I knew that I was in for a busy first two weeks in Texas. Unpacking and planning out a mission trip lends to very long days along with meeting tons of new leaders and students. So, yes, I knew it would be this way going in, what did I do to prepare? I took the road to Bandera!
Before coming to Texas I coaxed my buddy Caleb in Chicago to join me for the Uhaul move and then join me for a motorcycle tour of central Texas. We both did a lot of riding together in Chicago and he had never been to Texas before. A good motorcycle ride is so refreshing and relaxing. I had a two day 500 mile loop planned out…unfortunately it was pouring rain the first day and we couldn’t get the bikes. So the second day we set out to conquer as much as we could…we ended up doing almost 400 miles in 24 hours.
We set out from Cowboy Harley of Austin each with a Harley and headed to San Antonio. We stopped in Gruene, TX for a coke and checked out the old dance hall. Our next stop was the Alamo, we did a quick tour and then had lunch on the riverwalk. We then proceed northwest out of San Antonio and took the road to Bandera. Our destination for the night was Garner State Park.
Bandera itself, claimed cowboy capital of the world is a pretty cool place to stop for BBQ or a quick fill up at the gas station, which I would highly recommend before entering the gauntlet to Garner. The road to and from Bandera itself is what I would consider a true beauty, I can’t wait to make the same time in the spring when all the wildflowers are in bloom.
Garner State Park is a gem and I can’t believe after all the years I have spent in Texas I had never been there until now. Located on the banks of the Frio River and underneath a picturesque canyon wall it makes a beautiful place to make camp after a long ride…I would recommend spring/winter/fall, the tent was a little warm in the middle of summer, but a morning swim in the Frio quickly made up for it! Out of Bandera take 16 to 470 to 187 to 1050 – this will take you right to the park. While this was beautiful ride I hear that the best riding in the Hill Country is called the three sisters…three separate highways just a little bit farther west from the park. You can read more about them at this link… http://www.hillcountrycruising.com/
The next morning it was a mad dash for Fredericksburg, Johnson City and back to Austin. While we didn’t get to ride the entire loop I planned out I think we saw as much of the hill country as possible and I think Caleb was pleased. I’m excited to make this ride again, while in the trenches of ministry now it was a good trip to make getting my tank refueled for the busy weeks ahead.