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Bandera, Texas
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Posted 2009-06-01 8:41 PM (#35808)
Subject: Bandera, Texas


Posts: 3006
San Antonio, TX
On Friday night (May29, 2009) my co-worker-riders called and wanted to ride Saturday Morning. All we could settle on is let's get started early and head to Bandera. We met for breakfast near 1604 and Bandera Road and took off toward Bandera as soon as we were done.

We walked around downtown for a while. It is a nice place but the shops do not open till 10 AM. Nothing to do so I pointed to the South of town and said, "What's that way?". The reply was "I don't know let's find out."

We headed South on Hwy 173 for about quarter mile past Hwy 16 and I saw a sign to Hill Country State Park 10 Miles. So we turned right on Ranch Road 1077. It was a nice for two lane country road. Then the road narrows. Then the pavement ends. I stopped and asked if they wanted to continue. They said yes so off we went.

As soon as we got to the State Park one of the riders spotted a very large wild turkey. It was a very nice rustic park with very little improvements to the land. We proceeded to the park headquarters. While talking to the cute blond park ranger, we found out that after a few more miles of dirt road plus a few cattle guard crossings we could be in Tarpley, TX.

So we went back outside and watched a green bodied Humming Bird work its trade on some local flowers then saddled up for a few more miles of dirt road at 20 miles per hour or less.

We got back to pavement just before Ranch Road 462 and headed North to Tarpley, TX. I turned right on Ranch Road 470, toward Bandera and looked back and saw the rider behind me with his left arm out. I thought that he wanted me to go left. I pulled off in Tarpley and we discussed directions. He was just pointing at the buildings in Tarpley. "I thought you wanted to go to Utopia, TX." The other rider said "Let's ride to Utopia!" Off we went.

None of us have ever been down Ranch Road 470 from Tarpley to Utopia. Wow, what a ride. It is a great road, scenic landscape, twistys, sweepers, hills and valleys. From there we went North on Ranch Road 187. This road is in a broad flat valley with some nice sweepers. Near Vanderpool we turned right on Ranch Road 337 and headed back towards Bandera. Just like RR 470 this road was a blast. I would recommend the speed limit since a County Constable lives on and works speed here.

About two miles down the road I saw something in the road but it did not register as a threat. It was like a heat shimmer. Then it turned into a rope and then, SNAKE! It was shorter then a lane is wide so I make it out to be eight to ten feet long. Its head was a few inches off of the pavement bobbing from side to side as it made its way across the road. At that point going 65 mph I had no choice but to go over it. The rider behind me went over it as well while the third rider missed it. The rider behind me said that the snake was not distracted by me hitting it. We did not stop to give it mouth to mouth.

Now I have a signal for Snake in the road. I lift both feet off of the floor boards and yell an expletive.

Just before we got to Medina we turned off at Bikers Paradise. The place is brand new and still being built. It is an outside gathering area for bikers. Covered parking for the bikes, a deck to watch traffic on the road, some simple games to play and restrooms. The owner was very nice and you can tell he is putting his own sweat and labor into the place. He gave us some bottled water and we put some money in the tip jar. He told us to see a friend of his that has a similar place in Pipe Creek called "Hole in the wall"

From there we went back to Bandera for some shopping now that the stores were open. Next we rode to Pipe Creek to meet Ed Longhurst at the Hole in the Wall - Bike Stop. We parked under a shade tree. I was surprised that the half a dozen people there got up to greet us. Ed came over told me he just watched show about the Vision on the Speed channel that morning. He asked if I would pull over by the building so they could get a picture of the Vision. I said sure. I gave them a quick demo since it was the first Vision he had seen and pulled over for the photo.

The Hole in the Wall is a really nice place to take a break from riding. They have cold drinks for sale and nice riding gear, leather goods, shirts, patches and other things that a wandering biker might need or want.

Someone pointed to a sign on the side of the building that had been modified by a Victory owner. It was your typical "Harley Parking" sign in orange and black but someone had taped over the word Harley with a hand written word on paper "Victory". I was surprised to see it. It really made me feel welcome.

We then went back to San Antonio. Downtown had a big party going on to celebrate the opening of the North end of the San Antonio River to boat traffic. They put in two really little locks side by side to lift the barges nine feet to get to the upper part of the river. If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it to be true. It is like putting locks on a drainage ditch.

Everyone wants to head out to Utopia as soon as we can. Those hills were a blast!

Ride Safe!


(Victory Parking.jpg)

Attachments HoleInTheWallPipeCreek.jpg (56KB - 2 downloads)
Attachments Victory Parking.jpg (50KB - 1 downloads)
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