Day 32(Friday,May 20):Sealy to Houston, TX –47 miles
May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
If we are facing in the right direction, then all we have to do is keep on walking~ Buddhist saying
(I saw that on a billboard and thought I would try it out.) Last night we ate dinner at Jin’s Asian Restaurant; our server was a very nice young woman from China, Chen, who has only been in the USA for 10 months. Her reason for being here: independence. Joe chuckles at that one. After dinner we stop for Joe’s obligatory liter of fluid, water; he asks the clerk if he owns the Mobil Station we are in. The answer is yes. The clerk and his father, both in house, smile and nod. Joe jokingly asks if we can camp out back. More smiles, more nods; of course, just be careful where you put your tent as the 18 wheelers drive where they want and we wouldn’t want them to run you over.
Presently we are “camped” near downtown Houston, across from Memorial Park. The winds continue to plague us; at the start this morning they were already 14mph from the SE and forecast to increase. The temperature is an incredible 80 degrees when we leave at 6am; furthermore the humidity is so high, condensation immediately forms on the bikes as soon as they are out of the room.
Thus we start Day 32 on the road.
At the 24 mile mark, we pass through Katy. I visualize the town being named after a cute pigtailed,gingham clad smiling child with freckles sprinkled across her nose. Reality intervenes on my daydream; the town is named after the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and was originally called KT, which eventually became Katy.
Until Katy, we have been on our old friend, Highway 90; suddenly it gives way to the I-10 frontage road. There are a few surprises, mainly the frontage road ending, forcing us onto the Interstate over the Rio Brazos. However, I had seen this blip last night on the iPhone and was expecting the short detour on the interstate.
Our friendly frontage road did however turn into a four lane, oneway superhighway as we entered Houston. It seemed more cars travel the frontage than the main route.
At least there are none of those dastardly dogs about.
I promised Joe that after Katy the roads, though not paved with oil and gold, would be lined with hotels of every hue and motels, ranging from the mediocre to the marvelous. My prophecy comes true. Despite the winds, we are entertained by the variety of ever larger, ever newer buildings to feast our eyes upon. Furthermore the huge buildings seem to shield us from the force of the winds. It is kind of pleasant, on an intermittent basis. We see the Texans love of flags everywhere; the are all unfurled straight out; the wind seems to be increasing.
We take a break to reevaluate our position; with caffeine refueling our tanks, we roll on.
We are on the Energy Corridor into Houston. I pass an enormous office complex and see a sign– “bp” with a green and gold logo. If I shut my eyes, I am home in Anchorage, Alaska, riding along Northern Lights Boulevard; BP,or British Petroleum, is a huge presence in both cities.
So now we are settled in and we are literally inside; the ambient temperature outside is now 93. We don’t even walk the extra block to the Chevron Station minimart. Everything can wait. Our dinner plans: a visit across the parking lot to Christian’s Tailgate Bar and Grill, voted Best Burgers in Houston several years running.
A train just passed by the motel; I hear both the rumble on the tracks and the horn. Reassuringly,we have somehow remained on a parallel path with the rails, through almost 800 miles of Texas.
As I write this, the winds have increased another 8mph in the last hour and are up to 25mph from the South. Perhaps it is time to head north, young man….