Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bosque Tour de Norway

Clifton, Texas
May, 2014
We have found another winner of a ride. This was Clifton's 3rd annual tour but we just discovered it this year. First things first, where is Clifton? Turns out it is near Waco. Next: Bosque? Means a cluster or group of trees, Spanish for woodlands. Tour de Norway? Clifton was settled by Norwegian immigrants in the mid-19th century. In 1997, the Texas Legislature officially designated Clifton as the Norwegian Capital of Texas. Hence, Tour de Norway featuring some of the churches of the period and old houses along the routes.
Of course we explored the area but first we will feature the ride.
 Over 200 riders lined up for either a 20, 40, 60, or 80 mile ride. Christine, still recovering from her broken arm, chose the 20 mile ride. I, being old and out of shape, chose the 40 mile route. (Christine will soon be recovered and soon I will get into shape so fixing two out of three of our problems--not bad).
 The start of the ride was not too bad. Good roads, mostly flat terrain, just chilly enough to boast your energy, and good company to ride with. In the Texas jersey is Mark (Cowboy) whom we see frequently on the tours.
 The first rest stop features Our Saviors Lutheran Church. The church was organized in 1869 by the Norwegian settlers. Construction was completed in 1885. 
The cemetery on the church property serves as the burial site for a number of Norwegian settlers, including Cleng Peerson, considered to be the "father" of Norwegian immigration to the U.S.
The 40 mile route consisted of a series of rollers. I don't think any were over 6% grade, although I heard that the 80 mile route had some tough 17-20% hills. Mr. Out of Shape will stick to the 6%'ers for now.  
 Most of the down hills were gentle also.
 Anyone interested in country living in a nice area? This house and property are for sale.
 I noticed people stopping ahead but didn't spot a rest stop. The attraction was St. Olaf Kirke (the Rock Church). More about this church in our next post.
 Across the road from the church were these Llamas. They were used to people stopping to visit the church so were quite tame.
 Nice country side and still the gentle rollers.

 At rest stop 3, Mark and I parted ways. He was going to do the 80 ride so I told him I would see him later.
 This was one of the 40 mile route best downhill's. And as one may discern from the background, it was a good long downhill.
 Scenery from the last leg.
 The little dot in front was a guy on a recumbent. To pass the time, he and I played tag. I would pass him on the inclines, and he would pass me on the declines. He was friendly, so we would converse as we passed each other.  
 A nice patch of Mexican Hat wildflowers on the wayside. I did not see one blue bonnet on the whole ride.
 My welcome home "crowd". Christine had long finished her ride and was able to finish reading her book by the time I arrived.
The finish, but hopefully not the last time. The Tour de Norway is another keeper in the tour line up. Looking forward to a return trip. 

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