Day 29(Tuesday, May 17):San Antonio to Luling,TX–60 miles
May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
We complete another riding day.
I am fine for the first 45 miles; the final 15 miles seem to take forever. The road is so rough I can barely read the signs due to the constant jostling. Joe keeps asking when the road surface will improve. I have no answers. A stranger stops and offers advice: due to the river, the frontage road ends. He feels the interstates have disrupted the traffic patterns; they make no sense. The railroad parallels our path periodically; this should be easy. However, it is not. The winds, as seem to be the case recently, are not cooperating.
I am exhausted and relish each shade stop we give ourselves.
We continue to travel on Highway 90, through small towns established in the 1880’s as the railroad was built. We pass through Seguin, the Pecan Capitol of Texas, home to the world’s largest pecan…. in concrete, of course.
We finish our day in Luling, nestled along the San Marcos River. Local lore has it the name may have come from a Chinese railroad worker long ago. It is the home of the World Championship Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest–The Thump, and the start of the Texas Bar-B-Q Trail. Supposedly one finds the best Bar-B-Q in the state at the City Market Cafe! The town is also rich in oil history; the oil pumps around town, decorated works of art, are an added bonus.
There are no bars to observe the locals here; it’s good we made a final stop at the Original Cadillac Bar in San Antonio last night. Jesse Medina has owned the bar for 38 years; he too was born in Chicago.
Chicagoans seem to be everywhere.
But back to the present…. We mosey on down Luling’s Main Street, past the watermelon seed spitting venue, towards our barbecue dinner. Once inside I look around and realize the sure way to spot us as foreigners is our beverage of choice: Diet Coke. Everyone else in the place has a Big Red in front of them: a 12oz longneck bottle of bright red liquid. I can only imagine the quantity of sugar and aniline red #2 dye in that drink. I am not brave enough to try it as of yet. The restaurant is definitely the down home type. The cooks are in a room at the back, sweltering in the heat from the fire; we order directly from them: ribs, brisket and sausage, served and eaten on a piece of butcher paper. The sides: slices of white bread, pickles, potato salad and pinto beans. The chairs are scuffed metal folding, and the napkins, your garden variety coarse paper towels from the corner gas station. The place is open 7am to 6pm; we do not understand the hours. Nonetheless more people start pouring in at 5:30pm to beat the closing hour. Main Street is packed with vehicles of every variety.
We finish our immensely satisfying $6.00(total) meal and walk home, yet one more experience in this journey of a lifetime under our belts.