Thunder in The Hill Country

My dad and I went for a ride yesterday, out into hill country to drive through Bandera, TX where there was a motorcycle rally. We didn’t exactly want to stop and join the crowd, but we wanted to drive by to see what it was like. The weather was perfect; we finally have nice fall weather that is cool in the mornings and pleasant in the afternoons. The sun was shining, and we looked forward to a pleasant ride and an escape from all the political drama.

It turns out, the political drama is inescapable. We encountered a Trump parade in Boerne, TX as we started our entry to hill country. People in vehicles (mostly trucks) had huge Trump flags and U.S. flags on the their vehicles and drove across the intersection with a police escort to direct traffic. We saw some of the blue line flags as well. We put our bikes in neutral and sat through five to six songs as they went through the intersection. The most interesting flag was one that had Trump’s head on an Schwarzenegger-type body, clad in a black muscle tank top and holding a machine gun. This was especially ironic as he is now hospitalized with COVID-19 and the newscasters keep reminding people that his advanced age and obesity at 244 pounds put him at high risk.

So, for a ride that was supposed to be an escape, it was still right in our faces. We only have a few more weeks until elections, and I hope all people vote to express their voice. I hope that despite the voter suppression we are witnessing, that our votes will be counted. And I hope that we can move on in a positive direction. We did see a tent where the League of Women Voters helped register people to vote in a non-partisan approach. I gave them a quick toot on the horn and a thumbs up. It was great to see some young people registering to vote.

On a more positive note, we got past the political messages and got on to Comfort, where we stopped at a family-owned hole in the wall Mexican restaurant for a late breakfast. The tables were distanced, and there were only two other tables occupied. The staff wore masks, and all the condiments were disposable packets.

We continued on to Kerrville, and over to Bandera, where there were tons of bikes! I stopped to take a few photos of the bikes that were parked. My favorite one was the old military one. It does not look comfortable to ride, but my eye always gravitates to those military Harley Davidson bikes. We also saw a cowboy bike with a cowhide leather roll on the back, pulling a trailer with a horse tail attached in the back. We saw a Jack Daniels custom painted HD, and we saw a bike with a big fluffy seat (almost like a shag carpet). It is fun to see how people personalize their bikes.

On the way home, my dad’s bike made a really bad sound on route 16, just outside of Bandera. He pulled over and I turned around to go back to him. He started the motor, I heard the terrible sound, and we agreed he should shut it off and get it towed. My dad told me I could go ahead to go home, but I told him I would wait with him. I think it is safer for people to stick together. Not one person stopped to ask if we were okay, which I suppose is another sign of the times. Luckily, Caliente H-D was able to come tow the bike to the dealership, where it will be inspected on Monday. My dad rode back with the tow tuck driver, and I rode home to pay the dog sitter and get a car. Harley (our boxer) and I rode over to the dealership to pick up my dad. They told him he will probably be very glad he had the warranty on his bike.

Waiting in the shade for the tow truck.

It was a long day, but it was a great day for a ride. Wind therapy is always good for the soul!

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