October 9, 2001

10/9/01 Bastrap State Park

72.7 / 9234 miles

Decided to sleep in the ceramic floor out on the screen porch. Didn't want to deal with any brown recluse spiders that might have taken up residence in the bed or couch. So you can imagine my surprise this morning when I found a scorpion in the bathroom sink.

M.F. rode down in the golf cart to invite me to breakfast. Both her and Bill had a full day ahead. She was going to talk at the local senior center and Bill was moving a few cattle to their winter pasture. The Wimberley View editor want to stop by before I left, so M.F. and I talked. So many people have been interested in my story. I'm kind of jealous because I wish I had more time to hear 'their' story, such as M.F. and her family.

It was almost 10AM before I finally got on the road. At first, I thought that would mean lighter traffic. But that myth soon disappeared. It amazes me that this was where Lance Armstrong became one of the best U.S. cyclists ever. Guess if the hills and humidity didn't kill you, the traffic sure would. Maybe he's the only cyclist to survive the gauntlet around here. I stopped even looking in the mirror. Just didn't want to see my death approaching.

Now that's the Texas that I know

The weather was still threatening rain and the high humidity reminded me of Kansas City. The waitress at the Paradise Restaurant gave me such a funny look when I ordered crispy tacos for lunch. Is that not Mexican food? I wish someone would tell this gringo.

Once I went east of I-35 in Kyle, TX, traffic finally dropped off a bit. Seems Austin is expanding everywhere west of the interstate. Crossed about twenty miles of farmland. Reminded me a lot of Kansas. But after Lockhart, the rolling hills were more like agricultural land in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Cool courthouse in Lockhart

Although the highway into Bastrop isn't an interstate, it sure seemed like it. And everyone appeared to be commuting from Austin. Thank God I had a descent shoulder.

Breathing pickup truck exhaust all the way into Bastrop

Most of the day had been against the wind, but the last stretch into Bastrop was made easier by a slight tailwind with a strong crosswind. So, even though I had a very late start, I made it to the park just after 5PM. Decided to stop off at the campground host's RV. Melbea and Nelson Haertling were great. Melbea had just finished reading Lance Armstrong's autobiography. Seem's his greatest fear training on the roads around Austin (including through Wimberley) was getting killed by some redneck pickup truck. We talked until dark, then I asked if I could camp behind their RV.

So that's where I'm at , sweltering in what seems to me 100% humidity. I have to be careful not to let the sweat drip off my nose onto these pages. Another good day and feeling good as I get ready for bed listening to some good Austin radio station.