7 April, 2012
Saturday morning we met at the Country Store on Hwy 195, near Florence, Tx. It was shaping up to be a great day, sunny with temps in the high 70′s. The plan was to ride and get those members who signed up for the 2012 Tour of Honor Ride, a push start and knock off two of the seven sites. Located in Florence is a Veterans Memorial and in Fredericksburg, Tx, the “National Museum of the Pacific War“.
The goal of the Tour of Honor Ride is simple, visit 7 of the selected sites in your state by Nov 1st, 2012, prove you were there via photographs, email them in and receive your certificate of completion and ride pin. Armed with camera’s our ride shirts and Rider Towel’s we were ready.
We gathered at the Country Store and already lost one rider, our Chapter President, Mark Ybarra to family business. Joining us were BK Member David Smith, his Co-rider Teanna Sherouse and Friend Rob McDorman. Knight Mike Loney was going to join us briefly and peel off as we passed Burnet, Tx. We emptied out bladders, filled our tanks and headed off.
lt to rt: Rob McDorman, Teanna Sherouse, David Smith and Mike Loney.
A Tiny Town which gave it best and probably had a population of less than 500 during WW2. Current Population 1,100 and change.
Within 3 minutes we arrived at the Florence Memorial, located on Hwy 195 near the Chamber of Commerce building. A charming Memorial for such a small little town, ones eye is immediately caught by the large mural painted by local students on the side of a metal building, along the east edge of the Memorial grounds. A poignant reminder of the ride is the “Killed in Action” panel, listing those from Florence who gave their all. Since I had already visited the site and to keep the day moving, I had David and Rob pose along with the others, as I took their picture for them.
Stu Mccurdy, Col. USAF Retired, Dina McCurdy and Moi
Next was a rendevous with Vietnam Combat Veteran, Fighter Pilot and Air Show Performer, Col. Stu McCurdy, USAF Retired. Stu was at a Trike Reunion in Fredericksburg and would meet us in Stonewall, Tx and guide us to the Alamo Springs Cafe, home of Texas’ Best Burger, according to Texas Monthly Magazine. After our 92 mile ride to Stonewall, all went well and it was just one of them good ride days.
We succesfully linked up with Stu and wound our way down Cain City Rd past some Bicyclists who were having their own event. We arrived at the Alamo Springs Cafe by 1100 hrs and beat the usual lunch crowd, the adviseable thing to do unless you have plenty of free time.
No frozen Patties here
A Gut Bomb with explosive beefy goodness.
Warning! Portions at the Cafe are big. The Burger is a half pound of fresh ground meat about the size of a soft ball. Fies and Onion rings are huge portions and can easily be shared by two or three. The Burgers are fantastic, the atmosphere quaint and if you don’t enjoy your meal your going to be hard to please in any circumstance.
Bellies full and fighting off the after lunch nods, we headed into Fredericksburg to finish our Mission. As with any weekend in a destination town, traffic can be challenging and parking scarce. Since we were only at the Museum to take a photo, we temporarily occupied the loading zone and got our proof we were there. Next, top off the fuel and head North on Hwy 16 to take in Willow City Loop, a most excellent Motorcycling Road.
In Texas at this time of the year, the roads are filled with Motorcyclists and Cage Drivers, vying to see the “Spring Bloom” and all the pretty flowers. Cage Drivers are most annoying and dangerous as they drive totally mindless, lost within the confines of their plastic and metal shells.
Look at the pretty flowers but watch out for the Cagers.
The ride on Willow City loop was somewhat tainted by the slow moving Cagers, which allowed less time to enjoy the ride, as we fought to maintain our balance at the low speeds. With Cages parked on a road where there is “No Parking”, blocking blind curves and rises, I was actually relieved to get off the Loop.
National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, Tx
I led the the Riders to “Harry’s on the Loop” a favorite Icon, break spot and watering hole for Riders coming off the Loop but it was closed. A surreal sight greeted us as we pulled into Willow City, for a large 5 ft tall Rabbit was in a field to the West hiding colored eggs. A peek inside Harry’s revealed the spot was closed for good, as it appeard that most of the wall art had been taken down.
Zeke (Moi) & Rob
With the day almost done we headed back towards home but stopped at one of the most scene Starbucks in Texas, located in Marble Falls. This spot overlooks the Colorado River and the Bridge which takes you into Marble Falls from the South. Here we got a late afternoon pick me up before making the final 50 miles home. Surprisingly, I ran into two other Riders I know at the Coffee Shop, Glen French, former Chapter member and Dave McAfee, a Goldwing Rider and another Vietnam Veteran.
Our ride, 240 miles and change or 3 tanks of gas for David.
It was a good day and a good ride. We got a leg up on the Tour of Honor Ride, had some good food and were Honored by meeting up with some Combat Veterans. Where to next?
Note: There will be more on the featured Veterans on the TOH Riders Forum along with other stories of Veterans from the TOH participants.