Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ride For Mental Health

Last Tuesday, I set out from my house on a mental health ride.  I sometimes feel the need to be a nomad.  I told Bebe I was going to be gone for a few days and she said she thought that would be a good idea.  So, I loaded up my Wing with enough clothes to last for four relatively clean days of riding and possibly a few more if I bought some perfumed body spray.  I left the Valley after the sun was up and headed north and west on the back roads through Raymondville, San Manuel, the Falfurias check-point, and into downtown Falfurias where I stopped for lunch.  The sun was already set on high and had no clouds to interfere.  I used the last of my iced tea to wet down my bandana before heading for Hebronville.  I stopped at the Dairy Queen there and bought a large vanilla cone to cool down my core.  Then it was fifty or so miles of nothing but ranch land to the town of Freer, Texas (Home of the Rattlesnake Roundup).  I gassed up at the Valero and bought a bottle of cold water.  I took two Excedrine and poured the last of my water over my tea stained bandana and headed north to Jourdanton, Texas.  There I found a large pecan tree and the only shade in the entire town.  I parked and found a number of native pecans on the ground.  After I ate as many as I could crack with my hands, I called Bebe and told her I was still alive.  She was thrilled.  I was about half way to my first days goal.  I geared up and made my way north on state hwy. 16 to the outskirts of town where I picked up the northwest hwy. through Devine, Texas and on into Hondo, Texas.  After another Dairy Queen stop for more iced tea, I continued west on state hwy. 90 through Sabinal, D'Hanis, Knippa, and into Uvalde, Texas.  I got gasoline at the H.E.B. Supermarket and headed west once again.  Only six more miles to go.  Just before I got to the Nueces (Pecan) River I turned in at the ranchito where my little 90 year old mother lives.  The trip meter read 351 miles and I had been on the road for eight hours.  I had a great visit with my mom and left the next day at 11:00 A.M.  I stopped at the Lost Maples Cafe for lunch and then road north and west through the hill country to Lost Maples State Park to look for some fall color.  The ranger there said they had some last week, but the cold front came through and blew most of it away.  He said it would be good again in another two weeks.  I continued north for a while to highway 39 where I turned east and went through Hunt, Texas and rode beside the Guadalupe river into Kerrville, Texas.  I turned north again and made it to Fredricksburg, Texas and tied my motorized steed up at the cheapest motel I could find.  The Patel's were very happy to see me.
This is a picture of a low water crossing on the Blanco river.  It came later in the trip, but I am confused by the new photo download process on Blogger so it got put in here.  So, I left Fredricksburg after a hearty breakfast at the German Bakery downtown.  A cold front moved in during the evening hours and dropped the temperature significantly.  I soaked my bandana in iced water during the night anticipating another hot ride, but I put it in a plastic bag for possible use later.  I layered my shirts and used my rain jacket as a windbreaker and headed for Luckenbach, Texas.  Willy, Waylon and friends were not there.  Probably a little early for them.  I stopped to take some pictures and get a third cup of coffee.

The Luckenbach Post Office and Dance hall have been around since the late 1880's.  It has now become a world famous attraction.  More later on Luckenbach.
I talked the Post Master into taking my picture while the bartender made some fresh coffee.  Then it was on to Blanco, Texas and more beautiful scenery on the backroads of the Hill country.  The river picture above was on this leg of my trip.  After a stop for lunch in Dripping Springs, Texas I headed south and east in the direction of home.  I stopped in Cuero, Texas (Home of the Chupacabra) and visited with another of the Patels.  When I awoke on Friday it was 40 degrees outside and I was forced to put on a couple of shirts I wore earlier during the week.  I forgot to get the perfumed deodorant spray.  The day was a Chamber of Commerce dream.  I rode with the north wind at my back all the way home.  I arrived home at 1:00 P.M. Friday and was able to shower and put my clothes in the hamper before Bebe and the grandkids arrived.  It was a reunion worthy of a full length movie.  I'm getting ready to clean up the bike and plan my next adventure.  Hope you have a glorious weekend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Almost Election Time.

