Darnedest thing happened yesterday (Sunday) morning....
There's this goofy bird that starts this incredibly beautiful warbling every morning about 20 minutes before dawn. I suppose I've become accustomed to it and subconsciouly look forward hearing it because I am NOT a morning person.... no numbers on my clock earlier than 9 a.m. BUT, I hear my bird every day... then usually just drift in and out of slumber as the rest of the chorale joins in. (The cardinals start next...)
I had really wanted to go for a run on Friday night, but the two other MGs (an MGB and a TF) I had lined up to run with us own sorta' wimpy humans who though ten p.m. was a bit late to go after we sat there waiting on one driver. Rats! But... the seed had been planted...
Ok. So it's 6 am. I'm awake. Dawn's coming. DONE! I'm outa' here! Grabbed Darlin's keys, slipped on yesterday's jeans and headed out the door after making sure I had a bit of cash in my pocket.... just in case. The idea was to go for a short run up into the hill country, then back around to an old US highway, and back home in time to stop into the little church down the street at eleven. No problem. Sixty miles max. Two hours, maybe less.
We took an interstate for as long as I could tolerate it, then I found the lane I was looking for (not even two-lane. just a "lane"). Darlin' was just hummin' right along at about 40 mph. It was sorta' chilly, in spite of the 100-degree days we've been having. The new day started getting lighter. It was overcast, but that would burn off soon, and since the Mexican rain forest smoke is gone, the sun would soon have its way with us.
I was about 15 miles from home.... smile plastered from one pointy ear to the other. There were white-tail deer in groups of five to ten here and there along the roadside. I stopped and talked to 'em. They just stared back. I was suprised that they didn't spook and take off in a fit. Oh, a couple of them did, but most just stood their grassy ground. After a minute or two I'd ease out on the clutch in second gear to pull away quietly and leave them to their morning grazing.
Then there was this " --| " sign with the words "Bulverde Community Center" underneath. Darlin' decided to see what it looked like and turned left. Now we're on a "serious" lane! Gotta' love it. More deer. All sorts of wildlife.... some of it a bit flat from Saturday night drivers... , lots of avian friends out there singing their stuff (ohhhh, the joys of a roadster with no radio!) ... The engine was doing it's little resonance thing that sounds sooo neat. Life is good. About 30 minutes later I wound up in a town that I thought was THE OTHER WAY! I don't know why I had ANY thought because I didn't know where Darlin' was headed in the first place.
Oh well... No problem. It was time to fill up the infamous coffee mug that I hauled to and from Alaska one year ago starting today (boy time flies!), and I had forgotten about getting petrol, too. [Keep in mind that my gas gauge is a red 2-gallon gas can.]
So, we stop for a few minutes for java and fuel. We can take the Luckenbach road from here, go to the little German town of Fredericksburg, find a 'no-calorie', 'fat-free' bakery and get some goodies to take to a friend's house at Rocky Creek for a bit of breakfast. Sounds good to me.... off we go. Now we're on roads that I used to drive weekly (I spent a lot of time and drank a lot of beer in Luckenbach until it got so bloody commercial!), and I looked forward to revisiting the vistas one enounters in the Texas Hill Country... vistas that I can still see in my mind's eye. This would be the first time to see them through Darlin's windscreen...
"What's all this STUFF?"
There are "ranches" everywhere. Yeah! Right! A three-acre ranch! Go try to get an ag-exemption on that when it takes eleven acres to graze one cow! It was rather disheartening. I came to what I used to refer to as the "great hill" whose cut at the top put miles of beautiful countryside just 'right there' in front of you. Whatamess! There were double-wides. There was a church. The whole side of an impressive hill had been pillaged. OK, tha'ts on "this side". I came to the pass expecting to see my vista. What happened here? What vista? Just more double wides. Enough of them and right up against the road so that the magnificence of the field of view was totally diminished ... Incredible. Sad.
Sorry Darlin'. It used to be gorgeous. We'll just have to find another one on another secret road on another day...
As I got farther away from the tentacular suffocation of San Antonio, things were back to normal. Ahhhh... Yep. There's "tiddy hill". That's the name the locals had given it. If you see it you'd understand. One friend even threatened to plant pink oleanders at the very top! Maybe he'll get around to really doing it one day.... At least the landmarks were back to normal. Too far away for folks to commute.... for the time being.
The bigger hills started rolling into smaller hills, with creeks scattered hither and yon... lotsa' fun dips! A very good "EEEEHah road"... At the T we turn left to go to Fredericksburg to the calorie-free bakery, then U-turn back 28 miles to Rocky Creek. Cruisin' along at around 60 mph I became aware of that neat tingling feeling on my neck that comes from longish hair blowin' in the wind at speed. (If necessary, borrow a wig! Every MGer should have this experience.)
Darlin's still purring right along real cocky-like. It's all HER fault. Blasted car never did steer properly. Has a mind of her own! We drove 120 miles to get 65 miles away from my driveway, and it looks like I won't be in the little church this morning. Or maybe I was already in The Bigger One!
By 10 a.m. it's already HOT and I need to try to adjust the clutch again. Darlin' thinks the smart thing to do is to hang out in Rocky Creek in the shade with a huge glass of iced tea until sundown, then head home. Go ahead, take bets! Did I make it back yesterday? Nah. Got too dark too fast. Don't get a chance every day to sleep on the single-MOST uncomfortable sofa in Texas! Critters on the highway. Go in the morning. Talk to some more deer. Talk to the old lady in the junk store in Blanco. (My mother would never have bought any of those excuses, either!)
Darlin's sittin' on the square in Blanco flirting with anybody who'll stop to look at her. In the two hours I was prowling through the junk stores, I heard at least 6 MG/LBC stories, including one about a Morris Minor sitting in a barn. I left a note on that guy's windshield!
And I bought this great old, old cast iron Boston Bull Terrier. I thought him rather British... weighs a ton. Found out he holds the big coffee mug pretty well when he's lying on his side. Maybe Lil' Darlin's got a new co-pilot.
I pulled in here about noon today (Monday). 'Quito was pretty aggravated and let me know. She's curled up under my feet now. I suppose Lil' Darlin' and I are forgiven. For the time being. Or until next time. She'd resent being a wheel chock anyway...
...and we never did find the "Bulverde Community Center." I forgot to look for it. But we saw a big herd of buffalo.