Yes, I was sipping a short latte at Starbucks in UT Austin, sad to head back, not looking forward to another blistering day under the Texas heat, wishing I could ride on and on (even in the heat).
Everything in Texas really is bigger. UT Austin has fifty odd thousand students, 100 grad students in the Spanish dept., two, not the usual one Cervantistas, a skyscraper instead of the usual bell tower or chapel. At any rate, I had a very nice chat with Prof Laura Rodriguez and they obviously run a Texas style department: big and good.
To call UT a campus is a misnomer, city is more appropriate. Their own electric plant, water plant, etc., etc. Before leaving I stopped in their Catholic chapel and took some time in prayer and reflection before starting my ride home.
From there it was back roads all the way to the top Northeast corner of Texas, Texarkana.
The riding was beautiful, but the heat extreme.
In a little roadside place, Lee’s Landing, I had the best catfish I’ve ever had, they also make these great jalapeño poppers, and chocolate balls! Lee is the owner, he’s a great guy and a crazy biker!
The heat continued into the evening, although the sky was clear, there were a couple of showers but I just powered through them cooling me and poor Rocinante down, and making the ground smell cool and sweet. Despite the heat, the ride was beautiful. Traveling around this huge, great country you notice all the subtle changes in vegetation. Moving North on Rocinante I started to see more and more tress and the occasional patches of grass become bigger and bigger.
My objective was Texarkana on the border with Arkansas so I stopped for a quick dinner – making friends with a guy that collects old Spanish artifacts from the conquistadors! and I pressed on to Arkansas. The heat continued in the 80s and 90s well into the night.