After 35 years in the information technology business, I have learned that not much happens in the IT world between Christmas and New Years. Sure, help desk and NOC’s have to stay open and servers still crash, but for the most part, not many IT departments plan major expansions, cutovers, or purchases in the week after Christmas. Which makes it a great time for a vacation.
One of my goals for 2020 was to ride my motorcycle more than I had in the past couple of years. We accomplished that goal, but we decided to add one more week of riding to the mix. And where is a good place to ride in the winter that is nearby? Texas, of course.
So Kay and I loaded our BMW motorcycles in the back of my Chevy Silverado and headed south. First stop was lunch in Fort Worth, and then head for the Texas Hill Country.
We never take a direct route and avoid Interstate highways whenever possible. Rather than take I-35 south to Fort Worth, we meandered down Highway 77, only using I-35 to cross the Red River before jumping on other state highways to get to Fort Worth.
Leaving Fort Worth we headed southwest towards the hill country. Our original plan was to stay in Fredericksburg, but driving through the downtown tourism district we decided it was WAY too crowded, especially during a pandemic. The streets and sidewalks were jam-pack, and many people were not wearing masks. The few remaining hotel rooms were twice as expensive as nearby Kerrville, so we decided to drive 20 miles south and explore the home of the Mooney airplane. I had visited Kerrville about 20 years ago in my Cessna twin and remembered it as a nice town. We were not disappointed on this trip.
Bankersmith TX – Population Zero
Like normal, we didn’t have any firm plans for a ride. No routes. I had a general idea of where we wanted to ride for the day. We just jumped on the bikes, founds some side roads, used my Garmin GPS as reference and picked our way north out of Kerrville towards Fredericksburg – and stumbled on a cool little place called Bankersmith.
Luckenbach TX with Waylon, Willie and the Boys
We hopped back onto the two lane blacktop and rode about 20 miles further and came to the well-known small town of Luckenbach, made famous by the song. It was much more well-known and busier than Bankersmith and had a population of three. Kay and I had been to Luckenbach before an enjoyed the music, but the band this day was not very good so we only stayed about a half hour before leaving.
Day 2 in Kerrville
Our second day in Kerrville started out again with a morning run and a tour of Kerrville. Kay discovered that master jeweler James Avery was from Kerrville, and his main home store and production facilities were nearby, so we stopped there so she could look around. Afterwards we took a loop west of Kerrville along the Guadalupe River.
East to Corpus Christi
Cold winter weather was heading to the Texas hill country, so we loaded the motorcycles in my truck and headed for the Gulf Coast and warmer weather in Corpus Christi.
I spent an hour watching huge ocean-going ships move in and out of the port of Corpus Christi.
New Braunfels and Gruene
Rather than spend another night along the Gulf, we instead drove to New Braunfels and spent the next day exploring the area southeast of Austin. We were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the cool little town of Gruene.
Austin to visit family
Our next stop was in Austin and then Fort Worth to visit family.