Texas Hill Country

Thursday's ride to Kerrville, TX on I-10 was hot, tiring, and fairly uneventful. Our only problem was not listening to "Naggy" (my GPS) and taking a different loop around San Antonio and missing our turn-off on I-410 West. This resulted riding in traffic a few miles out of the way. We arrived at the Best Western in Kerrville around 3PM. We met up with Travis, Antoine's step son at the motel.

Friday we set out to ride the Three Sisters (or Twisted Sisters as it's sometime called). TX 16 south of Kerrville had a lot of construction which slowed our progress. Once we turned on RR 337, the fun began. This highway is a great road that twists and turns through the hills (mountains?) south of Kerrville taking us to Leakey, TX. After fueling up in Leakey, we continued west on RR 337 to the small town of Camp Wood. There we picked up TX 55 north for a short ways before turning on RR 335. Another great twisty road with lots of hills and valleys. Sometimes it seemed that we were riding on a roller coaster. We continued on RR 335 until it intersected with TX 41, the straightest road on this loop. At the intersection of TX 41 and RR 336, we turned south on RR 336 toward Leakey on another good motorcycling road with lots of curves and hills.

After lunch at the Frio Canyon Bike Stop, we began our return ride to Kerrville. We retraced our route on RR 337 until we reached RR 187 in Vanderpool. Here we turned north on RR 187 to the intersection with TX 39. We then took TX 39 back toward Kerrville. TX 39 follows the Guadalupe river and crosses it many times, resulting another roller coaster ride with sharp turns and ups and downs, though not as much change in elevation as RR 335.

Upon reaching Ingram, we stopped to view Stonehenge II, a replica of Stonehenge in England. Stonehenge II was conceived by Al Shepperd and built with the help of his friend and neighbor, Doug Hill. Originally located on FM 1340 west of Hunt, Texas, Stonehenge II now resides on the campus of the Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram. It was moved there after Al Shepperd sold his property on which it was originally erected. In addition to the replica and real stones comprising the monument, there are also two fabricated Moai, or Easter Island statues. These imitation Moai are made of the same material as the Stonehenge II stones. After our visit to Stonehenge, we returned to our motel to relax and discuss options for Saturday's ride.

Instead of taking the ride that I had originally planned for Saturday, we decided to check out the Three Brothers route as posted on a map in the Frio Canyon Bike Stop. We left Kerrville via TX 39, then turned on US 83 towards Leakey. From there, we took RR 337 to Camp Wood, where we turned south on Hwy 55. Hwy 55 was a fairly straight road going south. Upon reaching RM 334, we turned west heading toward Brackettville. Another fairly straight road. This was not at all like the twists and turns on the Three Sisters. The land was fairly flat and desert like. Upon reaching Brackettville, we turned north on RR 674. The site of the filming of John Wayne's The Alamo was located on ranch land just north of Brackettville. After the filming of the movie, the site became a tourist stop called Alamo Village. There were staged gunfights at various times during it's operation. With the death of the owners, Alamo Village was closed to the public.

Heading north on RR 674 we kept wondering when we would reach the twisty part. Finally, the northern portion became more like the roads we had been riding, curvy and hilly. RR 674 ends at US 377. We continued north east on US 377 to Rocksprings. After fueling up and lunch, we continued on US 377 until we reached TX 41. Since the temperatures were rising we had decided to skip the TX 55 South portion of Three Brothers so we turned east on TX 41 we continued on to FM 1340. This highway follows the North Fork of the Guadalupe River and intersects with TX 39 to Kerrville. The Three Brothers ride was not as good as the Three Sisters. The scenery was nice, but most of the roads were too straight for what we were looking for.

Sunday's ride was a back road loop that would eventually take us to Luckenbach TX. A short hop onto I-10 took us the RR 783 (Harper Road) exit where we headed north. The first really "back" back road was White Oak Road, a narrow twisting road with open range. This meant that we had to watch out for cattle and many other animals and their droppings on the road. This road meandered through the hilly terrain north of Kerrville. White Oak Road ended at FM 2093 (Tivydale Road) and a short distance later we turned north on Usener Road until we reached US 290. After short ride west on US 290 we turned north again on Doss Spring Road, another narrow road with open range where we had to watch out for deer as well as cattle. Doss Spring Road merged with RR 783 for a short distance. We then turned on RR 648 to RR 2323, then Keese-Sagbiel Road and Keese Road, finally ending up on TX 16. It was along one of these sections where a young deer decided to run along the side of the road with us, crossing back and forth until it decided to try to go through a fence. The fence stopped it long enough for us to pass and continue safely.

In the planning of the route, I noted on one web site that the Willow City Loop was a popular road taken by motorcyclists because of it's curvy nature and changing scenery. The first thing we encountered on turning onto the Willow City Loop was a sign warning that the next 13 miles was private property and that no parking on or off the road was permitted. "Violators will be prosecuted" the sign warned us. We proceeded to ride this loop, which at times was down to a single lane. The scenery was worth the ride. Of course, coming around a curve and seeing a large deer in the road directly ahead was a little startling. The only other scary moment was when we approached a single lane bridge and a group of sport cars came blasting around a curve and onto the bridge. Luckily the last car passing us waved to let us know he was last. So with extreme nervousness, we proceeded across the bridge. Also along this loop was a barbed wire fence with old boots on each post along a fairly long section of the road. There were numerous For Sale signs along the road too.

After Willow City Loop, we rode numbered highways including FM 1323, RR 1320, FM 2721, RR 1623, RM 1888, and RR 1376. These were all well surfaced highways with sweeping curves and changes in elevation and scenery.

Once on RR 1376, we were nearing Luckenbach. There is not a lot of signage indicating where Luckenbach is, only a Luckenbach Texas sign on the western side of the Luckenbach Town Loop. The eastern side of the loop is immediately after crossing South Grape Creek when coming from the east. The main part of Luckenbach consists of the former Post Office, now the General Store and gift shop and the dance hall which still hosts monthly dances by many Texas musicians. The small town became famous after a song by Waylon Jennings with Willie Nelson. Willie returns annually for his July 4th Picnic which is widely attended. More information can be found about Luckenbach by clicking here.

After a nice break from riding and some shopping for souviners, we left Luckenbach and continued west to Fredericksburg, a touristy German town where we had lunch. After lunch, we played tourist and checked out a number of shops along main street. We finally rode the last leg of our "Luckenbach Loop" on TX 16 to return to Kerrville.

Monday was our return home day. Having learned from our mishap in San Antonio on the way to Kerrville, we followed "Naggy", the GPS voice, around the city and headed east on I-10. After passing through the traffic in Houston, we began to encounter a few brief periods of rain which helped cool us off. Crossing back into Louisiana provided a few more light showers until we were near Patterson. That's when the skies really opened up. Luckily we had put on some rain gear at our previous gas stop. Though we got wet, once out of the rain, we dried off quickly.

Over all we had a successful trip. The morning's were fairly cool, with hot afternoons. We traveled a total of 1836 miles while our day rides ranged between 205 and 268 miles. Click the links below to view maps of each of our rides.