“Everything’s bigger in Texas” is a oft repeated phrase that is not far from the truth. Mother Nature in association with Texas opened up a can of whoop ass in the form of a torrential downpour as we road into Stephen F. Austin State Park last night.
We did not even have the tent up before the heavens opened up. In the tent, It sounded like the inside of the snare drum as rain pelted the rain fly accompanied by the timpani of thunder. Nature’s attempt at intimidation was wasted as we both promptly fell to sleep from the exhaustion of loaded ride of 51 miles (82 km) on the first day.
Today reminded me of the all the little things about Texas I will miss. Like the small market in Sealy where the cook lent me his phone to finalize some transactions associated with the sale of the house. I did not even ask to use his phone but only inquired about a public one (good luck finding a pay phone). This kindness is not unusual in Texas. Even better was the delicious bacon and egg breakfast tacos he whipped up on the grill. On our way out we picked up a fresh avocado (again, delicious) and a handful of other provisions for lunch.
The ride moved from the flat coastal area of Houston to more undulating hills as it wound us through rural Texas where the spring wildflowers were in full bloom. Another small thing I’ll miss. We passed ranches, red barns, longhorns, donkeys, cows goats and even a few dogs managed to trot along with us. People rarely failed to wave. A water tower emblazoned with a town name in the distance meant easy access to water and food.
Our final stop before camping was Fayette, a town of about 250 people. It was a typical Texas town in that the courthouse occupied the center of the town square, surrounded on all four sides by various merchants
We found a true general store where we were greeted by the proprietor and offered help upon entering. The store included everything ranging from light farm implements, dry goods, canned and fresh fruits and vegetables and ammo.
I am going to miss all the little things that make Texas, Texas.