Friday, March 21, 2014

Lost Maples, Texas

 Pete loved this country driving.  There was always something to see. Cattle are his favorite, but horses, goats and of course another dog will boost his spirit too, but here, he got his first view of emu's... THAT, threw him.  He looked and whined.  Like "heck that's a big bird!"

 Leaving Bastrop, I had booked a couple of nights at a special campground, tucked into a canyon west of San Antonio called Lost Maples State Nature Area.  Sounded interesting and the location again put me into a natural setting and only a half days drive west.  This fit my parameters of trying to drive 200 miles or less per day in a casual sight seeing manner and end up at an area with it's own special beauty.  Plan also was to stay for 2 or 3 days at each location, to chill out and absorb what was there.

 Lost Maples SNA had great walking trails in rugged country and some that were more gentle.  Several streams ran together to form one of decent size that ran near the campground.  Serene setting, clear water and very quiet except for the sound of birds.. The canyon was an oasis for them and this was a place 'birders' will enjoy.  Their sounds created a very relaxing environment to say the least.

 I got a chance to chat with a senior couple traveling by bike, from St. Augustine, Florida to the Pacific/San Diego actually.  At least that was their hope. They were from New Hampshire and this was their 2nd attempt.  First attempt, they collided on the road with the result of her breaking her collar bone.  Trip ended!  So now, a few years later, they are trying again.
 There sure was a lot of effort for them every day, not only the strenuous effort peddling in this hill country, but often strong winds to contend with but also rain and time consuming setting up and breaking down of their campsite each night and morning.  Add to that personal issues and meals.  However they were smiling broad smiles and that is what's important.
 A surprise was to hear of the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum nearby.  Keep in mind, we are miles and miles from any large population center..  this is out in the country, where there are only 2 or 3 small towns of minimal population.  The draw here, was this was motorcycle country.  Riders commonly travel these roads for the shear enjoyment of the roads and the scenery.
 The owners, Australian by birth, had retired to a piece of land here and in their lives had collected a large and wonderful collection of motorcycles.  So, they built a building to store them in and so began the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum.  Of course, they had a few Harleys, but also Indians, Enfields, Nortons, BSA's, Triumps, Brough's a Ducati' and yes, even a CB 750 4 cylinder Honda (I had owned one way back and loved it... but also on display were a dozen more brands that I cannot remember at the moment.
All of them look to be in running condition. He did have a machine shop in the back of the building.
The wife also had a little restaurant set up serving Aussie dishes and some beverages.  I was surprised to see a half dozen patrons already inside, the morning I showed up but even more so, when I left, there was over a dozen folks there taking photos and chatting with the owners.  All 'Bike Talk', lively and animated.  A fun place!
 I had never seen a Brough but he had one on display.  Interesting that Lawrence of Arabia died on one.
 Many Indians, of varying years and models were on display. One, two and four cylinder models all in wonderful condition.

 The span of years was incredible too, which made it so interesting to view the changes in technology from early to later years.  Just look at this Head "Lamp" on this early BSA (Birmingham Sword and Arms) Company.  And...the fuel delivery system!
 OK, fun was had sitting on an old Harley with side car.  My parents dated on models like this.  Side shifters, wide handle bars, fun basic machines that pushed the envelope at the time.

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