Texas Motorcycle Excursions
Hill Country Excursion – Memorial Day Weekend 2012
We try to make a ten minute stop once an hour, alternating between bathroom/fuel and landmarks.
This past Memorial Day Weekend, we did a "Dry Run" weekend excursion to try out and time a little different route. The total weekend is about 500 miles. We stay on less traveled but very scenic routes, and never get on an Interstate. The goal is to enjoy beautiful scenery and not have to worry about traveling in traffic. We travel the speed limit but not over 65MPH. We leave Richmond, Texas at 9:15AM after a 15 minute information/safety meeting, handing out Saturday's map (so those who might wish to break away and hook up with us again at one of the many stops) and to load up the rider's gear in the trailer. The excursion is followed with a 4X4 1-Ton truck and a 24' enclosed trailer capable of carrying all of the rider's gear, the camping gear and cooker, and two motorcycles – should there be a breakdown or sick rider. We also carry limited tools to make easy repairs, and supplies to bucket wash bikes. The allows the riders to have everything needed for an enjoyable weekend, but without having to carry it on their bikes; and to not have a breakdown leave the stranded.
The rider's can bring their gear the day before and pick up the day after at our shop, if they do not also bring a car with their heavy gear. Their gear is generally a travel bag and toiletries, personal sleeping bags & notebook/tablet computer, and even a cooler if they have their special eat/drink needs. Texas Motorcycle Excursions provides nice 4-man (single) and 6-man (couples) tents (we set up and take down while the riders relax), Queen size mattress in each tent, dinner and beverages at the campground, Hill Country music, a quiet generator for power, the camping and shower fees, and WiFi ($10 for the evening) connection.
We start the trip by negotiating less traveled Farm and Market Roads with some nice twists and curves and about 45 minutes later we arrive at Bucees in Eagle Lake to take advantage of their clean restrooms, drinks and snacks, and to top off the gas tanks. About 40 minutes later, we stop for about 10 minutes in the town square of Halletsville. The courthouse in the middle of the square is was built in 1897, and if it looks familiar, you must have seen the movie "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" — as it was where much of the movie was made.
Our next stop is some 20 minutes later at a beautiful old Catholic Church in Shiner, Texas. The town is famously known for brewing Shiner Beer, arguably the best beer from Texas.
Our next stop is to use the rest rooms and top off the gas tanks at the Bucees in Gonzales, Texas. 10 minutes later we're on the road for our mid-day break for lunch in San Marcos.
At the "Town Square" of San Marcos there is the County Seat Court house, and many excellent restaurants. There is often a Farmer's Market or something else happening in the Square mid-day Saturday. Riders split up to eat lunch at their choice of restaurant, and then browse the square at their own pace. We hook up again 90 minutes later to head on down the road. Those needing more time can hook up with us at one of the later stops (on the map given them) or the campground.
While the riders can have their lunch anywhere they choose, we like the food at Sean Patrick's Irish Pub. There's generally good parking that you allow you keep an eye on your scooter — plus the food from Fish & Chips and to Mexican is great. Vodkas Street is another excellent place to eat in the square, but it may be harder to watch your bike on a Saturday. San Marcos doesn't have a crime problem — but most are comfortable having one eye on their bike.
All rested up — we take some very scenic ranch roads through the Hill Country on our way to the Armadillo Farms Campground in Luckenbach, Texas. We make a stop at a picnic area, and again at Red Stripe for a gas and restroom break between San Marcos and Luckenbach.
We arrive at Armadillo Farms at about 5PM, and Texas Motorcycle Excursions immediately sets up a shelter and chairs for the riders to relax with an Ice Cold Frosty, while we set up the tents, air mattresses, generator, and the grill. We bring a couple of buckets, and other supplies for the riders to clean their bikes — if they choose to do so. Our music playlist is Hill Country music with Waylon, Willie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Merle Haggard, and other favorites from the area. There are outlets to the quiet generator for riders to charge their phones, and there is WIFI access for up to 4 people for $10 per person.
Armadillo Farms is a very motorcycle friendly campground that often has large motorcycle rallies staying there. This is rustic camping (Sans the Electricity from the generator) Hill Country style. The camping/shower fees are included in the excursion. For those who rather stay in one of their cabins as opposed to tent camping, you can negotiate that with them directly by calling Gay at 830 997-5371. We try to have a 6-man tent for each couple, and a 4-man tent for each single. Either of these cabin tents are more than large enough for a couple and all of their gear. Dave grills up dinner, but riders are free to bring a cooler of their own food, and use our grill.
