So we picked up our T-shirts and maps and went to breakfast. We all decided that the thing to do was drive around and see the wildflowers, get some pictures, let the temperature climb a bit and then come back into town for the festival. We drove all around Lake Buchanan taking pictures and enjoying the lake. The entire lake was surrounded by wildflowers . It was wonderful and we got lots and lots of fine photos . I can't imagine it being any more beautiful. We saw lots of wildlife too, deer and mountain goats .
We went into town about 11:30am and saw the last part of the festival parade and the Confederate Air Force fly over. We walked around some of the shops and displays then went to a bar-b-que place for lunch (inside out of the cold and wind!). It was really too cold to enjoy standing around much outside. None of us had clothes that were warm enough.
After lunch Anne and I headed toward home while Richard and Karen stayed to come back on Sunday.