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There was rain in the forecast for Friday afternoon. It's been sunny for weeks and I was a little surprised that the morning started out so grey. Even though the skies looked like rain I thought it would hold off. When I set out from San Saba the temperature was already in the high 50's. There was lots of ups and downs on Highway 190 but mostly up in the morning. The road was still in good shape as I made my way through the hill country passed many farms into Lometa. This is an old western town on an active rail line. I stopped at Dottie's Diner for an early lunch. The place has recently been taken over by sisters who were very welcoming. Michelle let me bring in my batteries to charge. I had some nice chats over lunch and coffee. I also met Terri and Shane from DH Land Co. They were fun, outgoing and enthusiastic.

I continued on Highway 190 for another 18 miles. There was a terrific downhill into Lampasas. Since I wanted to take a short break, I parked next to an outlet at a convenience store to charge up. It didn't take long and I was back on the road this time taking Highway 281. The road took a turn for the worse and I was riding into a headwind - a strong headwind. I saw more Hummers on this road than I've seen in a year. Hummers? I thought Hummers were out. The shoulder on Highway 281 was a real disappointment. It was wide enough but had such a steep slope off the road that I couldn't use it. Luckily the road also had 2 lanes and there was enough room for traffic to go around me. I have a light on my helmet and the back of the trike. With an American flag flying high I always feel visible but sometimes I worry about people on cell phones or texting. I kept moving my head back and forth if someone drove in my lane to encourage them to go around sooner. It seemed to work too. Eventually the shoulder widened and I could relax. The road went up and up and up for 17 miles. It was a gradually 1-2% never ending climb. I felt a few drops of rain too. Finally, just before Burnet I got to reclaim some of that elevation.

Burnet, pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, is a dog of a town. I don't think I have ever checked out so many skanky motels. Each motel was shockingly worse than the next. One had mattresses leaning against the outside walls. The only rooms left at any of them were smoking rooms. I kept going and made it to a Best Western which I usually avoid because of price. Here too, all that was left was a smoking room for $86. This is another reason I like to get to town by 3:30.

I've been in rural Texas for far too long. Tomorrow I'll be in Austin and I can't wait to be back in civilization. I've secured a Warm Showers host to stay with and I'm looking forward to meeting Walt as well.

San Saba to Burnet, TX

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Colorado River

Lometa live auction.

Hill country view.

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