Kerry and I took a weekend road trip to the Hill Country of Texas. On this trip we wanted to check out an old Cable Bridge in Mills County, eat lunch at Coopers BBQ in Llano, ride the Willow City Loop then ride down to Bandera where we herd there was a motorcycle rally.
The road to the bridge was a dirt road and it was slick from rains the day before. If you have ever rode your wing on a muddy road then you know wings are like pigs, they want to lay down in the mud. It was a trying ride as we creped down the road but I managed to keep my pig from laying down.
The bridge was built in the 1930ís and it spans 340 feet over the Colorado River. The north side of the river is low lands while the south side is a rocky bluff. We crossed over to the southern end of the bridge and took pictures. If you plan to ride to the bridge but have concerns about riding CR 433 donít fear, the road coming to the bridge from the south was gravel for just a short distance from the nearest paved road, FM 500.
After leaving the bridge we rode HWY 16 south to Llano where we ate lunch at Coopers BBQ. Motorcycles filled the parking lot and the service line stretched around the building but it moved fast. I had eaten here before when riding with friends and enjoyed it, so I figure Kerry needed to experience Coopers, as it is a must do for Texas motorcyclist. At Coopers you pick your food off the BBQ pit then eat it inside on long picnic tables amongst other patrons. Just find a spot and get to know your neighbor as you eat.
From Llano it was more of 16 south to the Willow City Loop, a detour that takes you through beautiful canyons and is another must see for the Texas rider. The group that we ride with from Stephenville have been at it for about 20 years and Willow City Loop is just on of many fantastic places they have showed Kerry and I. A lot of the same people we saw in Coopers were riding the loop. At the southern end of the loop is Harryís Bar, a favorite amongst bikers, and even know we do not drink we had to stop in just to say we had been there. There were a few Gold Wings but mostly it was Harleys and look-alikes. We took pictures and visited with a few riders before riding on.
There was a rally in Bandera called, Thunder in The Hills. We figured we would ride down there and check it out. Now we like the GWRRA rallies and did not expect this rally to be the same but we figured we would experience it anyways. As it turned out it was not our cup of tea. Tattoo and wet tee shirt contest were on the addenda for that afternoon so after a quick trip through the vendors area we decided we did not want to spend the night camping with our Harley brothers so we drove to Leakey to find a room for the night.
I would not be describing our visit to the rally correctly if I did not mention that I dropped my bike there. Yes in front of all those Harleys I dropped my Wing. After such a gallant job keeping the pig upright on muddy CR 433, I dropped it in front of 200 Harley riders. How sad. So let me right here and now beg for forgiveness from my fellow wingers for bringing such shame.
Since I bought my 06 wing I have stalled it a few times when putting my foot down at intersections. I accidentally catch the side stand with my pant leg. This is what I thought I did at the rally, but not to long ago while moving my bike around at my shop I discovered that it is not a good idea to hang my helmet from the mirrors. While turning, my brake lever hit the helmet and stalled the bike. I am now certain this is what happened while moving my bike around at the rally. You canít hit your front brake when taking a slow turn.
It was pushing 7 pm so we decided to try to get to Leakey before night fall and find a place to stay. We took 16 north to Medina then 337 through Vander pool to Leakey. The country side was beautiful with mountains, cliffs, and rivers. 337 was a typical mountain road with hair pin turns and drop offs overlooking valleys. We never thought Texas could be so beautiful. If you were to blindfold me and drop me off there I would think I was in Colorado.
We made it to Leaky but found another rally there and the motels were booked. Kerry looked over a list of lodging that a local Exxon station had, but all were booked or there were no answers. Finally we reached The Clear Water Ranch and the owner said she had a house on the Frio River for rent. She gave us a break on the price because they were remodeling it. The house can sleep 6 couples, the main bedroom has French doors that opened up to a porch overlooking the Frio river. The is a fireplace in the living room and glass windows that looked out to the river. We are looking forward to going back to that house when we can spend more time exploring the area.
Day two came and we had breakfast at a small Mexican restaurant where we ate burritos and hash browns. By days end we needed to be back home some 350 miles north so we decided to forgo one the Three Sisters, roads (335, 336 and 337) that are known for good roads to ride. We continued 337 to Camp wood where we caught 55 north to 335 and a stop on the Neches River where we got out the tripod for a few picture of us with the bike. Then it was north to FM 41 where we would travel east to FM 1340 witch we took into Kerrville but not without stopping at Stonehenge II a down size tribute to Stonehenge. From there we made our way to Interstate 10 for a 14 mile ride to comfort where we caught FM 437 and took it across to HWY 281 then north home.