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Day 29: Abilene, TX to Rising Star, TX

54 Miles - Biked With Hardin-Simmons Students; Meeting Wid in Rising Star; Dinner With Dave & Nancy Bridges - March 9, 2017

My Riding Partners This Morning Coleman and Students
Dr. Coleman Patterson with Kiersten, Colby, and Sarah.

Coleman wanted to ride with me and he brought some of his Hardin-Simmons University students who will be participating in his Mexico to Canada tour this summer. It was a joy to have more people to ride with, and much thanks to Colby for being an excellent support vehicle too.

Videos

On our way to the east side of Abilene.

Coleman was making videos too.

They are fans of my "not too shabby" videos. :)

Short rest at a store in Potosi.

Coleman's footage of me making a "not too shabby." :)

Riding along and enjoying the morning.

Road Cycling Coleman, Kiersten, Sarah, and Colby's truck behind me.
Goat Ranch We biked about 12-15 miles, before they had to return to Abilene to attend class.

At the spot where we stopped, a group of goats and a donkey greeted us. I learned the donkey is present to protect the flock from predators like wolves and such.

Cross Plains, Texas

Texas Scenery

It was the first time my route was surrounded by trees in a long time.

Dairy Queen Fingers Basket I had one of those chicken fingers baskets at a Dairy Queen in Cross Plains.
Cattle Ranch A group of cattle took an interest in me.
Organic Salted Caramel Waffle I snacked on a gluten-free organic salted caramel waffle by Honey Stinger. Brian in Colorado City had given this to me three days earlier. It was pretty good. :)
Rising Star, Texas

Rising Star, Texas

At 54 miles, I arrived in Rising Star. Could I have continued? For sure. However, the spacing of towns with lodging kept me here. I just wasn't keen on trying to make it to Comanche.
Rising Star, TX

Rising Star, TX

Rising Star is a quiet Texas town with a hopeful name. It's got lots of old buildings. I'm a fan of it.

However, you have been warned. There is no cell phone recepetion at all for Verizon.

Wid in Rising Star, TX
Wid offered me a bottle of sparking water from his truck. I drank it fast!

Meeting Wid

I arrived at the Hunten Lodge Inn to get a room, but no one was there. The lobby was locked. There was nothing on the door reading, "We'll be right back" or "Call xxx-xxx-xxxx to get the manager." I kept calling the main number of the inn, but no one answered. (The previous day, I called to confirm they were open for business. A guy said he'd be happy to sell me a room.)

With no ability to check in, I waited there for an hour. Honestly, I wasn't too upset as I needed the rest. I took advantage of the unprotected wi-fi and uploaded videos on YouTube.

After an hour, this man pulled over in his truck. At first, I figured he was the owner of the motel, but he wasn't. This is Wid.

Wid is a hay farmer in Rising Star. His wife was tracking my daily progress on my Facebook page, and he was a mutual friend of David Bridges in Comanche. Wid is near my age and an avid runner. He also does some cycling. He said my route would pass his hay farm on Highway 36 and asked if he could ride with me. Of course, I said yes. :)

Wid & David Bridges
Wid and David Bridges

Meeting David Bridges Once More

So Wid and I were chatting in front of the motel, when David Bridges showed up. Is he the owner of this inn? No!

Meet David Bridges (adjacent photo). Last year, I briefly met David when I did a short presentation about biking across America to the sTEAMboat Cycling Club. He bought and read my book, then emailed me saying how much he liked it. We kept in touch and he anticipated riding with me while I went through Comanche, where he lives. He also offered to give me a free place to stay in his home, and with this motel dropping the ball, I took up David on his offer. I'd stay in his guest room, and tomorrow morning he'd shuttle me back to Rising Star.

Regarding this photo, notice what David's shirt reads: "Never underestimate an old man on a bicycle." This is true. David is a stud cyclist who trains and races regularly. Me and Wid are amatuers compared to him. :p)

Nancy, Dave and Steve In Comanche, David and his wife Nancy took me out to a ritzy restaurant on the square. We had a good time. They told me Nancy's mama in Albany, Texas had also read my book, and she was so excited to learn that I was staying with them. Before I left, I wrote a gracious letter to her, asking for her prayers as I embark on yet another crazy trip.

You are welcome to stay connected with me on my author page.

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