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Winnie By Way Of China

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The ride to Winnie was unanimously approved Friday night after the viewing of District 9.  Then the weather forecast appeared promising with only a 20% chance of scattered rain for Saturday.  A week ago, on another ride to Fred to see Susan, we trailed behind the showers that popped up ahead of our way, never catching a drop of it until 10~15 miles before destination when it just came pouring down on us.  The plants need rain badly; the riders do not.

Check out the latest GPS by RG

Check out this rain-resistant GPS by RG

As I made my final approach to Rao’s, I could see clearly in the distant southeastern horizon that threatening dark clouds had just touchdown-ed and shaping like a giant mushroom, which was the sign of a shower hitting that area, where Lindsay and Ron were likely traveling.  I met with Stephen, grabbed a cup of mocha java, then the phone rang and that was when I learned that  Lindsay and Ron sought shelter from the rain near the county jail, which was about 15-miles away. We will wait, I told them.

Just then it began to sprinkle over here as well.  We quickly brought in the helmets. As the shower began to drop, Pete pulled up in his blue Burgman 400 sporting a shiny blue Scorpion helmet, looking like Baker or Poncherello from the 80’s show CHiPs.

Lindsay and Ron arrived unharmed shortly after the shower subsided.  We visited a bit before setting off for Winnie around noon.  Stephen got the route directions firmly affixed on the top of his GT’s headlight and was ready to lead.  Home-made GPS, how clever.  A quick splash-n-go at HEB, jumped on Dishman Road and soon we were out in the country. Big, spacious sky and wide open panoramic vista, dotted here-and-there by farms and country homes, as far as your eyes could see.

The road to Winnie brought us near China (Tx), a farming area where roads intersect irrigation canals and everywhere you looked there were cultivated fields.  Huge, low-hanging pillowy gray clouds, extendingtheir reaches down toward the earth, reminded us that we were not completely safe from the August afternoon showers just yet.

In fact, we were freely trotting along this long pencil-straight farm road flanked by rice fields, golden and awaiting harvest, when Stephen stopped abruptly, pulled over and motioned to make a quick U-turn after visually confirming that rain was coming down just ahead of us.

Long-grain Texas rice

Long-grain Texas rice

Continuing on westward and away from the approaching rain clouds, we were successful as the rain never caught up with us again the rest of the way.  What a relief.  The ambient temperature indicated on the MP3 showed 99°F, so to stay cool we got to keep moving.  As I remembered from our last run down these roads to Winnie, the biggest attraction of this particular ride is the almost-perfect mixture of twists and turns, bends, straightaway sprints, and the intermittent slowing down for bridges, railroad tracks, canals and the overall fantastic moving scenery.

After a spirited ride through the country, we emerged just north of I-10 and the cruise into town was easy and relaxed.  Winne, almost one year after Hurricane Ike, has sufficient recovered and is well on its way, better than ever.

Lunch at Papa’s Place was fine, Southeast Texas rustic, as you might expect.  Slightly better than Al T‘s, but not by much (imo, a handful of tiny crawfish suffocating in a thick pool of canned tomato purée could hardly be called étouffée).  Two-, to three-scooters (but that’s pushing it a bit) on a scale of five.  Pete seemed especially fond of the blond-n-buxom (albeit absent-minded) waitress, and that is to be expected also.  On the other hand, the decorative art inside the men’s room was more amusing as most would agree.

Stephen, Pete and I said our good-byes to Lindsay and Ron at the restaurant and rode home over the old Fannett highway, capping off a great day in the wide-open country, under the big Texas sky.  I kept thinking along the way home that I must somehow capture the landscapes of this August afternoon.  So I did.

More photos here.  Enjoy!–Lorenzo

4 Comments leave one →
  1. denny permalink
    Monday, August 17, 2009 10:21 am

    Nice job Lorenzo.

    • Monday, August 17, 2009 6:25 pm

      Thank you, Denny!
      Come ride with us soon!

  2. Larry permalink
    Monday, August 17, 2009 5:02 pm

    I like the GPS!!

    • Monday, August 17, 2009 6:22 pm

      That’s pretty cool, huh, Larry?
      Been riding much lately?
      Looks like the Tail of The Dragon ride is imminent. You coming with us this September?

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