By no means did I give a lesson in navigation yesterday. My decision to stay off the beaten track had many stops. Asking very friendly Texans for directions turned out to be a great way to meet people. It all so allowed me to avoid buying a map. I have not purchased a map since California. Relying on Google Maps and writing out notes in the morning. I store the notes in my clear dry bag which sits behind me. This method proves somewhat cumbersome. More stopping to get off the saddle and read my notes and have the odd Marlboro Light. The system works right now and I will adapt as I move.
I have been in Texas for ten days now and stuck to the listed highways. Connecting all these highways and interstates are Farm to Market roads or FMs. Yesterday morning was all FM. My notes: 71 E – 45 miles, Left Farm Mkt Rd 155 – 31 miles, Ranch Road 155 (1st Left, 3rd Right) 15 Miles, Right US 90 W Alt – 4 miles, Left Farm Mkt Rd 3283 to CO 125 Right CO 124 Left Farm Mkt 530 – 32 Miles…..the page continues for five other way points. CO means county road, which all so means dirt road. I have been waiting for some dirt road connections. It is not a trip until you have some mixed road surfaces.
The FMs however are perfect surfaces. Twisty farm country roads. Winding through small villages with populations of less than 500. Every town with a cemetery perfectly manicured on main street. I was very surprised by the landscape. Trees and rivers support these ranch lands. Much different than the lowlands south. Cattle are grazing and cowboys are riding their horses along side the roads. A friendly wave from the one of ranchers was perfectly timed. Bon Jovi’s, Wanted Dead or Alive started playing as I geared down to ride past them. Good laugh to myself and my eclectic playlists.
The ride from Bay City to Galveston was much more direct. Back on the highway system. I did encounter my first Bayou. From this part of the coast onwards these slow moving estuaries dot the road. I all so began to notice that all the houses are built on stilts. The entire first floor of the house consists of a garage and open space.
I rode into Galveston around 4:30. A beautiful old city. Grand mansions, cobblestone streets, refurbished warehouse district and a huge beach front causeway. I have to decide now whether to stay here for another night or continue on to Louisiana today.