Here are our two U. S. Representatives from the Valley.  Solomon Ortiz of Raymondville on the left, and Ruben Hinojosa of Mercedes on the right.  Today Solomon Ortiz makes a rare appearance in Brownsville along with Bill Clinton to try and bolster his chances for re-election.  These two have become rich at the expense of the tax payer and are both experts at pulling pork from the barrel in exchange for tax dollars to be given away in the Valley.

Currently Ortiz is under investigation for his extensive travel out of the country both on private paid and tax payer funded junkets.  If you check his bank account, you might wonder how he has managed to amass such wealth on a Representative's salary.

Neither of our smiling agents of representation has a reputation of answering any tough questions.  They refuse to show up at Town Hall meetings or give interviews to the press.  Ortiz's political adds have been the same stilted political jargon since he took office in 1983.  He learned as a sheriff in Nueces County that if you don't say anything there is less chance you will be convicted.

Not answering anything but pre-scripted questions in heavily controlled environments makes it hard for voters to know how little these two really know about anything but how to take a big cut of the pie for themselves.

Now they bring in the big guns for help.  The voters are more aware this year and are sick of politicians who won't listen.  They have finally learned that spending money you don't have can get you in trouble personally and in government.  They will soon learn that killing the goose that lays the golden egg (income producers who are severely over taxed) will destroy their income also.

Bill Clinton is due to speak in the Valley today on behalf of Ortiz.  "Slick Willy" didn't get that name for his ability to conduct business in a moral and above board manner.  He was impeached, but the Senate couldn't find enough good men and women on either side of the aisle to do what needed to be done.  Now the master of stealing the people's money is coming to the Valley to rally the troops to vote for another politician who is an expert already.  I hope people will not turn out to watch this phony spectacle.

Let's get rid of this ilk.  Your political affiliation is less important than getting our country back on the right track.  Vote to get rid of those who got us into this mess.   

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The leaves of life.

Twisting leaf in wind.
Green, it moves with limb and twig
youth has strength to spare.

Twisting leaf in wind.
Red, it leaves its lofty perch
color to be seen.

Twisting leaf in wind.
Brown, it’s blown from place to place
no one knows it’s there.

Dennis Price

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
  - Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Last week, Bebe and I drove through the Wild Horse desert and pushed our little SUV through major cities and country towns to arrive, as darkness fell, in my home state,  Mississippi.  We called my sister on the way and told her we were coming.  She was happy we waited so she wouldn't have to go to a lot of trouble preparing for our arrival.  We arrived to find her standing at the stove preparing a traveler's meal.  This week we'll try and get back on the program again.

We traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoyed the scenery of a sparser, but recovering, post Katrina  area.  The shrimp Po-Boys were as delicious as any I ever remember.  The light crude that leaked into the gulf didn't seem to affect the flavor in the least.

 We met with some of Bebe's cousins who own a river camp and rode on their pontoon boat into the beautiful backwaters of the Pascagoola river.  The weather was beautiful and the gators were enjoying the sunshine.  The picture shows house boats lining the bank of Sumrall bayou.  Every stop included seeking out more food.  A family reunion on Saturday provided more opportunities to eat.

After our meal on Saturday, we loaded the SUV and headed west once again.  We drove for four hours and stopped at the home of some old friends in central Louisiana for, you guessed it, more food and fellowship.  After a long evening of talking we fell into bed to grab a few winks before pushing on toward the tip of Texas.

The weather for the entire trip was outstanding.  We followed the familiar roads back and arrived as darkness was falling on the valley.  Thanks to all the family and friends who made the trip a memorable experience.

If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.
  - Jay Leno

Monday, October 11, 2010

They just keep pressing the issue.

This is not a picture in reverse.  Note the wedding rings on the left hands.  Note the left hands over the lung.  I guess they did it this way in Community Organizer School.

They KNOW very well what they are doing and with their arrogance they believe most are too stupid to even notice it ....

Pretending to be the President of the United States and the First Lady.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ah! Today wild thoughts took my mind.

Ideas blown by gusty breezes
Slipped into consciousness.

Towering trees in some virgin forest long past.
A crystal stream.
Wild geese set against a gray winter’s sky.

A log cabin.
A warm stone fireplace.
A flannel shirt.
A friendly dog.
A need to hunt.

A good hot cup of morning coffee.
A biscuit.

It is crisp October air that brings them on,
So strong I almost let them take me where they will.

Dennis Price