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South Texas Tour – Day 3

By: Travis “Blydawg” Blythe

Enchanted RockWhen we last left you, I told you that day two ended with us arriving safely back into Kerrville.  Well that is true, but it was not the end of the day.  A couple of things happened throughout the evening I thought I would share. The first being how I almost rear ended an SUV, Bubba almost falling over, and the great Thirsty Murphy adventure.

On our way through Kerrville back to the hotel the “road snakes” just about got me.  Of course I was also day dreaming so that didn’t help the situation. I was thinking about how I needed to create a cool patch to commemorate the 3-sisters ride, at the same time thinking about how I still needed to get my wife a present and then it happened.  I didn’t realize there was a stop light, it tuned yellow and the SUV decided to stop.  Now while of course all of this is happening my brain didn’t quite process what was going on.  When I realized that I needed to stop, with my cat-like reflexes I applied the brakes in my non-locking up controlled stop, like we were taught at motorcycle school, unfortunately what they do not teach you is how to apply your controlled stop on road snakes.  Road snakes are those stupid rubber fillers they put on the road as a kind of patch.  These are different then the tar they use to fill in pot holes.  As I applied my breaks, my rear tire slid on the snake and caused my bike to start a sideways slide.  I did a quick pump of the breaks three different times and all three times I went sideways. While my brother and father were fearing I was going to rear end the SUV, I at no time thought that.  I was worried about going into the intersection! I finally got stopped, I had to weave into the turn lane at the light to do that though, no snakes in that lane!  Boy that gets the blood pumping and the heart racing.

We went to dinner at Acapulco Mexican restaurant, which was voted the best Mexican restaurant 2009 by the Kerrville Daily Times.  I have to admit, it was good! They even had my favorite Mexican dish Carne Guisada!  Now after dinner is when the fun really began, starting with Bubba almost falling over in the parking lot.  As we are leaving, Bubba takes the lead and he politely lets two cars go by.  After he gives the head nod to go, he is barely moving and he just about falls over because he is moving so slow.  He had the proverbial tire jerks to the left at slow speeds and bike tips over causing you to throw out your foot in order to not tip over.  I guess it was just funnier to watch because he was acting so cool with his head nod to the cars.  Seriously, you just can not script this kind of stuff!

After dinner we then walked next door from out hotel and spent some time at Thirsty Murphy’s.  Colin Gunn is the owner and also works as a pilot during the day.   We proceeded to attempt to drink all of the Shiner Bock Beer in the fine establishment.  I know this may not be a milestone to some people, but I was able to hang with my father beer for beer all night long, while little Bubba was only 2 behind (he didn’t have anything at dinner).  As a matter of fact, we were ready for another round when the old man threw in the towel.  A shocking look came across the faces of my brother and I as we could not believe he was throwing in the towel.  We packed it in that evening and headed back to the hotel.  The next day we were shocked again as our father aka “Old Skool” was in the bathroom purging himself of the beer demons from the night before!

Day Three started out with a wee bit of a headache, dad tossing his cookies and top that off with the fact that it was raining, we anticipated a long day ahead.  We departed Kerrville, Texas and headed north on HWY 16.  Just outside of Fredericksburg, Texas we stopped at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.  This is a great park to visit; the enchanted rock has mystical powers the native Indians believed in and many people come to hike, backpack, rock climb and camp.

We departed the area and headed on HWY 16 north.  Since the day was pretty crappy, we decided to haul butt and make it for home.  Finally the sun came out the closer we got to home and made the day somewhat more enjoyable.  We made our way up to Dublin, Texas the home of Dr. Pepper. In Dublin, they use the original recipe which makes the Dr. Pepper with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar.  You can take a tour of the bottling plant and take home all of the DP you can drink.  You cannot find this in stores, so it is well worth the trip if you are a DP drinker.

After we left the DP plant, we concluded our trip and headed on home. The three day adventure totaled just less than 830 miles. This little Texas trip will give you plenty of riding mixed in with great sites, history and Texas landmarks.  You can be your own judge on the restaurants we stopped at, tell me what you think.  Until the next adventure, keep the rubber side down!

