Day Sixty, Date Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Time in Saddle: 8:28
Distance for the Day: 75.49 miles: From Trey's To Junction
Accumulated Trip Distance: 2682.7 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending ??/683’, Highest: ??, Accumulated: ??
Speeds: Avg: 8.9 mph, Max: 29.9 mph
Weather: Still temperate, overcast and humid, slightly sprinkly in the AM
I got up at 6:45am and was packed up and ready to go by 7:30am. The temperature was quite mild, and it was very lightly sprinkling, but still not very wet. I got some mosquito bites the previous night (Demitol). The road was wet, and I could see cars raising clouds of spray as they passed (yuck). Had some more energy bars for breakfast (I don’t think I’ll keep quite so many of those bars around from now on), and continued on up the road. I stopped in at the Lyndon B. Johnson State and Nat’l Park at about 9:30 am to find out about the life and times of our 36th President (this area was where he was born and raised) for about 45 minutes, and continued on with still about 65 more miles to go before getting to Austin. I got to Johnson City at 11:45, and stopped in briefly to get a hot choco ($2), before continuing on at 12:20pm, and made an outer suburb of Austin, Dripping Springs, by 3:41. I got a fruit drink at a mini-mart for $1, and a bit later, a Dairy Queen choco malted for $2.25. It was 3:45pm, with 26 more miles to go, and called Walt to get his address.
I got on to a somewhat busy looking highway to get to downtown Austin; it was rush hour traffic and looked to me like a freeway, but I didn’t see the sign that prohibited cyclists (or even pedestrians), but as it turned out, the road reduced down to a shoulderless freeway, and I had to take up a lane! Cars were having to dodge me, zooming past at freeway speeds, some honked, and pretty soon, I noticed a cop car up ahead with the officer looking like he was waiting for me. Wuh-oh. He said they’d been getting a lot of calls about me, and I explained that according to the signage, I was theoretically legal. He seemed to agree with this, but suggested I take the frontage road, just across the way; I readily agreed, and he stopped traffic while I moved my trike over some dividers to get to it. Whew! I made a note to myself to be sure to figure out how to have StreetAtlas pick *bicycle* routes through big cities, and continued forward on the much kinder surface street. At one point, I had to drag out my little GPS unit and notebook to figure out exactly where I was, and where I had to go, and with that info, easily found Walt’s home. I was actually a lot closer than I thought, and got there well before sunset - whew!
Walt has a terrific condo right near downtown Austin; clean, tastefully decorated, and within walking distance of REI (yes!) I took a much needed shower, and he took me out to his two sons’ (Michael and David) restaurant, Third Base (http://www.thirdbaseaustin.com/), an upscale sports bar where the lively downtown night scene was happening. We passed a live band concert in the park, and there were lots of people walking around, enjoying the cooler night air. I had my very first chicken fried steak (deee-licious!) and got a tour of the behind-the-scene inner workings of a sports bar, and it reminded me of the inner workings of a space shuttle, or data center, with tubes of liquids running from mix containers and video and computer cable feeds running out of a rack into the ceiling – neat! After, we went back to the house and I got the guest room with a nice, big bed and private bathroom. Heaven. I slept well, that night, believe you me!