We begin serving breakfast at 8AM Sunday, and we ask that everything is removed from the tents by 8:30 so we can start to deflate the air mattresses, tear down the tents, and fold up the ground clothes. There are two men's and two woman's showers. To be able to leave on time, we need for everyone to be done with their showers by 9:30 — so please get down there as early as possible to avoid the wait. At 9:45 we have a quick meeting and hand out the Sunday map, so those who might decide to break away from the group get the benefit of the best route for an enjoyable motorcycle trip. We pull out at 10AM sharp (ready or not) and stop at a gas station about 5 miles up the road to top off the tanks.
The morning will have the most beautiful and scenic experience of the entire excursion. We take well scouted back roads that have little to no traffic, and nice twisty roads through the Hill Country. Most of the year this route is a sea of wild flowers. We go through the center of Marble Falls and stop to hit the restrooms and top off the tanks again.
We next go through the center of the Balcones National Wildlife Refugee. The Balcones Fault is what created the Hill Country Millions of years ago. We stop for a little break midway through it.
The Balcones has quite a few nature trails, but timing puts it outside the limit of being able to include a long stop in the excursion, and still shoot for arriving back to the starting point by 4:30. However, those with more time to kill have the option of breaking with the group at this point to go on the nature trails. After the Balcones, the Hill country is coming pretty close to the end. Our next stop is in Georgetown to top off the tanks and use the restrooms. Again it is impossible to to make it home by 4:30 and also stop for a long lunch. The options are to grab a snack or to breakaway from the group to eat in Georgetown, or further down the road in Caldwell. We have one last fuel/ bathroom break in Sealy, before taking the back roads through Willis, Simonton, and Fulshear to out final destination — the starting point. Many bring a car and the motorcycle to the starting point, and can unload their gear at that time, but those who don't have a car or broke away can pick up their gear at our shop.
Saturday we cover 225 miles, and Sunday we cover 275 miles. For Safety, we don't take our tours on the Interstates. However, those breaking away from the group at the Balcones Refugee or Georgetown can make up some time by taking 35S to 71, or 290 to I-10. Not as scenic as the route the group will take on the final leg — but fewer miles and faster.
This is an excellent well scouted out Hill Country excursion, which is laid out on the very best roads for their scenic views, curves, condition, and safety of low traffic. We supply the tents, air mattresses, dinner, basic tools, storage of gear, music, generator, Internet access, chairs, Saturday night beer, cold bottled water, camp/shower fees, and a well guided tour planned to get the most out the weekend without wearing the riders out. We take at least two of these Weekend Hill Country tours a year, but we limit the number of bikes, and they fill up fast. Make your reservations early.
You need to bring your sleeping bag (we will sell you a new one it you don't have one), an overnight bag with your clothes and toiletries, and (optionally) a cooler with your personal food if you have special food or drink needs (you can use our grill). All of this will be carried in our trailer.
$300 for motorcycle and driver
$150 for 2nd rider sharing tent with driver or $200 for separate tent.
50% Deposit at time of reservation, balance 7-days prior.
Rain Date is customer’s choice of any future Weekend Hill Country or Texas Independence Excursion in the next 24 months.
|June 9-10, 2012||No New Reservations|
|August 25-26, 2012||Available|
|September 22-23, 2012||Available|
|October 21-22, 2012||Available|
|Possible November date depending on weather forecast|
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish… and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Latest Chinese Proverb:
“Give a man a welfare check, a cell phone, cash for his clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, Medicaid, 100 weeks of unemployment checks, a 40-ounce malt liquor, needles, drugs, contraceptives, and designer Air Jordan shoes… and he will vote Democrat for a lifetime.”
Texas Whale Wins Mega Mopar Action’s Mopars on the Motorplex in Dallas.
