Day 32 - Menard, Texas

I'm cozy in my tent, stuffed with BBQ, at another super-cheap campground in a city park. The park is called "Stock Crossing Park", and I gather it's where they made the herd cross the river during the cattle drives in the old days.

My plan to take back roads across Texas is turning out great. The only towns are county seats, which come about every 30-40 miles, and have a population of about 2000. These towns are complete communities, though. They have restaraunts, motels, a movie theater, and so far, a municipal campground.

The town of Mason, where I had lunch today was particularly cool. Most of the old buildings were made of stone (by masons, get it?). Like most of these towns, there was is a central square with the courthouse, ringed by nice old commercial buildings. It looked very prosperous, none of the buildings were boarded up. No Wal-Mart for miles, apparently. I had lunch at the Willow Creek Cafe. Here is the picture from the Road Food page. Note that the buildings on either side are stone. The Willow Creek Cafe has an uncommon cast iron facade. How did that get to Texas?

32WillowCreekCafe (204K)

Outside of town, it's all mesquite scrub land and prickly pears. It looks like this.

PricklyPears (298K)

The countryside is all ranch land. It's almost all cattle. I passed a couple fields of goats and a couple of sheep. And one place with emus.

Emus (284K)

The weather was perfect, partly cloudy with a high in the mid 70s. The road was all uphill, mostly easy grades, a couple steep spots. I gained 1000 feet in elevation. Climbing held down my average speed, I was on the bike all day to go 77 miles. There was almost no traffic, which was nice. There was a stiff wind from the southwest. I spent most of the day going west northwest, so it was not an issue, other than blowing me off the road.

Here is the map for today's ride.

Actual32 (92K)