It's a 5 hour drive from Plano to Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg is an hour south and west of Burnet. We stayed at the Vogel Sunday House again. Third year in a row.
We met up with our friends Richard and Karen who have been going to Fredericksburg for the last 3 years. We went to Altdorf's Beir Garten again this year, a tradition! R&K didn't bike this year, but instead went sight seeing, they tried but couldn't get into Enchanted Rock, it was too full of people. The park people suggested coming back at 4pm, but they couldn't.
The bike ride started at a new place at Shriner College, they had much more room there, but we had difficulty finding the registration site. But the parking was much easier. The weather was wonderful, warm and a bit windy (ok, real windy!), with the wind out of the south, and it happens we started south so we braved the wind at the beginning of the ride making the end really great! The Texas Hill Country was just as we remembered it! The route was _exactly_ the same as the last 2 years.
They moved the rest stop at Eagle's Nest (a very steep hill at about the 10 mile point) down the hill. So this time when we got back on our bikes we still had some of Eagle's Nest to climb! Ugh! We didn't care really, we needed that rest and the last leg was really pretty easy by that point.
The ride took us 5 hours counting the rest stops. The last rest stop was Camp Verde, a great little setup under a clump of trees, beside a small store. Stewart took off his shoes and aired out his toes. After the rest stop, where we stayed way too long, we took the "cheater" route that blew straight back to the north into Kerrville with the 30 mph winds directly at our back. We sailed. This is the 10 miles that brings the average speed up!! We probably did 20 mph without pedaling!
After the ride, Anne was so full of energy, she and Karen took off for an hour shopping in Fredericksburg, while Stewart stretched out on the bed in his room ("reading his book").
Anne and Richard got into the hot tub at our B&B on Friday night while Stewart and Karen sat by the side and talked, then Saturday night Anne enjoyed the hot tub while everyone talked and cut up.
We had dinner at Ernie's Mediterranean Grill, where a big wedding reception was going (the keg was _right_beside_ Stewart's chair, but he didn't take advantage of it. Bummer.). We sat outside and had a good meal. During dinner a light storm blew in with lightening and thunder and wind, but it only sprinkled a bit, and didn't bother our meal at all. It was really very nice!
After dinner we walked the town window shopping, and then went into the Fredericksburg Brewing Company for some "carry out" brews. Then we walked downtown some more and looked at the monuments, and historical markers. We saw a white gecko on the fountain (well, Karen and Anne did, Richard and Stewart were wandering around).
On the ride ironically, most of the road kill were jackrabbits, fitting for easter (I guess).
We saw a dog in a basket on the back of this woman's bike. The dog yipped continuously until we got out of earshot. She and her husband were biking up "Karen's famous hill" (where Karen about lost her breakfast two years ago), a good, steep hill at the very beginning of the ride. Kind of a pain, but good to get warmed up.
The B&B, Vogel Sunday House, provided us with some great food for breakfast. We had cereal and bananas and a pint of milk, bagels and cream cheese, cookies, oatmeal, quiche, some pound-cake like bread, poppyseed and blueberry, that Anne called "sweet breads", and 4 bottles of orange juice. They kept bringing us new stuff each day until we had a ton. We brought as much of this home as we could.
The guest book had our write-ups in it for the last 3 years, plus there was an entry "Thanks, Larry Bird, #33". Really!? He must have slept sideways on the king-sized bed!
On the ride back on Sunday we took highway 16 north through Llano. This was marked a "scenic route" and it was! It was spectacular with wildflowers everywhere. Especially the red ones, (they didn't look like paint brushes, maybe firewheels?) and the yellow ones. The yellow stretched off between the prickley pear and the rocks and boulders for miles into the hills. The drive twisted and turned through the hill country for about 30 miles into Llano, then we turned east and drove into Burnet and then back onto our normal route up through Lampasas, Fort Hood, Killeen, onto I-35 and north back into Dallas.