We never would have been able to get out of Texas if it weren’t for the 24 pack of Coors Light (the second best beer in Texas) that Bubba and Eric brought over the night before. We were running low on homebrew and nephew Lucas and his three friends had stopped in on their way from California to Florida and they were thirsty for some of the good stuff. Jeff had cooked up some steaks on the grill, Gooter stopped by with his son, John was there too and we sat out by the fire until late playing guitar and telling stories. It was after 1 PM when we went to sleep and the alarm was set for 6 for an early start. The three days before that were filled with packing and repacking food and gear, test running the boat in Miller Creek Reservoir, tweaking the trailer, studying maps, and disassembling the tent and frame for the road trip.
Even though I never thought that I would say this, Texas is great and filled with some of the best folks in the country. On the first night in town Kevin and Dena had their usual barbeque for the usual crowd, ribeye steaks, fried squash, cheesy potatoes, salad, and some delicious purple sweet thing of a dessert made with cool whip I think. Joel was there so was Randall, Red, Worm, Klifton, Derrick and his wife, Mike and Misty with their daughter Zoey who had just graduated from Seymour High School. Dinner was delicious, of course, I had a few too many Keystone Lights as we sat around a big table in Kevins backyard party room. Kevin has a commercial meat packaging kitchen and makes bohemian sausage with an old world recipe and some very spicy beef jerky.
On the morning that we left I took the bicycle to Alsups for some white powder donuts and a couple coffees, we put the last of our gear in the van and slipped out of town at 7:21. Slowly and carefully we made our way through downtown over brick streets to the Crowell Highway towards Quana and the Copper Breaks, past the cowboys and their horse trailers, past the Wheaties in their campers waiting for the fields to dry up, with the onboard compass reading north, always north. Finally we were off.