Ah, the Texas hill country... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, the Texas hill country...

I took a ride today. It was another one of those "This is for all the guys up north, stuck inside" rides. The weather
wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. It was in the low 60's, but felt cooler. It was cloudy the whole time
and the wind was strong & gusty. It was blowing me all over the place. Still, I managed about 180 miles or so.

Yesterday was a much nicer day & I did take my camera, but the batteries were dead. Oh well, that just meant I
didn't have to stop as much. I used the wife's camera today. It's has rechargeable batteries.

I know I've touted it before, but the Texas hill country is a great place to ride. I enjoy myself every time I go out
that way. The thing is, I'm a terrible photographer with a cheap camera. Hopefully, you'll get a decent idea of the
place anyway...


The trip begins just west of San Antonio on Hwy 16. This is a nice, wide, well maintained road (read: you can go
pretty damned fast, not that I would advocate such behavior).





I stopped to get a pic of the 'curvy roads ahead' sign & managed to catch a group of riders enjoying the day...





Every time I've ridden through this area, I swore I'd take a picture the next time through. Well I finally got it.
Of course, all the leaves are gone, so it doesn't look as nice. I'll get it again in the spring. The trees create a
nice canopy, almost like riding through a tunnel. Notice the hole in the bottom of the tree to the right...





Looks like the Catholics were here! This is a fairly common thing here in Texas, seeing statues & pictures of
Mother Mary here & there. Although, I admit this is a strange place to put her. It may be a marker, someone
may have had an accident here & passed away. We'll probably never know...





This is RR 337. It is considered by many to be one of the best roads to ride in Texas. My pictures don't do it justice.
There are quite a few curves, but not many places to pull off for pics near them. Beautiful country, though. This is
the view coming...




...and going (or did I get those backwards?)




This is a ranch a few miles up the road from the last couple of pics. What an awesome place. It has a really nice
pond & a fairly big dam. You can kind of see it, but I couldn't get a good vantage point for a clear pic. There were
deer down below, but they're not in the pic.





This is the top of one of the many hills. It had a small place to pull over, so I took advantage. Again, its hard
to tell, but that curve is not only sharp, but turns down at a steep grade & leads into a nice series of down hill
'esses'. The way up was just as nice. If a man could get a shot from above... Hmmm... Helicopter...





This is one of my favorite shots in this set. I'm still on 337, just west of a town called Vanderpool. On a side note,
Vanderpool is home to a small motorcycle museum. They have a nice collection of bikes & a small cafe for lunch.
Anyway, back to the picture, I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but the road continues all the way up to the top
of the hill to the left, & then some. You have to see this in person, it's impressive to say the least...





This is the view from the top of the hill. You can see for miles and miles and miles and miles...
isn't there a song like that somewhere??





Another angle of the above spot...





And the road before me. More steep, downhill curves. WOOHOO!!





As I was getting back on the bike to leave, I happened to look down. This is what I saw. Looks like a
monument to someone. Another interesting story I know nothing about...





Of course, I had to pan up a little to show how far down you'd go if you fell. (Pay no mind to the trash,
please. I know it's hard to believe, but not every American citizen has respect)





And last, I stopped for lunch on the way home. Guys at work say this place makes a damned good burger.
I have to agree. In case anybody wants to try them out, Babes on Bandera Road, just outside Loop 1604.






Well there you have it, ladies & gentlemen. Nothing special, no dinosaurs, no cars stuck in the ground in a row,
just nice roads & the Versys.

What else do you need...







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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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Nice pictures - thanks for posting. Those views are great and remind me of VT.

I went out yesterday here in NJ, it was about 42 and was a nice ride. I brought the cam but wound up riding for a few hours and just didn't think about pics. Today I decided not to go out in spite of the 50+ weather because half the roads were flooded with snowmelt.

That burger looks worth a ride!
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by heehaw View Post
Nice pictures - thanks for posting. Those views are great and remind me of VT.

I went out yesterday here in NJ, it was about 42 and was a nice ride. I brought the cam but wound up riding
for a few hours and just didn't think about pics. Today I decided not to go out in spite of the 50+ weather
because half the roads were flooded with snowmelt.

That burger looks worth a ride!
Man, that's a nice picture! I bet its beautiful in the fall. Yea, I don't miss the snow/slush/mud/melt/salt/gravel
at all.

I know what you mean about the camera, I do it all the time. In fact, I think that's how the batteries in my camera
died, I left it on inside the tank bag the whole time, the trip before. You know, the trip I took the camera meaning
to take pictures, but got caught up in riding & didn't...




Oh, and the burger was great!!




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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 08:39 PM
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Those are some awesome pics bear. Yeah it was pretty windy today, but I really wanted to ride.
I took the camera and snapped a few pics myself. It's definitely not the hill country, but the windfarm
makes for a cool backdrop.




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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 09:11 PM
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My visits to Texas have been D/FW. Looking at your photos, I'd never guess that was Texas. Thanks for sharing.


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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Smile 7 March 09

Another trip today, though a short one. I was looking for a bite to eat & ran across a place voted "the best
burger in Texas".
This really caught my attention because it's not far, it's in the hill country & there's a bat cave near by.

I took the interstate a part of the way there & a dump truck tried to come into my lane. I was trapped,
construction barriers on my left, him on my right, cars both in front of & behind me. I crept up as close
to the car in front of me as possible with the hope that the driver of the truck would see me. He finally
did & gave me a "sorry!" wave. That didn't stop my heart from racing, though. He missed me by about
2 feet.

