David Johnson's Travel Blog
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04/18  Release the Cows!
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Kickapoo Cavern

2014-06-13

tl;dr: More exotic critters. I didn't see Devil's Synchole. I didn't see Kickapoo Cavern.

It's just as well that I stopped when I did. After the church, the road was bordered by high fence for miles and miles, behind which emanated very un-American sounds. I peddled along Highway 41 for almost an hour before it even hinted at getting light out. I don't normally like biking at night, but this road is all but deserted, and there was moonlight.

I arrived at Garven Store, the only store for many many miles in any direction, before dawn hoping for coffee, but seeing instead that the store wouldn't open until 9 AM. I topped off my water and continued on.

Highway 41 continued to offer up glimpses of exotic critters.

I wanted to bike by Devil's Synchole, but it turns out it's behind locked gates. Imagine that. Oh well.

In Rocksprings I stopped at their tourist information center (for scheduled Devil's Synchole tours) to make sure my next leg would not be hampered by locked gates. I ended up being I interviewed by the local paper, The Texas Mohair Weekly. Apparently, my motley journey is considered news here, rivaling the recent incident where the police were called to a trailer home to deal with a rat snake, "but it was a big rat snake." Anyway, I guess I had better start saying nice things about Texas.

I continued down Ranch Road 674 waving at the Border Patrol trucks parked under shade trees. This road has so few cars that I find myself shocked when a ranch truck suddenly appears behind me waiting for me to get over. Nobody seemed bugged, though. I guess it's hard to be upset with the addlebrained fellow biking along in 90+ degrees on a dry, hilly, winding road with thirty miles in any direction to the nearest town. Apparently I am also on the Texas Pecos Trail, which is just a car route.

After leaving Rocksprings, the next town is Bracketville, some 60 miles distance across some remote area with no Verizon cell phone coverage at all. But half-way there is Kickapoo Cavern State Park, which requires reservations for the cave tours which are not held at a time that coincides with my own schedule. When I saw the "1 mile ahead" sign for the park, I was ecstatic. I was so ready for a break. Then, once inside the park, another sign declared "Visitor Center 3.5 miles" and I almost cried. The Visitor Center is actually "Headquarters" which I proceeded to bike by, because in every other park those two buildings are different. So add on another couple of miles before I returned to sweet air conditioning. Because there was very little to see without hiking shoes, I ate a late lunch, topped off my water, and hit the road again.

After leaving the park, Ranch Road 674 crossed into a county where pavement is made from recycled potholes. The road looks smooth, but I had to unlock my suspension to keep my hands from going numb.

An hour or so later I found a break in the high fences and made camp for the night. There are no mosquitoes to speak of, but the gnats are annoying, so I was forced to set up my tent.

Garven Store is closed


good morning Texas


whitetail (boring)


fallow deer


axis deer on wrong side of fence


skunk


jackrabbit


blackbuck


high fence sheep


can't visit Devil's Sinkhole


rhea


The Texas Mohair Weekly


today's catfish heads




hot


dry


remote


Stuart Bat Cave


high fence on both sides


feral blackbuck



contact me at le@liverworks.com
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