We were off to a weekend biking/writing/relaxing and adventure in Buttercup. We had plans, and well… of course, as they say about the best laid plans, it turned into more of an adventure than we’d anticipated. What’s new? (grin) I picked up and hitched up Buttercup solo for the first time! Hollah! Growing up on a ranch has it’s advantages! I dropped by and picked up the hubs and then it really was a short trip out to the small hill country town of Blanco. We survived the Austin late Friday afternoon traffic, which is a feat in an of itself without pulling a 25 foot Airstream, and pulled into the park with plenty of daylight to get her all set up. We had reserved space at the Miller Creek RV Park which is technically between Blanco and Johnson City, Texas.
We used to own property outside of Johnson City, so we had driven by the park hundreds of times. Frankly, it didn’t look like anything special from the highway, but it was the only place anywhere near Blanco that had any vacancy, the home of the Real Ale Ride, which was the reason we were there. We got a spot along the south side of the property and had a lovely hill country pasture view. It’s so lush and green right now in Texas, and there were still some Mexican hats and fresh green Mesquite tree leaves. They are the best shade of green! The park was a pleasant surprise, with good amenities. I was so excited to have that view out the back window for my visual muse for my adventures in writing planned while Bryan was out doing his “up the hills, down the beers” thing. I have to admit, of all the swag he gets at these rides/races, their tag line is the best. Of course, they give out great pint glasses which are way more useful than a t-shirt. Cheers!
We got Buttercup all squared away, and ventured out to find dinner. Blanco is really small, and we knew there weren’t any places we hadn’t tried there. Really, there are like 3 restaurants. So, off to Johnson City we went. Johnson City has grown, and it’s a great little town full of art and antique shops and surprisingly delicious restaurants. We pulled up Yelp and found a place we hadn’t tried that had really good ratings. We parked down the street from Bryan’s, not mine, the actual restaurant. We were greeted by Bryan himself, and since we didn’t have a reservation (what? This is Johnson City!) we sat at the bar. They serve beer and wine, neither of which I drink. They were super nice, and let me BMOB. (bring my own bottle) so I sipped some vodka soda, while my Bryan drank some sort of pale ale. The food was good, and it was an interesting parade of locals and tourist and drunk women coming off a day of wine tasting at the many, many wineries between Johnson City and Fredericksburg. Bryan tucked into some Mussels and Asian pork tenderloin. I enjoyed a salad and the special pork chop. No complaints from us, and the little old house-turned-eatery had it’s charm. The waitstaff and Bryan (not mine) were friendly. My Bryan was, of course, friendly too! (heart!)
We made it back to Buttercup, pulled out our chairs and sat out in the evening and watched the glow of the sunset glint off our wee silver bullet. We were pleased that even though the park is just off Highway 281, the traffic noise wasn’t an issue! Though we went to bed early, it was a rough night. It was pretty warm outside and though Buttercup has an air conditioner mid cabin, it seems to not get to the bedroom very well. We tossed and turned (and sweated a bit). Bryan had to be at the race early, and I had to take him which made it harder to sleep. We got up and drove the 5 miles to Blanco to the race start.
Now To Write, Or Maybe Freak Out
I dropped him off, and headed back to Buttercup ready to hit my happy writing place. I got some breakfast, and sat down at the table. Suddenly, it got very dark; it was spooky dark. I looked out, then looked at my phone for the radar. I was horrified to see what was just about on top of us. I couldn’t believe that there were probably bikers out on the back country roads and this was bearing down on us. And, then the first rain started. The trees out the back were absolutely whipping around and the lightening was unrelenting. In seconds the rain was hitting my wee tin can so hard, that I wasn’t sure the skylights were going to make it… I wigged out. Something just told me that this was not the place to be.
My heart was screaming, “Where the hell is Bryan right now?” I gathered my keys poised at the door and looked out the window at the 8 feet I’d have to cross to get to the passenger door of the truck. I took a moment, composed myself and with a deep breath, I stepped out, locked the door and raced into the truck. Soaked, to the absolute skin, I sat there for a moment contemplating the other trailers and big rigs around Buttercup. The lightening was frightening, and close, not to mention the many cloud to ground strikes. I drove to the entrance to the park and sat deciding how to find Bryan and I shot this video below. And, yes, I hear my accent too. Sigh.