Anyway, on with the show...


After leaving the "death race" known as IH10, the roads were much more bike friendly. Lots of nice curves,
horses, cows, goats, sheep & many other sites along the way. At one point, the scenery looked a lot like
England, though not as green...




My destination was a small place in the middle of nowhere called "The Alamo Springs General Store & Cafe":

(Warning, annoying "Tanji Patton" video review with audio, automatically plays when you visit this site)
http://www.alamospringscafe.com/






I honestly meant to take a picture of the burger, but I left the camera in the tank bag & didn't go back to get it.
But after having a very good burger, I moseyed on over to see the where the bats live...








The old tunnel, which is now the bat cave ...




The view from the top, as best I could get it...




Place to sit & watch the bats during the summer. As the sun sets, they leave the cave. Looks like a giant plume
of smoke...



About the tunnel:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild...ma/list/?id=17

And the bats:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild...bats_of_otwma/

http://www.pbase.com/richo/old_tunnel

I didn't want to wait around for the caped crusaders to egress the cave, so I headed for home. The burger
was really good, the fries, not bad, but too soggy for my taste. As far as the best in Texas, well, I wouldn't
go that far. I've had quite a few burgers in & around San Antonio that are as good or better.

The ride was fun. The road to the cafe was a neat little windy road in the middle of nowhere, fun & dangerous.
I would imagine the deer are really bad here...

Thanks for listening!




on the way home...






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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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Some of your pics took me back a few years to a rally I went to in Luckenbach! Gorgeous country out that way...
very different from the Gulf Coast area! As a sidenote, I noticed the first wildflowers starting to poke their
heads above the soil...can't wait to head over to the Brenham area soon!
Who knew that Texas had it's own little gems?

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 10:03 PM
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Thumbs up

Great stuff Bear...Thanks for a great post...I could look at bike/ travel pics for hours...Tomorrow we make a run
for the Pacific, maybe my camera won't be kaput and I can post of few...

If I new what I was doing, I wouldn't still be working

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Thanks for the shots.

Thank you for the photos. Yesterday we reached the 70's here in NJ but I did not take the bike yet because the ice
still melting here and there. I said it once and I'll say it again. The best roads in the world are in Texas. How can
I ever forget the turns of Bee Caves road 2222 in Austin TX? Maybe next weekend I'll take the bike up to Highpoint
NJ through Sparta NJ. Highpoint It's the biker's destination around here. I need to find other Versys riders here to
caravan or something.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the photos. Yesterday we reached the 70's here in NJ but I did not take the bike yet
because the ice still melting here and there. I said it once and I'll say it again. The best roads in the world
are in Texas. How can I ever forget the turns of Bee Caves road 2222 in Austin TX? Maybe next weekend I'll
take the bike up to Highpoint NJ through Sparta NJ. Highpoint It's the biker's destination around here. I need to
find other Versys riders here to caravan or something.

I've heard of this road & plan to hit it some time this summer. If you guys do get together, post up some pictures!






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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 11:10 AM
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Awesome pics Bear, I would hope you have a video cam, a video of that ride would be cool. Up here in Michigan
the riding season is almost here, I plan to do a trip to northern Michigan and the upper peninsula. I'll be sure to
post pics and or video, maybe also some of my local riding as the country outside the metro-Detroit area has
some nice riding as well.


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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 11:19 AM
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You Suck!!

Not for the nice weather-Weve been in the mid 60's to 70's here in mid Illinois since thursday-but because you had
the time to do it!! I got to ride to work Fri, but its my weekend with the kids,and of course next weeked its forcasting
snow again. I need a sitter!!. But enough of my bitching and complaining- Great Pics!! Spring fever is turning into
an epidemic here. Im ready for some riding!!

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 06:36 PM
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Hey Bear, where about in Texas in this said "hill country?"
I'm thinking this would be a nice addition to my ride coming up in June...
I plan on visiting big bend, and ten heading towards LA from there, will these roads of yours take me there?


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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 07:20 PM
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I went to Boy Scout camp (many many years ago) in the Texas hill country and it was awesome. I guess it is all
around the San Antonio area...is that right?

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Bear, where about in Texas in this said "hill country?"
I'm thinking this would be a nice addition to my ride coming up in June...
I plan on visiting big bend, and ten heading towards LA from there, will these roads of yours take me there?
Not sure which way you're going to Big Bend. IH10 from San Antonio heading toward El Paso runs right through the
hill country. Kerrville is right on IH10 & Fredericksburg is just a bit north. Here's a site with some good info on the
area...

http://www.hillcountrycruising.com/



Quote:
Originally Posted by sharrison56 View Post
I went to Boy Scout camp (many many years ago) in the Texas hill country and it was
awesome. I guess it is all around the San Antonio area...is that right?

More west of San Antonio & Austin.




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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 09:46 PM
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Bear, Thanks for posting the pictures. I can just imagine what spring must be like. I spent some time near
Tyler/Elkhart as a kid really loved it.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 11:18 PM
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Hey Bear, thanks for the info!
That website is helpful for sure...
and maybe when I'm around your neck of the woods I can buy you a beer!


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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 11:43 PM
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Thanks for posting Bear. Great pics. That is my favorite area of TX, (except for maybe the Big Bend area).

Michael
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 07:43 AM
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If you want to go for a ride let me know. I live in Spring Branch and know some great twisties and am always
looking for more.

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