Right after I wrote that it was "a beautiful last night in Texas," I lay down to sleep and smelled a horrible smell... at first I thought I must have put my tent down over a previous camper's cathole; then I decided the smell was more like rotting brussels sprouts, so it must be someone's old garbage. (Either would be plausible; this was a very "primitive" campground with no restrooms or trashcans nearby.) But a few hours later when I stepped outside the tent, I realized the smell was everywhere... the wind had shifted, and I was downwind from a paper mill!
I was on the road at sunrise this morning, knowing I had a full day's ride ahead of me. I made good time, mostly on two-lane back roads frequented by logging trucks.
A big rainstorm passed through in the night. I was all snug in my tent by the time it started, and I felt rather smug -- putting in earplugs to sleep through the thunder -- until I discovered that an enormous puddle was forming beside and under half the tent! I felt like the fourth little pig whose brothers disowned him because he built his house out of nylon. Fortunately the bottom of the tent stayed watertight.
I spent the day passing in and out of Sam Houston National Forest, ending up back inside it. The only interesting thing that happened was when I stopped for lunch in New Waverly at a concession trailer that had been designed for biker rallies. The couple who operated the place were motorcycle bikers for a while, then attended rallies with their food trailer, and somehow wound up parked on the main drag in New Waverly, Texas, serving breakfast tacos to commuters. We chatted for a while, and they gave me my ham-and-egg taco for free.
Today was hot and sticky; I started the day in nothing but a T-shirt and shorts, and by midday I wished I could wear less.
Today was hot and humid. I had to put everything away damp, and the laundry didn't even start to dry until midday when the sun came out.
There were a lot of vultures along the road today, but aside from that the ride was pleasant, following a lot of back roads with hardly any traffic (which made the vultures a bit more unnerving!).
I thought today's ride might be too ambitious, but it turned out to be just right. I started to feel some knee pain in the late morning, but I took a leisurely lunch break and it cleared up. The weather was gorgeous in the afternoon: mid-70s and partly sunny.
I left Cat's at about 9:30, so as to miss rush hour, forgetting that this was a Saturday. I followed TX 71 most of the way to Bastrop, a town which, despite a name that suggests something you might use to flog an incorrigible child, was "voted most historic town in Texas." I didn't stop to find out why but buzzed on through to the nearby state park.
Gypsy didn't get up until about 11:00, and she pronounced the weather unfit for a trip to Pedernales Falls, so we played a couple more games of Settlers of Catan and then I rode on to Cat's. The trip took only a little over an hour, which surprised me.
A cinema cafe called the Alamo Drafthouse hosted a sing-a-long of the "Once More with Feeling" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The last of the four screenings was at 9:45 tonight, and I planned to go with Gypsy. We were both really looking forward to it, but no one told me how popular the venue is, and no one knew how popular the show would be, so I neglected to buy tickets in advance. We got there -- after paying $5 for parking -- and found it sold out.