On day two, we hit the road for the Texas Hill Country. Instead of the more commonly traveled highway route via 290 West, Larry suggested a longer, scenic path on “Farm to Market” roads. The route took us through the small towns of Buda, Dripping Springs, Johnson City, and Stonewall, and to our final destination—Fredericksburg, a small, heavily German-influenced town about 75 miles west of Austin that serves as a popular weekend destination for Texans.
Just outside of Austin, in Buda, Texas, we stopped for breakfast at Tako Taco—located in an Airstream trailer parked alongside the road. Sadly they were out of cheese (nor did they have coffee on the menu), but I ordered an egg and bacon taco, and Larry ordered two tacos—one with eggs and potatoes and one with eggs and chorizo. They were simple, but satisfying. We ate at a picnic table alongside the road.
Back on our way, we soon came upon an elementary school that had two giant rain water collection barrels in front. Larry is a teacher at a environmental and sustainability-focused elementary school and is in the midst of a water unit, so he was interested in stopping to check out their system. We ended up in the school office chatting with teachers and staff about the project. Interestingly, not much further down the road, we stumbled upon Tank Town, a rain water collection utopia of sorts. We didn’t stop long, but were given a DVD and two bottles of drinking water.
When we finally arrived in Fredericksburg, we were hungry for lunch. Guided by a friend’s recommendation, we hit up Bejas Grill on Main Street. The atmosphere was great, but the food was disappointing. I ordered the BLTA sandwich (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado) and Larry went with the Chicken Tortilla Soup. The soup was especially bad—watery and bland.
Shortly after lunch, Larry struck up a conversation with Lupe and Genaro from Weslaco, Texas. It’s one of the things I love most about Larry—his curiosity and desire to connect with other people and learn more about their life experience—that you can only truly experience a place through its people. By the end of the conversation, it was like Lupe, Genaro and Larry were old friends.
Next, it was on to Hill Country Bicycle Works to pick up the road bikes we had reserved for our visit. Luckily, the shop had just purchased a new fleet of rental bikes, so we enjoyed practically new bikes. After that, we checked in at our bed and breakfast and made a quick trip to the grocery store.
Our B & B, the aptly names Cyclismo, is a beautiful Victorian house just a few blocks off Main Street that was renovated several years ago by owner Frank Floyd, a colorful character and cycling enthusiast who lives in one of the three meticulously decorated units. In addition to the fabulously curated book and DVD selection (not to mention a fridge already stocked with beer), our unit had a great patio overlooking a gorgeous backyard and creek. We were also given keys to the garage to store our bikes. And Frank’s garage was like nothing I’ve ever seen—the ultimate man cave.
Frank invited us to join him for an evening ride and we gladly accepted. We headed north toward Mason. Within a short time, we were in cycling paradise—smooth roads, rolling hills and beautiful Texas scenery. While we rode, Frank filled us in on the history of the area—most notably, its strong German influences. He also boasted that Fredericksburg lays claim to the only American Indian peace treaty (with the Comanche Indians) not broken in the state.
After the ride, Larry and I enjoyed a relaxing dinner on the back porch back at our B & B. Dinner included salad, bread, Manchego cheese, Chorizo, cheese ravioli, and Cabernet–Syrah from nearby Becker Vineyards. It was the perfect finish to our first day in the Hill Country.
Ready for an evening ride with Frank
Kristin and Larry at Cyclismo B & B
Post-ride dinner on the porch