Day 23 on the Southern Tier Bike Route

From rural Texas to the capital. After restful night, I drank a quart of chocolate milk, ate a banana, and packed my gear. I headed south under a cloudless sky on US Hwy 281/290 for five miles, mostly on an easy climb. Then I turned East on US Hwy 290. The highway ran through gently rolling country with oak woodlands. I passed more wineries but few ranches or farms. Traffic seemed heavy for a Sunday morning. After 23 miles on the day, I stopped at coffee shop in Dripping Springs for break. I asked a group of patrons for advice on biking into Austin. They suggested that I continue east on Hwy 290 until it turned into TX Hwy 71, a freeway. At that point, they recommended getting on a frontage road. I continued East, but when I got to the freeway I couldn't see a frontage road. Thus, I kept riding on the freeway. The shoulder was wide and smooth, but dealing with 70 mph traffic on the entrance and exit ramps was unnerving. After three miles of the freeway, I happily exited on busy Lamar Avenue, heading North. In a mile, I stopped at Half Price Books and bought a copy of Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of LBJ. I ate lunch on the patio of an ice cream store next door. I continued North descending to the wide Colorado River (see photo). Legions of pedestrians milled about. I turned East on a bike path for half a mile then continued East on lively Cesar Chavez Street. I turned North and in half an hour arrived at Erica's home. She and her son, Daniel, welcomed me. I knew Erica through her parents, Mary and John, who formerly lived in Boulder, CO.  After a rest, we drove to Mary's retirement home, then went out for dinner. It was wonderful to see Mary for the first time since she left Boulder after John passed away. We got back to Erica's home much later than my customary biking bed time. 55 miles biked today.

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