October 10, 2001

10/10/01 Carmine, TX

65.2 / 9299 miles

You would think that after camping almost every night for the last six months, I would know better than to wait till dark to pitch my tent. Painfully , I found I had placed my tent over an anthill. And while these weren't dreaded fire ants, these little buggers could still bite.

I hope it wasn't an ominous start of the day but it was beginning to rain as I packed up. Nelson said they were predicting thunderstorms this afternoon. So while I took down the tent, he told me that they had lived outside of Dallas, "a great place to raise kids." But by the time they were ready to retire, Dallas had swallowed them up. They looked all over and decided to build a new home out here. So while that's going on, they volunteered to be campground hosts. They've been here since June and at the end of the month, head down the road to Buescher State Park for two more months. After that, they should be ready to move into their new home. Before I left, Nelson took a picture of me in front of the "Bastrop" sign.

Even under cloudy skies, the ride through the park was fantastic. It reminded me a lot of the forests along the Appalachian Trail. But then so did the steep downs and vertical ups. Had to push the bike more than a couple of times but I didn't mind. Even the overlooks reminded me of other mist covered farms down in the valley.

The humidity was oppressive but I guess that was better than rain. Several times I got splattered with drops but it only lasted a minute or two. The terrain after leaving the parks was all farmland. So, I just put my head down, into the wind naturally, and tried to get more miles in before it decided to really rain.

Grabbed a bite to eat in La Grange but didn't linger. The hardest part about riding in this humidity is that your sweat-soaked clothes don't get a chance to dry. My butt is pretty raw from riding all day in wet shorts. Lucky for me, the road out of La Grange had a shoulder the whole way.

As I got near Warrenton and Round Top, I could see the remains of their huge fall antique show, big top tents everywhere for miles. I later learned they had over 100,000 people attend the event last weekend. That would have been a nightmare to ride through.

Round Top, population 77, looked interesting, what with its several German-style beer gardens. But again, found the only RV park had become 'members only'. They suggested another campground about five miles down the road in Carmine. I'm glad the day was still early.

Found the Dixieland RV Park Campground easily, just past the high school. "We're still trying to recover from the antique show last weekend!" Dixie Severns told me. I'm the only onne here but that's OK. When Dixie heard about my trip and fundraiser, she said enjoy my stay 'no charge'. For my part, I'll try and get their campground added to the Adventure Cycling maps.