Sunday, September 7, 2008

Riding with those darned Love-Bugs!!

A friend and I cooked dinner together last evening and at nearly the same instant, we said to each other, "Let's take a ride tomorrow morning!" The weather has been glorious ever since Gustav pushed north through Louisiana and parts north, dragging cooler, drier air into Texas in its wake.

I needed to get a photo of Sam Houston for one of the AMA Grand Tours, so we agreed to meet at the Chevron/McDonalds at League Line Road in Conroe, have breakfast and then ride the few miles north up I-45 to get the photo before getting off the interstate and cruising around on some pretty secondary roads.

Going up Highway 19, I realized I would be able to fulfill my long-time desire to ride onto the now-bypassed bridge over the Trinity for a photo. The bridge and roadway have been beautifully maintained and preserved, and I thought it would be cool to take a photo. This section of the Trinity River is calm and sluggish, perfect conditions for water birds to feed along the shoreline, and there were many egrets and heron doing just that.

Our route took us on up to the town of Trinity, then onto highway 94 toward Groveton. FM-355 south to FM-356 are both wonderfully pleasant riding roads, leading us to Onalaska. We crossed inlets of Lake Livingston several times along the way.

We bypassed over to FM-3277 to stay closer to the lake shore before dipping along the southern edge of the lake over to Coldspring. As small as this town is, it is the county seat, complete with big courthouse set on a square, so we rode around the square, before stopping to regroup and decide if it was time for lunch. There isn't a whole lot in the center of town, but just as we started back onto US-150 east, My friend spotted a local restaurant set right across the street from the church...which was just starting to let out.

We did U-turns, rode back to the restaurant and backed into a spot, where I took a photo of my bike, which was encrusted with love bugs. So was my visor. Yuck! Not very appetizing, just before lunch, but I knew that if I didn't take a minute right then to clean it, I would most likely forget and ride off after lunch, and still be half-blinded by the carnage.

My friend noticed it first...the sign in front of the restaurant, declaring that Elvis was there last night, entertaining the diners. Well, darn!!

Home-style cooking, buffet-style! Wow! Good food!

Now, at lunch, I mentioned that a new Harley dealership opened in Kingwood, just a stone's throw from where he lives. He had no idea!! So on the way home, heading south on US-59, we took the exit before his usual exit, so that we could scout it out. And there it was, bigger than life, and looking brand-spanking new! Since my friend rides a Harley, this sure will be convenient for him!

We parted company, I rode home to the south side of the city, and before getting to the house, got gas. I took one last photo of the now-totally-gross front fairing of my FZ! As soon as I got home, I took off my riding gear and got to work with a bucket and sponge. Even gave her a wax job afterward.