How wrong I was as the next day as daybreak dawned I kept sensing the presence of people and cars. I eventually woke up when a lady was standing looking down at me with the sun behind her. She explained that I had given her a terrible fright as she had spotted what she had thought was a body lying beside the road and feared the worst!
She wasn't the only one as less than five minutes after she had left another truck pulled up and a chap who's name was Greg also stopped to investigate to see if I was ok.
I decided to appraise my situation from the road only to realise that I was easily seen!
Now I had completely forgotten about another aspect of wild camping in Texas. Time for a morning restitution I thought and went off to some rocks nearby behind another tree. I should have realised that there were not crickets at that time of the morning but, as I drew near, realised it was the unmistakable sound of a rattlesnake. I have never run away so fast and at the same time saw it slither off in the direction of the machine.
I didn't hang about for long and before it arrived I was off like a shot down the highway calming my nerves with a drink of water and continuing with the story on my voice recorder.
I eventually arrived at Mason out of water and food having experienced a strong 25 kt plus headwind which really drained me. I was camped on the wrong side of Llano and didn't want to go back. I assumed there would be another truckstop before Mason but how wrong I was. This is a lesson before the really long stretches leading up to El Paso.
I am sitting now in the Willow Creek Cafe which dates back to 1904 and looks part of a typical western town with raised sidewalks and old style sign writing on the shop fronts.
This feels like the real America and I love the Mexican food here. I made the mistake of asking for a large plate of Nachos. Wrong! I can only eat about a 1/4 and even the R/C's - Texan equivalent to Coke are huge!
I asked for less ice as my first drink was in a bucket size container without a handle and the iceberg in it looked like the one that sunk the Titanic!
Karen refilled it several times without me even asking. I then realised how dehydrated I was.
So I am replenishing and r-hydrating myself whilst waiting for late afternoon, when I hope the wind will drop, before setting off for someplace else which I haven't looked up yet.
Angela and Stacy really don't mind me hanging around until the wind drops and I can think of worse places to be!
I met up with Gene Zesch a famous local artist/wood carver who is in the Hall of Fame and he gave me two of the prints of one of his most famous works of art. One of his most well known is the one he did for President (LBJ) Johnson!
Well it's 7pm and I am now heading off. To the staff's surprise I am cycling at night. I have been warned about deer running across the road but I think they are judging it from a car's speed viewpoint. I would love to see some anyway as I have missed seeing them so far.
Three new facts you might like to consider:
Texas is a still a country in its own right and it has its own flag.
23 million Americans do not have regular access to fresh food.
On NFL Football on the TV tonight I noticed that they heavily promote Corona Light Beer!
Drug sponsorship of sport!
I eventually arrived at Hext where I thought it would be good to stay. However, this really is a one horse town and I decided to cycle through and see if I could make for Menard. It just became too much and the hills were just going on and on for mile after mile with no end in sight. The wind was still; strong and there was very little traffic on the road. In the end I decided to camp in front of the entry to the Jones's Ranch and nothing much disturbed me all night.