May 19, 2012
Since we have a NMCA Points Race race in Maryland in two weeks, and then NHRA’s Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green on the way home the weekend after, we thought it would be pushing it to run at the Mopars at the Motorplex — which is part of the Mega Mopar Actions (Mopar Action Magazine) series. However, we’d broke the Texas Whale at the race in Atlanta last month, and only finished getting the car ready — so this was a good opportunity to test the car and have a competition practice. As a matter of fact — on Friday at noon the Whale’s transmission was still sitting on the shop floor, and we didn’t finish getting the car together and loaded until 5:30. Dallas and I ran to our respective homes and took quick showers, then drove the 250 miles to the track — getting there at 11:30PM.
We’d also brought the Vitamin C along, as it had a new motor we wanted to test.
The only time trial came at about 10:30AM and the Whale did a 9.78 on the 9.75 Index I wanted to run. I removed 40 pounds for the first qualifying run. While the motor in the Vitamin C sounded strong, there was a knocking in the trans tunnel. Further inspection found the drive-shaft banging the loop, because a heli-coil in the tranny’s tail-shaft crapped out. We trailered it so we could fix right back at the shop, and without doing further damage.
My first round of qualifying had the weather improve and I broke out with a 9.73. I added a little weight for the second qualifying round, but I did a 9.64 as the weather had made a real big change by then. I added 70 pounds for Eliminations. The two breakouts put me at the bottom of the qualifying list, and having to take the Top qualifier since it was a Pro Ladder being used.
My first round was against a 67 Dodge RT, who was a local guy. He was a 13.50 car — and I have a terrible time with waiting that long. I have red lit the last two times I have had to run a car that I had to wait 3 seconds or longer. I don’t see them often in NMCA — but they were sure here for this event.
He’s a local guy who I’d never raced, and when I asked about him I was told he’s always dead on (pretty easy to do with a 13.5 car) and killer on the tree. I managed to wait for him but was real surprised that I’d run him down at the 1000′ and passed him like he was standing still. I got on the binders enough to slow down without locking up the tires, and I still put way too much on him even though I’d taken so much MPH off. I usually 139-140 on the mph and did a 111. It turns out he had badly fallen asleep with a .234 RT.
The next three rounds I had three 63 Plymouths — all local guys. In the Quarters I had to again wait as I was running a 12.5 car. My opponent went .006 Red and so I ran the car out to see if I had the right weight, especially since in the previous round I was on the binders and wasn’t sure what the car would run. I ran a 9.78, so I took out 40 pounds.
In the Semis I had to run Tony in a 11.50 car (I’d brought the fastest NSS car to the event), who had won the Wally in Houston. He’s very tough. He and I waited all suited up and helmet on for 20 minutes as the red car who was suppose to have a bye hadn’t shown. There was drama (Click here for the story) with him the run before too. They called him three times — must be nice to be a local favorite. They were just about to run Tony and I for the Finals — and then the red car shows up — but without his helmet and jacket. So they let him go back and get them. Again, it must be nice to be a local favorite as this guy was given a break in every pass he made.
Tony and I had a close race with a little braking going on at the top — but I put a fender on him and won the round. We had been told to come right back for a hot lap finals. I don’t run an alternator and my car needs about 20 minutes with the water pump and fan to get it to where I want it so I wasn’t happy — but I did go right back. My opponent did not. I sat in the lanes suited up with helmet on for 20 minutes after every other class had finished (I’m the only one in the lanes) as they page the red car again and again. He finally shows and we move up. I do my burnout and move up to prestage — but had to wait another 5 minutes for this guy to do his burnout. Did I mention it must be nice to be the local favorite?
I was .001 better on the RT and put a bumper on him crossing the line to win by just 34/10,000 second. In fact I’d given him more stripe than I should have, and wasn’t sure if I’d won until I got the slip.
I felt it was a pretty good win, which I had to earn (with the exception of one .006 Red light from a competitor) — as I had to race hard the others. Well worth the thrashing to get ready, and the 550 mile round trip.
From his Mitt Romney 2012 Site: After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar, but never worked as an attorney.
As a venture-capitalist, Romney’s first major business deal involved investing in a start-up office supply company with one store in Massachusetts that sold office supplies. That company, called Staples, now has over 2,000 stores and employs over 90,000 people. Romney, or his company Bain Capital (using what became known as the “Bain Way”) would go on to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino’s, Sealy, Brookstone, The Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, and many others.
Got your calculators handy? Let’s recap.
Volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign 1 year. Unpaid intern in Governor’s office 8 years. Mormon missionary in Paris 2 years. Unpaid bishop and stake president for his church 10 years. No salary as president of the Olympics 3 years. No salary as MA governor 4 years.
