Day 22 on the Southern Tier Bike Route

Wineries and the hard-scrabble youth of LBJ. I ate two waffles, raisin bran, and a cup of coffee at the motel and headed out at 8:00 A.M. I headed northwest on TX Hwy 16 off the official route. The pavement was rough but traffic light. I saw some improved pastures for cattle, but mostly passed by oak woodlands. The 22 miles to Fredericksburg passed quickly, although I had to fiddle with panniers to keep from hitting them with my heels. I stopped in Fredericksburg for a break. A patron at the convenience store directed me to a less trafficked way through town. How nice was that! I got on busy US Hwy 290, also with a rough shoulder but with four lanes of traffic. In about four miles, I crossed the Pedernales River and followed its valley for 16 miles. I stopped by the Lyndon Baines Johnson State Historical Park for lunch. LBJ was born here in 1912. As a stark contrast to the hard-scrabble life LBJ experienced, I passed by countless new wineries. I even saw winery tour vans and busses. Traffic was heavy and noisy. In another 12 miles, I reached Johnson City and visited the LBJ National Historical Park. I took a tour of the house where he lived for 15 years (see photo). I also read a section of Doris Kearns Gooodwin's biography of LBJ at the visitor center. Then on for two miles to the Roadrunner RV park. For $20, I got a soft camp spot under spreading oak trees plus an invitation for a beer from Sharon and Mark, the owners. I set up my tent, took a shower, then bought food for dinner. A light day with 55 miles biked.

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