Texas Hill Country: Part Two

” Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

-T. S. Eliot 

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I remember Tuesday morning heading out of Junction, it was cold and cloudy with the hope of clearing and warmth. We had breakfast at the cafe near the motel and loaded up for a day of back road adventures.

Before we left home, we had ordered a book online from a man named Richard Gibbens called “Hill Country Adventure”.  This guy spent a lot of hours riding in the Hill Country and making maps and routes for the motorcycle adventure tourist, and if you ever consider wandering off the beaten path out that way, I highly recommend ordering a copy. ( I’ll add a link at the end of this post)*

We had decided the night before that we were going to combine two different routes from the book into one day’s ride. We only had two days to follow some of the routes before heading eastward to see a friend in Horseshoe Bay.

Ride To Stonehenge II

We took Farm Road 2169 out of Junction. Then CR 410 east to CR 412 south/east.

This took us through heavily wooded, grazing land and also gave us our first encounter with gates. These gates are for keeping property owners critters from running off. The roads are public, but the land on either side of the road is owned by ranchers. It’s also interesting because the live stock runs freely, out into the road if they feel like it. So it’s not a good idea to go tearing through these areas at high speed. Those big horn sheep were out in the road and were in the process of running away when I snapped their picture.

On first approaching the gate, I felt like I was doing something wrong, going somewhere I wasn’t supposed to. But after seeing them a few times, it became no big deal.

When we turned off onto CR 412 it followed along a creek for a little ways and made for nice scenery.

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What’s really cool about the Hill Country is erosion from wind and water has made some neat geographic features on the landscape. Not as dramatic as the Grand Canyon, but it’s still neat to look at and try to figure out just how it was formed.

From CR 412 we went east on CR 470, then south on  Blue Mountain Road (CR 420) until we got back to pavement on RR 479. Even the paved roads out here offer up nothing less than an eye-catching view.

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Back on the dirt now, we took CR 443 South to Cr 442 southeast,then CR742 south to HWY 290.

And goats.

Sorry, they were too cute not to share!

Again, we were riding through grazing land so there was a lot of critters to see.

These guys though, I had to stop, get off the bike and say “Hello”and they seemed as equally happy to see us, but I think they may have been hoping for a snack.

We took Hwy 27 southeast into Ingram and from there it gets tricky. Somewhere, we made a wrong turn and completely missed the turn off to see Stonehenge II. It’s a replica of the original Stonehenge in England and we thought it would be a nice spot to sight-see, but we didn’t get to see it that day. I guess we’ll have to ride this route again someday and look for it.

We were far from disappointed with the route though, it was a nice ride.

We found a spot for a pit stop in Ingram and pulled the book out to figure out where to go next.

From Ingram we took Hwy 41 west and heading back towards Leakey and the Three Twisted Sisters.

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Dual Sport Sisters

The “Dual Sport Sisters” are three dual sport roads that connect with the Three Twisted Sisters.

Try saying that 3 times fast.

We headed west on Hwy 41 back to RR 336 and headed south towards Leakey.

 

By this time, the sun was coming out and our bellies were growling.

We had passed by a place called Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop the day before and remembered they had a cafe. So we stopped in for a break and some tasty burgers for lunch. They had a nice little patio out back to sit and eat, and a shop to buy t-shirts and souvenirs.

After lunch, we headed westward on RR 337.

Then we headed north on RR 335 to Bullhead Road, one of the dual sport roads.

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It’s a nice twisty dirt road through farm land. I didn’t see as many critters on these roads as I had in the morning, but this was a more scenic drive.

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This was a really cool spot. You can’t really tell how tall this rock face is without the bike in front of it.  As cool as it is, I would imagine during periods of heavy rain this road would be impassable right here.

We continued on Bullhead Road until it dumps you back out onto RR 336.

We headed north to Hwy 41, then went west to Hackberry Road and traveled south.

Hackberry Road is another dual sport sister. The third being Kent Creek Ranch Road that we decided to skip due to it being considered a class 3 (the previous roads we took were class 2). We weren’t sure how that would be riding two-up.

I’m sure if Earl didn’t have me on the back that would have been no problem for him, but an already heavy beast of a motorcycle coupled with the weight of two people is a horrible idea on unfamiliar billy-goat trails.

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Hackberry Road was another twisty scenic dirt road, but this one has it’s fair share of water crossings.

See that green growth in the picture above?

That is algae.

And that makes some of these concrete water crossings slicker than whale shit. Not too much concern for people with 4 wheels, but on a bike it can get a little hairy.

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After a few water crossings, farms, and a brief ride along Hackberry Creek, we were back on RR 335 and heading north to Hwy 41 then turned towards the north on Hwy 377.

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Hwy 377 is a nice twisty road as well.

That took us into Junction and back to the motel for hot showers and ice cold cocktails.

And I have to mention we had dinner at Lum’s BBQ in Junction that night. It’s awesome barbecue inside of a gas station and shouldn’t be missed. The best food in Junction hands down.

We still had one more day to ride the Hill Country before heading east.

 

*Hill Country Adventure by Richard Gibbens

 

 

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