Day 30(Weds, May 18):Luling to Schulenburg,TX –50 miles

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are settled into  Schulenburg, first established in 1831 by Mexican land grant, for the night.  It is the “Gateway to the Texas Rolling Hills”.  I certainly hope that info is for the westward traveler and that our future is flat.  Our first stop upon arriving in this German-Czech town: the Kountry Bakery for kolaches.  The current owner’s parents started the business; we ate our fill amidst the pleasant bakery aromas and still have extras for a midnight snack special.
Paddy’s Bar-B-Q is the recommended fine dining option.
Follow us on the “Eating Our Way Across the USA” tour!
But this is supposed to be a bike ride isn’t it,  so some info about our pedaling day.  Highway 90 is pleasant and quiet, great for riding.  Today we rode through horse country, surrounded by majestic oak trees. The road, smooth with nice shoulders. Gee, it was even fun, despite the 15 mph headwinds and the humidity. Can’t these weather forecasters be wrong once in awhile? All I see is S and E for wind direction.
Texas is beautiful as well as being an truly immense state. As a child in Alaska, my exposure to the “Lower 48” was a huge painted map on the playground of Inlet View Elementary  School: all  rectangles and different colors. The reality of the extraordinary diversity of this nation is overwhelming and never ceases to amaze me.
This morning we rode through Flatonia, where a sign urged: “Czech us Out!” We decided to heed the suggestion and stopped at the Rail Road Track Cafe. Yes, the rails still follow us; we see many bustling communities.  Sadly, we also see closed gas stations, motels and other assorted places of livelihood, all boarded up and abandoned.  They are a testimony to America’s romance with  bigger and faster modes of transportation– the Interstates. Rural America does still exist; one simply needs to travel slow enough to see it.
So one pedal rotation at a time, we continue to move eastward, savoring each experience as we meander towards the Atlantic Ocean, our ultimate goal.  However, the joy is in the journey as much as in the destination.
One last item: on the Mississippi River front. I made numerous phone calls today. The result: in Louisiana, the general consensus seems to be that the media is exaggerating the event. All roads are open;life continues as normal. There is now no ferry service across the river at St. Francisville, however there is a newly built bridge a few miles away; it simply opened earlier than had been anticipated. I also inquired about crossing the bridges near Baton Rouge; the state police do not recommend it.  They did, however, give me a number to call if we opt to try and cross these dangerous bridges into Baton Rouge; the number is to attempt getting a police escort. I think we will add a few miles and go north a bit.
On a lighter note, Joe asks everyone if they are the owner of whichever establishment we find ourselves in. The usual answer is no. Today he had two, yes two, positive replies. The first was at the bakery; the second, at Paddy’s Texas Kitchen.  Yes, we met Paddy during a dinner scouting/Dairy Queen mission. We can’t wait to go back for dinner.  See, this really is first and foremost a culinary tour….

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