Back on the bike. I took 5 days off starting Oct 9. During this interlude, I visited friend Mary in Austin, participated in a Nature Conservancy celebration in Illinois, attended a workshop in Colorado. I flew to Austin this morning (Oct 14), retrieved my bike at Erika's home, and hit the road at 12:15 P.M. I headed south across the Colorado River then skirted the Austin airport, stopping for a quart of chocolate milk for lunch. Then east on back roads for 17 miles to Cedar Creek. There, I abandoned the official route of back roads in favor of TX Hwy 71, which had four lanes and a wide, smooth shoulder. I biked 12 Miles to Bastrop past grassy cattle pastures. Just past Bastrop, I saw a stand of pines, the first I'd seen in hundreds of miles. Hwy 71 ran through gently rolling terrain with more pastures in flatter areas with deeper soils (see photo) and oak forests on the hills. The day turned out longer than I anticipated. I rolled into La Grange at 7:00 P.M. after sunset but before dark. I hoped to camp at the Colorado River RV park but a recent flood prevented that. I checked into the dated and well-worn Cottonwood Motel. I was grateful for a shower and dinner. 58 miles biked today.