Last April Janet and I took advantage of the good crop of wild flowers we had here in Texas and rode the Hill Country to enjoy the flowers. We enjoyed that so much we decide to go back and do a Hill Country fall foliage motorcycle ride. We did miss the peak of the leaves turning by about a week but it was still good.
Monday November 15th (233 miles)
I had a little mishap before we left. When I was getting the bike out of the garage, I failed to get the kickstand down all the way and I dropped it in the driveway. I had to get Steven up to help me pick it up. He was half asleep and hardly remembers much about that. Janet talked to him the following day and he ask Janet… “Mom, did I see you in leathers!?” He had never seen her wearing them before. It was a bit cool that morning so we wore our leathers. We got an early start and rode to Bertram and had breakfast at the Crazy Gal’s Café. “The Crazy Gal’s” is just a small café but the food is good and the waitress was entertaining. The ride to Bertram was a bit cool and it tried to sprinkle a bit but not enough to stop and put on the rain suits.
We had a good breakfast and were back on the road. We rode past Enchanted Rock. Riding into Fredericksburg Janet saw “Cross Mountain Road”. We have been by that way many times but have never seen it before. We decided to turn around and check it out. The early German settlers in the Hill Country town reportedly found an old wooden cross on top of the hill that may have been left by earlier Spanish explorers who passed through the Texas Hill Country. As a result, this area became known as Kreuzberg (Cross Mountain). The original cross has been lost to history, but today a large metal cross stands in its place. We followed the road to its end and walked a short distance up a trail to the cross. The view was spectacular and we could see for miles all around. We took many pictures. After climbing the hill to the cross and down again, we were back on the road again. We made a pit stop in Fredericksburg and then rode on to Kerrville and Hunt. While riding through Kerrville we saw what looked like another Stonehenge replica in a park. We thought that a bit odd because there was also one just down the road outside Hunt. From there we took Hwy 1340 where we planned to stop at the Texas version of Stonehenge but it wasn’t there. The land had been sold and Stonehenge was gone. Apparently the Stonehenge had been moved to the Kerrville park after the land was sold.
In April we rode 2 of the “Three Sisters” (FM-335 and 337) so I made a point to ride the other “sister” FM-336. There was a sign warning that 10 motorcyclist had been killed on 336 since 2006. It was twisty but not that bad. I’m sure most if not all that were killed were on sports bikes and riding way too fast for an unfamiliar road. From 336 we picked up FM-337 to Camp Wood where we stayed for two nights at the Woodbine Inn again. It’s a good place to stay and the rates are reasonable.
Camp Wood has several restaurants but they are not always open and not all of them take credit cards. One of the restaurants that we ate at last April (B. J’s Café) had closed and the restaurant that was across the street had moved in its place. It was pretty busy and the food was pretty good except, we had to wait a while to get it.
Tuesday November 16th (203 miles)
Today we rode Fm-335 (my second favorite “Sister” of “The Three Sisters”) to Hwy 41 to Hwy 83 to Leakey where we stopped for gas. Just outside Leakey we picked up Hwy 1050 to Utopia. Hwy 1050 is another favorite Hill Country road I enjoy riding. It is also twisty with many great views along the way. Just north of Utopia we picked up Hwy 470 to Bandera. We stopped in Bandera “The Cowboy Capital of the World”. John Hallowell says this about Bandera,“The little town of Bandera has played an enormous role in keeping alive the uniquely American traditions of the Texas cowboy. Perhaps more than any other Hill Country town, Bandera exudes the image of the “Wild, Wild West.” The ruggedly beautiful landscape, the rustic architecture and the enthusiastic presentation of Bandera as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” let visitors know, as soon as they get to town, that this place is unique.”
While in Bandera we had lunch, walked around town and went through the Frontier Times Museum. The Frontier Times Museum was formally opened to the public on May 20, 1933 at a groundbreaking ceremony held on January 1, 1933. Hough LeStourgeon was one of the men who turned stones from pastures into a landmark museum worth treasuring. Today the museum attracts visitors to Bandera interested in the history of the region. Frontier times and customs hold a fascination that endures and the Frontier Times Museum imparts much of that spirit.
From Bandera we rode to Media via Hwy 16 where we picked up FM-337 and headed to Leakey and continued on to Camp Wood. I guess I would say FM-337 is my favorite of the “Three Sisters”, not just because it is twisty but also because it climbs to some of the most spectacular views of valleys and hills. FM-337 should be ridden slowly so that you can enjoy the views but also to keep from being another statistic. There have also been many motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities on 337.
Just outside Camp Wood is a pasture with many old tractors, pickup trucks and farm equipment just sitting and obviously rusting away. Someone took a lot of time and effort to build a sign from old metal that read, “Rust in Peace”. Janet just had to stop and take a picture (See above).
Wednesday November 17th (219 miles)
This was the last day of our ride. We had breakfast at a new restaurant in Camp Wood. I forget the name of the restaurant but it’s something like Donna’s Bakery & ??. It’s off the main road by the two drive thru liquor stores. Two drive thru stores side by side. That doesn’t make sense in a big town much less the one the size of Camp Wood. We ate dinner at Donna’s the night before and really liked it so we decided to try breakfast too.
Then it was on the road back home. We took Hwy 55 to Rocksprings. This was a new road for us and it was a good one to ride. When we got to Rocksprings I got a call from Gary (My brother) he was deer hunting and was back in camp so he gave me a call. I probably would not have heard the phone ring but since we were going slow through Rocksprings I was able to hear it ring. After a short chat we were back on the road to Junction. From Rocksprings on home we have ridden this route before so it was not new but still scenic with the leaves changing. Any ride is a good ride even it you have ridden it before. There are always new things that you missed seeing before.
All in all it was a good three-day ride. We rode some familiar roads and several new ones that we will add to our must ride list. We always look forward to riding the Hill Country.
If you like this post you may like “Fall Foliage Ride November 2012”