Right after I shot this, I watched a huge cloud to ground strike to my north that culminated in a big red ball near the ground. I drove into Blanco full of trepidation. As I drove slowly through the small town, there were bikers everywhere caught in the melee. There were riders under cover at the drive through bank, at the gas station, on the covered sidewalk of the quaint town square surrounding the lovely old courthouse and anywhere one might find an overhang. They all had their phones out, texting, talking and calling their loved ones to report in, or check the radar. Not my husband. He was nowhere to be found. Maybe nine, or possibly fifteen, increasingly frantic and profanity laced voicemails and texts were sent. WHERE WAS HE? WHY WAS HE NOT ANSWERING? Did he not think I’d be freaking out? Did he think I’d gone back and was taking a nap? Really?
Many, many slow passes through town later, I finally I walked through the rain up to the race HQ. I stood there with my umbrella, getting soaked and more worried by the minute as I watched the wretched riders make their way back. The race had obviously been called. No Bryan. Nope. Not him… and FINALLY, the phone rang. Finally. He was 15 miles out of town and found out at a water stop that the race had been called.
He’d been in one of the first groups to leave since he was riding more miles and therefore was way out in the country with no cell reception. He was surprised to see so many messages from me. According to him, there wasn’t much lightening out where he was. “I just had my head down and was peddling, so I didn’t notice any. The rain got really hard though.” So much for confidence in his awareness and common sense. He was safe. I drove out and picked him up because it was still raining and there was more on the way. Once I’d secured my package, we found our way back to Buttercup. To our relief, there was no hail damage that we could see. She was upright and shining.
Bryan took a quick shower and we both put on some dry clothes and decided to grab a bite at the Pecan Street Brewing Co on the square in Johnson City before heading to see our friend Zoe at her booth “Pearl Goods” at the Fredericksburg Trade Days. She calls it junk, but really she’s got lovely things that are both unique and creative. Amazing lights, bottle stoppers, cool old signs, and pieces of things used in a totally cool way. What a fun time! There were so many oddities and interesting people throughout the massive grounds. There were 5 or 6 barns (maybe 100 yards long each) of stuff and junk and wonders. My favorite booth was, of course, Pearl Goods! I wish I hadn’t chatted so much and had taken pictures of her stuff. Go check out her Facebook page. During our wanderings, we came across a place called the “Scary Baby Hotel” which was a graveyard of baby dolls and figures… pieces parts and miscellaneous limbs were everywhere, in baskets, on shelves, on stakes. CREEPY!
We got back to the RV park for an evening stroll around the grounds to check out all the different rigs there. We had some interesting conversations about RVing and Airstreams and dogs, but one woman in particular, couldn’t wait to tell us the latest camp gossip. “Did you hear,” she asked, “about the motor-home on the creek side?” We smiled and replied that indeed we had not heard the latest about the “motor-home on the creek side.” It turns out that the large tree beside said motor-home had been struck by lightening. “WHAAAAAAAT?” I almost shouted. “Where? Which one?” And so we strolled by the Bounder where evidently earlier in the day there had been a gaggle of RVers standing around scratching their heads and trying to figure out (to no avail, it turns out) how to restore the completely zorched electrical systems. Although the motor home itself had not been struck directly, the electrical system had been fried. Done. Zilch.
This big old tree was about 75-100 feet from Buttercup. I was completely redeemed for the frantic and maybe a tad-bit-loud voicemails I left for dear husband. I felt completely justified in my panic and ultimately, my desertion of our sweet wee tin can. Something had told me to get out, so I did. Of course, I would have been heading out to find Bryan anyway, but I wonder how long I’d been gone when this happened? It turns out all of our GFCI breakers had been tripped so none of our plugs were working. Thank you to Google for helping us figure out what the heck to do!
Very little writing or riding actually happened but adventures are, uh…. well, adventurous? Yeah, I’m going with that.
We made it home, and tucked Buttercup, unscathed, into her covered parking spot. She’s got an appointment at the dealer to have her AC checked and have a good full system check up.