“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown”
Back in April of 2015 we made the two day trek, most of which was on the most boring piece of interstate in the entire United States, to attend the Moto GP race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
After all the race hoopla, we decided to spend a few days riding in the Hill Country and checking out the scenery and some back country dirt roads, and the Hill Country didn’t disappoint. Lots of solitude, lots of water crossings, and lots of cows. Most of the dirt roads went through cattle grazing land, public use of course, but you always had to be on the look out of cows crossing the road!
And let’s not forget about the great curvy roads like the Three Sisters, and small “ma and pa” barbecue joints that dot the Texas countryside.
I decided to post this in sections and try to break it down by which route we took each day. It’s been almost two years since this trip and my memory is a little fuzzy of some the details, but this trip was worth a few blog posts to be sure.
Canyon Lake Dam to Junction
We left Austin on Monday morning and stopped at a Cracker Barrel on l-35 near Buda for breakfast and took back roads to get to Canyon Lake, but since it’s been so long, I’ll be dammed if I can remember which roads we took, though I do remember a small rest area on one road that had chickens running around in the parking lot.
So with that said, I’ll start off from Canyon Lake Dam. It’s a nice little stop on the way out to the twisties that has a little park on the water and lets you walk across the top of the dam.
From Canyon Lake, we took TX-46 W to TX-16N into Bandera. By then, we were starving and decided to find somewhere to eat. We drove down Main Street and saw a sign that said “Busbee’s Barbecue. As seen on the History Channel”.
Okay. Why not?
Turns out there was a reason why it was on tv. It was pretty good! But I don’t think there’s been very many slow-smoked pork butts I’ve met and didn’t like. Earl had the ribs and brisket, I had pork and sausage. We sampled the lot and were on our way with full, happy bellies.
After lunch, we continued on TX-16N on to Medina, then turned westward on to Ranch Road 337. It’s a beautiful stretch of road that winds through mountains. It almost reminded me of roads in western North Carolina. The scenery is different, but no less beautiful.
Ranch Road 337 takes you through Leakey, which is the pit stop for riding the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters are made up by Ranch Roads 335, 336, and 337. Our plan was to ride 337, over to 335, then North to head towards Junction, where we were staying for the next few nights. Somewhere, somehow, we drove straight past the turn off for RR 335, and stayed on Hwy 55, till we got to Rocksprings. That wasn’t a terrible road either, just not the right one.
So we gassed-up and re-routed. From Rocksprings, we headed North to Hwy 41, and went westward towards RR 336 instead.
It’s a warm, cozy feeling to see a sign like this:
And note the buzzard flying around in the picture.
Are we really sure we want to go this way?
It really wasn’t that bad. It was a fun, scenic country road. There was even a water crossing, no water on it at the time. Just watch for cows!
After that fun little detour, we rode North on Hwy 55 again, then onto Hwy 377 into Junction, where we checked in to the motel for the night. It was a fun day on the road, but an even bigger adventure awaited us the following day.