Open Road Murals – Lowbrows

Pilot Point, TX – again.  Artist Justine again (amazing).  Another open road ride that started with breakfast as the only destination, and wound up being a “let’s go that way” kind of day.

I have to like anything and any place this unpretentious.  If it had  been open, we would have spent the entire afternoon there.  We did look through the window.  We will be going back.  I think you will like what you see.

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Open Road Murals – Eve

What a surprise to see this on a Sunday in downtown Pilot Point, TX.  What had me circle the block was simply the beauty of the woman, and right on the heels of that was the hand and apple – it was Sunday, after all.

From the road, it appeared to have been in place for many years, and unfortunately all the businesses were closed at the early morning hour.  With no way to ask about it, and no eatery to open in which to try to ask a local about the history of it, we settled for a pic.  The rest of the story, from a quick internet search, is pretty interesting.  I share the following summary, provided by others.

” For 28 years, Wes Miller has owned Farmers and Merchants Art Gallery in Pilot Point, Texas. In 2003, he commissioned local artist Justine Wollaston to design and paint a mural on the outside of the gallery. The finished work depicted a large hand pointing at an apple and a classical female nude on the other side contemplating the same apple. Wollaston said the mural depicted her interpretation of the Biblical narrative of Eve at the moment she made the choice to partake of the forbidden fruit.

Shortly after the mural was completed, Pilot Point police served Wes Miller with written notice that the mural violated a Texas law criminalizing the display of “harmful material” to minors.”

Go figure.  For additional information, you can search “pilot point murals” or “Dwight Wesley Miller v. City of Pilot Point”.  Or even better, go take a look!

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Open Road Murals

If you leave the interstate highways, and ride the FM (Farm to Market) roads in Texas, you beginto see a lot more of this great State.  Areas, people and events that just don’t make the Things-To-Do-This-Weekend-List in your local paper.  You also begin to see the truth behind the pictures and articles documenting many areas that were “left behind” when the interstate bypassed a community.  Route 66, the OSR, the Bankhead Highway – for that matter, even TX 66.

If you go one step further, such as turning off your favorite FM road, and riding through the downtown area or stopping at the local Feed Store, you can see yet another, deeper, level of the State.  If you could make the commute each day, you would gladly live in many of these areas.

And one last treasure awaits – murals.  Murals and advertisements, old and new.  The murals speak to me, and a desire to document those that we find through serendipity has added a new dimension to ride planning.  We leave enought time to photograph, and possibly ask about, those murals that cross our path.

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Dairy Palace 2012- Why We Ride

Dark and drizzly is not the best start to a 250 mile ride into east Texas.  No way were we cancelling – after me giving grief to those that cancel rides on “threat of rain” in the past.  The planned 6 bikes crowded under the canopy at the meet location, with smart phones open to local weather radar, and 5 of the 9 riders were already in rain gear (the rest were thinking about it). Since it is “all about the adventure”, we took off at 0800, rain and all.  After 5 miles, it turned out to be cloudy, cool(ish) and dry the rest of the day.  I was able to share some of my favorite roads: FM 779, FM 17, TX 110, FM 1255.

And we ate at THE Dairy Palace in Canton, after visiting THE bicycle fence in Golden, TX.

Why do you find and support a riding group, and why does it mean sooo much?  Some examples.  Our newest member (welcomed, HD and all!), brought his 10 year old daughter as his passenger and hand signal relay-person – for her first long ride with Dad.  It was the triumphant return ride for one of the ladies, after a 1-year hiatus due to surgery – on her own brand new Yamaha 950.  And the Lord blessed us with open roads, light traffic, and fellowship at each stop – on the way to a destination to which I have traveled, with my son on his own ride.

The Route:  PGBT; TX 66; FM 551; TX 276; US 69: FM 779; FN 17: TX 110; FM1255.  Home TX 64, FM 47, TX 276

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Back to School

Back to school time in the TDR shop.  After great summer, I find myself without a riding partner and my backup weapons officer.  And our mascot is no longer with us after 15 years or so.  However, I CAN report that the primary weapons officer is, thankfully, planning on staying around!  To my Razorbacks – (the Tired Hog Racers?!?!?!): Thanks for all the fun this summer, depleting my ammo stash, and all the hard work that went into the renovations.  Wonderful having you both knocking around the house.  Best of luck in your coming academic year.   Stay in touch.  We’ll visit when we can, we’ll stay off your facebook sites (WEPS, you hear that?), and provide humor and updates here.  Sincerely, that “crazy old man”, #39 himself, Me.

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Ghost Towns and Pie

Really, they tie together.  Had a great ride with our riding group, with the added benefit of one of my family joining us, as chase car, and then swapping out for 60 mile segments “once we were out of the dang big city”.  Something about city traffic on two wheels just doesn’t agree with my daughter.  Lunch stop in Thurber, good eats and you can feel the ghosts of the former boom town, with the sound of the interstate singing quietly in the background.  The Ranger hill is visible to the west, and as it was a hot day, we skipped that treat and  headed to Hico for a stop at the local leathershop, followed by the obligatory Koffee Kup stop for pie (Key Lime), then the run to the barn.  257 miles and smiles all around.  No, she cannot have the keys…

The route (in short): 121 business to FM 407; US 287 to SR 114 to Boyd; FM 730 to FM 2048 to FM 51 to Springtown; SR 199 to Poolville cutoff road to FM 920, to FM 3107/2891 to Witt; FM 52 to US 281 to SR 254 to FM 4 to Palo Pinto; US 180 to FM 919 to I20 into Thurber; I20 west to SH 16 to SR 6 to 281 into Hico; SR 220 to US 67 and back to town.

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Lake of the Pines – Memorial Day 2012

Day 1:  The start of 4 days of wind therapy with my one and only in east Texas.  The highlights that you can flesh out with your GPS or Google maps.  Maybe even an old paper map.  Day 1 was the ride out to the lodge.

Highway 49.  Find your way to it, and get on it as soon as possible on your way to the dinner stop at Pine Mills Catfish in Pine Mills, TX. (Hwy 14 at FM49)  Open from 4:30pm until the food or the guests run out.  You will get a fully fried meal, catfish, okra, fries, hush puppies with a nod to health – if you must – with a dinner salad and bean soup.  Get there early, tables were sparse by 5:30 when we left.

Lake of the Pines Lodge features an older single strip hotel with bike friendly parking in front of the rooms, as well as the cabin section across the road.  Cabins are either older shacks or , like ours, utility barns converted to cabins.  They work, have excellent A/C, have their own front porch, and nobody on the other side of the wall.  Ours was the Purple Cabin, and we loved it.

I’d like them on facebook if I ever remember to do so.  You know where you are when the clerk shouts ” Honey, you’re gonna lose the internet, I’m a runnin’ a credit card.”  Supplies are available at the c-store across the road from 7am to 7pm.  You get the added benefit of faint Sirrius radio over the PA system from open to close.  Its oldies, but it adds to the charm.

The Route out of Dallas:  PGBT to I30; to 205; 256 to 751, head south to 80.  A long run to Mineola to pick up 49, on to Gilmer, then 155 to the west side of the Lake. Take 729 to LOTP Lodge, about 230 miles.  My weapons officer planned a great route.

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the evolution of the TDR team

What started out as a foray into auto racing of some sort, grew from participation with Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing (CVAR) into a full on attempt to make it to the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Runoffs.  Today, the adrenaline rush has been replaced by motorcycle touring.  TDR should live on, as the family has all participated at some point in each venture, so the TDR #39 will be maintained as we pursue the designation of “The Roadmasters”.

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