Sunday, February 20, 2011

U-Haul to U-Ston (Houston)

My oldest son moved to Houston a couple of months ago, but only took a car full of stuff. So, he flew back to Tucson, we rented a u-haul truck, loaded up his household good and drove it to Houston, actually, Kingwood, TX on the north side of Houston. It's about 1100 miles door to door.

If you've read my blog entry about the Iron Butt Ride, you know that I hate driving through El Paso. You can't by-pass it to the south, because of Mexico being in the way. I knew I could go through Las Cruces and go around that way, but that is probably an extra 100 miles. After a bit of research, I found Transmountain Road, aka Route 375. According to Google, it is 5 miles and 10 minutes further. Friends, I will NEVER, drive I-10 through El Paso again!

This is a view looking east from a little rest area on Transmountain. Fort Bliss is out there. I have several scooter friends in the Las Cruces, El Paso areas and wish we would have had time to seen them. We re-entered I-10 at N Americas Ave and resumed our eastward trek.
Stopped at an interesting Rest Area. This is a cool mural on the wall. Our plan was to drive as far as Ozona, TX (about 600 miles) and drive the rest of the way the 2nd day. 25-30 miles east of Fort Stockton, we got a blowout. We called U-haul and they sent a tire guy from Ozona (75 miles away) to come help. After a 3 hour delay, setting along side I-10 in the dark, we arrived at our hotel around 1130pm.
Thanks to Yelp!, I located the Cafe' Next Door and we had a very tasty breakfast for exceptionally good prices. ($4 for my 3-eggs ham and cheese omelet with taters and toast.)
We stopped for fuel and more coffee in the town of Junction. Fueled up next door to Coopers. I just had to take a picture of their sign. If I have to explain to you why it's funny, you shouldn't be hearing it, so please don't ask.
My son was born in San Antonio, but hasn't been there since he was 2 or 3 years old, so we decided to take some extra time and sightsee a bit. Naturally, we stopped at the Alamo.
We took a boat along the Riverwalk.

Stopped for lunch at Casa Rio, the oldest restaurant on the Riverwalk. Foursquare folks gave it mixed reviews, but we decided to try it as much for it's locale as for the food. We weren't disappointed. The food was super, prices were very good and so was the service.

The worst part of San Antonio is driving the Texas Hill Country and not having a scooter. I didn't ride when we lived there, but I can see how there are many great rides there.
Here is the street where my son lives. After living in Arizona for a few years, seeing trees and water are quite the treat. I know it's humid, but it sure is pretty. We took a few back roads in the little bit of time I was there, but it sure looks like there are some good riding roads here as well. In town, not so much. The highways in Houston are a nightmare.
In the one full free day I was there, we decided to take a trip to La Porte, TX to see the San Jacinto Battleground. On the way, we saw a sign for the USS Texas museum and stopped there as well. I had never seen a REAL battleship before and had a blast.
Here's a view of the San Jacinto Memorial taken from the park area near the Texas. If you look carefully inside the globe, you can see the US and TX flag flying.
This is looking from the memorial, right back where the previous photo was taken. That globe and flag pole are are the end of the reflecting pool. You can see the Texas in the upper right hand corner.
This is me, enjoying my tour of the Texas. These are the aft turrets, each housing 2X14 inch guns. Because we were the only people on the ship, at the time, we got a "behind the scenes" tour and got to go behind many locked doors.

After our little excursion, we started home. We were feeling hungry and stopped at the "Crawfish Shack" for dinner. This is a fun place. All the table are outside with wood chip floors. I had a great time with Nathan and we both learned some fun stuff about Houston and Texas history.
I'm looking forward to my next trip to Houston

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remiss Resolutions

Okay, I have been a bad blogger and have not posted in 2 months. I have absolutely now excuse for the first month, although, I suppose I could try the old "Hey, it was the holiday season" ploy.
Nah, I'll just take responsibility for my lack of action.

Now, I do have a couple of good excuses for the second month. Here they are:

On the left is Lucius and on the right is Serenity. They are my grandtwins. My daughter and her husband moved in with my wife and I after finding out that they were having the twins. They were born on 1/12.

I expect that the picture above will be re-enacted multiple times over the coming years. Lucius shaking his fist and Serenity yawning at him. What do you think?

So, on to my 2011 scooter resolutions. Above is my current stable of scooters. The nearest is my newest bike, a SYM RV 250. I'm still getting used to it and have only put about 500 miles on it thus far. Behind that is the Genuine Stella. Just beyond that, partially covered is Iron Buddy.

Having added a 3rd scooter at the very end of 2010, I do not resolve to add another scooter to the current herd. I do love to ride so most of my resolutions will involve putting more miles on the scoots.

Today, 2/1, I went out and photographed the odometers of each bike. Above, Iron Buddy has 20,855 miles. I resolve to have more than 24k miles on I.B. by the end of the year.
I turned over 10k miles on the Stella on 1/12 and have added another 71 miles on her. I resolve to have 14.5k miles miles on her by 2011's end.
The '08 RV250 have a whopping 2,383 miles as of this morning. (I bought it with 1900 miles on the odo.) I resolve to have in excess of 7000 miles showing by the end of the year. I am, therefor, resolving to ride a minimum of (hmm, let's see carry the one, cross multiply, add the square root of pie..... ) 12,191 miles. That seem like a good distance to attempt.

Here's another pic of the RV250. They are pretty bikes. I'm getting 65mpg and have gotten it up to 80mph (indicated) with no difficulty at all. That gives me a 200 mile range and I can travel interstates without too much difficulty. All things considered, though, I still prefer my small wheeled scooters.

I also resolve to do my part to help this year's Sky Island Riders' rally to be our best yet. (It's only our second, so I'm not setting the bar too high.)

I further resolve to design and build a scooter theme rocking toy for the twins to ride when they are ready for it.

Ride on,