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South Texas Tour – Day 1

By: Travis “Blydawg” Blythe

It has only taken 18 years since my brother turned 16 and was old enough to legally drive, for us to take a trip together along with our dad. Don’t get me wrong, we have all done a ton of separate trips and met together in D.C. one year, but the three of us have never taken a trip together, just us guys.  Seems pretty odd, since we have been taking cross country trips since I turned 16, but living in different parts of the country does make it hard sometimes.
So here we are, taking a trip soon to become legendary, the Blythe boys, Travis “Blydawg” Blythe, Brett “Bubba” Blythe and Don “Old Skool” Blythe, two brothers and their father. We decided to take a south Texas tour and show my little brother what Texas has to offer.
Leaving Ft. Worth, we headed south towards the town of Hico, TX (pronounced Hi-Co) where our first stop was the Koffee Kup restaurant. I have been stopping here on my way to Austin for over 5 years and I love this place. They now have a banner from the Texas Monthly Magazine as one of the 50 Best Burgers in Texas for 2009. Unfortunately, we arrived early and had breakfast, which as always was pure awesomesauce! I am definitely suggesting to ThunderRoads Texas to add this place for the Points Across Texas Program!

We stayed in Hico, and went over the Billy the Kid’s Museum. Legend has it he actually was killed in New Mexico. You can Google that story; however, this town believes he actually moved here and lived to be an old man. They even tried to prove it, but didn’t convince the New Mexico government, so says Ms. Sue Land the Curator. So we have two places where tourism thrives on the dead outlaw. By the way here in Hico, they believe (according to the real Billy the Kid) he really only killed 9 people and not the reported 21, and one of those was self defense. This is a great little place and the curator is just Awesome to be around and full of great knowledge. She told me to bring at least 100 bikes to town next time and she will throw us an old west style party complete with Billy, saloon girls and cowboys. How can I turn that down?

We left town and headed south to our next destination. Along the way we encountered our first bit of bad weather. We had been chasing the rain all day and it finally caught us about 30 miles north of Burnett, TX. So we donned our rain gear and pushed on. Note to self, make sure you check your gear before you leave; I didn’t realize that I grabbed two right handed gloves for the rain gear (I have two sets). Ummm…yeah, wearing a glove upside down is a tad bit uncomfortable and makes it a wee bit difficult to pull the clutch lever.

We arrived to the Falkenstein Castle and the sun was actually starting to emerge. Just outside of Burnett, TX is the Falkenstein Castle. What an awesome site this is, a freaking castle in the middle of Texas. Although you can’t drive up to it, there are a few places to get some great pictures.

We drove down the road to Marble Falls, TX where we were in search of one of the great Hamburgers in Texas. Well, a disclaimer should be said here if you follow Ride Texas Magazine, it appears the 10 Best Burgers which are voted on. Plain and simply don’t go anywhere this magazine recommends when it comes to food. I should have known when they listed Whataburger in the top ten, something was up. I am not knocking Whataburger, I believe out of all of the fast food burgers this is my favorite. However, we searched out #4 on the list, Storms restaurant and were greatly disappointed when it turned out to be a copy of Sonic but with a hamburger theme. Hoping to sit inside and relax, we left and moved on to another “Must Eat” place in Marble Falls.

We arrived to the Bluebonnet Café. Another “Must” eat at place according Ride Texas magazine, they even had all of the hoopla and awards since 2003 from the said magazine all over the walls. Being hungry (Bubba gets grouchy when he is hungry) we were stoked to try this place. We all concurred and we do not recommend you get the burgers here. Although the pies looked awesome and huge, it appears those are the claim to fame at this place, they have a pie happy hour. Unfortunately we didn’t have any pie; we choked down our burgers and took off.

Back on the road, we headed further south, things are looking up, as we can see the sun off to the west and we know we are heading that way. Our next pit stop was the famous Luckenbach, TX. Upon arriving to Luckenbach, it was everything we know and love about the place. Friday evening and there was a good gathering and random musicians playing. We sat and listened as one guy grabbed his sister and a guitar and played the famous Luckenbach song as we sang along. I gave my brother the total Luchenbach experience and I think he actually liked the place a little.

We finished the day and headed to Kerrville, TX and settled into our hotel, the Bestwestern. I am glad they have on the sign, “New beds to rest your head”. Yes thanks for that, we need the rest.

Of course our day was filled full of humor and good times. Some of the funny moments have to be watching Bubba shift to neutral then proceed to stomp on the shifter to get the very high revving engine back in to gear and out of the middle of the road, while curing profanities the whole time. Then there was me, missing my eye with the eye drops and squirting them right on to my shirt instead. I also had the two right gloves and Bubba’s rain suit was a tad bit too small, the big banana coming at you down the road. It was only fitting his pants were flooding as we rode in the rain!

Starting tomorrow, we tackle the 3-sisters loop!