That’s a grand total of 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his community and his church.
Now, what can we say about the current person in the White House?
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 8.2%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 18%
COSTELLO: You just said 8.2%.
ABBOTT: 8.2% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 8.2% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 18%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 18% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 8.2%…
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8.2% or 18%?
ABBOTT: 8.2% are unemployed. 18% are out of work.
COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To who?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 8.2%. Otherwise it would be 18%. You don’t want to read about 18% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Democrat.
COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!
Keats “vote with their feet and wallets” and leave for Texas
Former State Senator and Republican Cook County Board President candidate Roger Keats and his wife Tina are leaving Illinois to live in Texas. They bid farewell to their Illinois friends in a Wilmette Beacon article and with this letter this weekend, saying they’re “voting with their feet and their wallets”:
GOOD BYE AND GOOD LUCK
As we leave Illinois for good, I wanted to say goodbye to my friends and wish all of you well. I am a lifelong son of the heartland and proud of it. After 60 years, I leave Illinois with a heavy heart. BUT enough is enough! The leaders of Illinois refuse to see we can’t continue going in the direction we are and expect people who have options to stay here. I remember when Illinois had 25 congressmen. In 2012 we will have 18. Compared to the rest of the country we have lost 1/4rd of our population. Don’t blame the weather, because I love 4 seasons.
Illinois just sold still more bonds and our credit rating is so bad we pay higher interest rates than junk bonds! Junk Bonds! Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; 1st in unfunded pension liabilities; 2nd largest budget deficit; 1st in failing schools; 1st in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted (Operations Greylord and Gambat); and 5 of our last 9 elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together! Then add 32 Chicago Aldermen and (according to the Chicago Tribune) over 1000 state and municipal employees indicted. The corruption tax is a real cost of doing business. We are the butt of jokes for stand up comics.
We live in the most corrupt big city, in the most corrupt big county in the most corrupt state in America. I am sick and tired of subsidizing crooks. A day rarely passes without an article about the corruption and incompetence. Chicago even got caught rigging the tests to hire police and fire! Our Crook County CORPORATE property tax system is intentionally corrupt. The Democrat State Chairman who is also the Speaker of the Illinois House and the most senior alderman in Chicago each make well over a million dollars a year putting the fix in for their client’s tax assessments.
We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois’ just went up 67%. Texas’ sales tax is ½ of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, tax payers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.
In The Hill Country of Texas (near Austin and San Antonio) we bought a gracious home on almost 2 acres with a swimming pool. It is new, will cost us around 40% of what our home in Wilmette just sold for and the property taxes are 1/3rd of what they are here. Crook County’s property tax system is a disaster: Wilmette homes near ours sell for 50% more and their property taxes are ½ of ours. Our assessed home value was 50% higher than the sales price. The system is unfair and incompetent.
Our home value is down 40%, our property taxes are up 20% and our local schools have still another referendum on the ballot to increase taxes over 20% in one year. I could go on, but enough is enough. I feel as if we are standing on the deck of the Titanic and I can see the icebergs right in front of us. I will miss our friends a great deal. I have called Illinois home for essentially my entire life. But it is time to go where there is honest, competent and cost effective government. We have chosen to vote with our feet and our wallets. My best to all of you and Good luck!
Isn’t Chicago where Obama, Valarie Jarrett, Rahm, Hillary, and virtually all of the other thugs Obama appointed from?
1970 Dodge Diamante Show Car
Mopar Action Magazine calls the Diamante Show Car the "Most Valuable Mopar on the Planet" in their August 2012 (Volume 19 Number 5) issue. Most of the information in this Wiki was gleaned from that magazine article. It began life as a Dodge Challenger, the first Hemi E-Body ever built. It was the most highly optioned Challenger ever built, and originally a triple black 4-speed convertible.
On the first day of production of the Mopar E-Body, the most highly optioned Hemi was painted black, given the VIN of JS27ROB100022, and then pulled of the line to become a show car. It was a 4.10 Dana car with power windows and adding to its firsts — it was the first production Mopar with a Shaker Hood. However, it wasn't originally built as the Diamante.
How your cell phone has a tax built in to give Moochers a free phone with 300 minutes and texting. Some have received as many as thirty phones.