April 2, 2011
Stonewall is just down the road from Fredericksburg so a stop there is "mandatory" (if you are traveling with women).
Christine and DorothyBesides being a historical town, it has many antique shops and other interesting stores.
You know you are in Texas when--deer antlers and cowhide are art and
you can buy a bluebonnet Christmas tree.
Besides shopping, we visited more places than we have space to talk about, but the above Vereins Kirche was an interesting stop. It was a replica of an 1847 church for all denominations, school, and community hall. Making the museum even more interesting was the docent.
This gentleman revealed he was 88 yrs old. He served in the Navy during WWII and told us of his adventures. He also knew almost everything to know about the museum contents, the town history, and the first settlers which were from Germany. He also told of his grandfather and some other individuals and their part in the Civil War. If you are in Fredericksburg for just a short time, skip the antique stores and visit with this gentleman. You will not regret it.
Got a tree that you just don't know what to do with?
But lest I forget, we were there for the Pedal Power Wildflower Ride. Anyone who has read any of the current year rides knows that I have lamented our lack of rain, and therefore our lack of wildflowers to date this spring. That our of the way, we were there for a fun ride.
Christine Jones and Dorothy Langdon's pre-ride picture. (Christine blocked me from posting any post-ride pictures).
Lucy Jochum, Debbie Yohman, and Rita Grafton.
Approximately four hundred riders registered this year, down a little from some of the previous years. Some would ride the 23, 36, or 60 mile route. Rita, Brian, Dorothy, Christine, and I were going on the 60 mile route. However, as will be evident, right after the first rest stop, Rita picked up her pace while the rest of us plodded along.
Gatorade, and I forgot what else.
Right after the gate where the two in front of Brian are, the hill started to become interesting. One would have to enlarge the picture, but the two riders in the upper clearing are already pushing their bikes up. After that little clearing, the road continues to the right to the top of the hill. At one point as I was struggling, I glanced at my Garmin, and it was indicating 13% grade. What flashed through my mind was, "Jerry is right. It is not helpful to know what the grade is." It did not encourage me to continue watching to see how much more steep the grade could become. I was aware that I was gasping for breath which served to alert people pushing their bikes that someone was approaching from behind. As I inched past one lady walking her bike, she said, "Hey, you are not going much faster than me." Soon thereafter I noticed that I was rolling faster and glanced down--the incline was only 9%. So Jerry, while knowing the grade sometimes is depressing, other times it can be a source of encouragement.
There were more hills, of course, (it is The Hill Country, after all) and a particularly interesting hill before the terrain levels out some. While going down a decline one is faced with a little water running over a low water crossing, so one naturally slows down. Immediately after, one has to make a 90 degree left turn onto another road while being mindful of traffic. The road rises sharply, and one doesn't start it with any momentum. Yes, Jerry, I peeked. 11%.
After that excitement, one could just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.