Day 39 – A Long Slog Into Navasota

Rest stop under live oak

One of my many rest stops--under some spreading live oak trees. Note that my tent is gone from my bike; I sent it back home from Austin.

1 May 2011 (posted two days later–I’ve had trouble getting good Internet connections, and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of dealing with return-travel hassles, which I’ll describe in the next blog). This biking was supposed to get easier as my aging muscles attune to the workout. It didn’t seem that way today!

I biked 78 miles to Navasota, Texas, which is northwest of Houston. Tomorrow, I’ll head down toward Houston and the terminus of this biking journey.

Heading out of LaGrange, after a nice stay with Brad Cutright and his daughter, I took a slightly longer route Brad had showed me that would be free of traffic. It was largely free of traffic, and even though it was Sunday, I’m sure the lower traffic warranted the extra five or six miles.

Not long after leaving LaGrange, I started passing bicyclists coming the other way on tandem bikes. They didn’t have gear, so I figured it was some sort of tandem bike rally. Indeed, I learned when a team of bicyclists stopped to chat, it’s a club out of Houston. I saw one tandem recumbent and at least one triple (three-person) bike. They were doing a loop out of LaGrange.

Tandem bikers

I passed two or three dozen tandem bikes as I was heading out of La Grange; they were part of a tandem bike club from Houston.

Burton Cafe

I hadn't realized that there is a significant German population in Texas. Burton--and especially this café--are heavily German. I had knockwurst for lunch.

Log cabin along 390

An old log cabin along Route 390.

It was windy today—mostly out of the south or southeast. Some of the time that wind was helpful, some of the time a problem. But an even bigger factor, I think, was the humidity. I think it was about 90° with humidity about 90%–not nearly as hot as a couple weeks ago in Langtry, but tougher for me. I had to force myself to keep drinking.

On Route 105

Bigger trees and more green in the shoulders as I've traveled further east. There's still a drought, though.

The biggest change along the route the past few days has been the gradual greening of the area. Despite the drought, trees are big and highway shoulders are generally green.

Brahman cattle

Brahman cattle are so different from our more common bovines. Note the low water level in the pond--due to drought.


I haven't seen a lot of donkeys; these guys seemed to be in good shape.

Independence General Store

The Independence General Store was a great spot; the proprietor gets a lot of bicyclists through and asked me to sign his guest book. The demographics seem to have changed a lot; Independence and Navasota seemed to be predominantly African American.

As has been typical, I stopped to look at historical markers and buildings along the way, including the location where Baylor University was founded (Baylor Female College at one point in its history)—in Independence. I saw a few interesting log cabins and was fascinated by the tight log joints. There are such regional differences in log home construction!

Bible Belt

We're in the thick of the Bible Belt here!

Thistles along the shoulder

I think these are thistles, but I'm not sure.

Picnic area

One last picnic area rest stop!

Navasota, Texas

Navasota, Texas, didn't seem particularly thriving--at least the parts of town I saw.

While these stops feed my curiosity, perhaps a more significant motivation is to rest my legs. Especially with the heat and humidity, the ride today just wore me out.