Sunday broke with sparkling clear skies and low humidity - a blessed relief from the high temperatures and higher humidity of the deep south Texas summer. Great day to play hooky from church and throw a leg over the Burgman. A day trip to somewhere seemed like the thing to do.
Why Hebbronville, Texas?
Simple - it would be a two-hour ride there, and another two hours back. All on back country roads.
Those back country roads took me through some small towns - some of them almost non-existent. La Gloria is famous for its bull fighting ring. Yep - bloodless bull fights. There’s not much else in town.
(As always, click on each picture to see a larger version.)
And another thing about those back country roads - they are flat. The topography of deep south Texas makes your dining room table seem bumpy - there ain’t no hills! The best that can be said is that there are a few places that are a few feet higher than other places. It is ranch country, too far from the Rio Grande to irrigate for crops and too dry to farm without pumped water. There’s not much out there - crows have to pack a lunch before they fly across south Texas.
When you do see life, it is usually bovine - the only time I saw humans was behind the wheel of a pickup truck going the other way. By the way - in certain parts of Texas it is illegal (well, okay - maybe just immoral) to drive anything other than a pickup truck or a large SUV. The Chevrolet Suburban is the National Car of Texas. Because I wasn’t in a pickup, these critters were a little nervous about the strange dude in the neon-glow jacket peering across the fence at them. I’m no cowboy, but I noticed the stance of the bull on the left - and decided to get back on the scoot and boogie down the road.
I’d hoped to have a nice late breakfast in Hebbronville - find a local eatery that served huge portions of all the things that are bad for you. Biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs fried in grease and toast with real butter. You know the kind of place I’m talking about - with cracked vinyl seats and a waitress that calls you “Honey.” But, I had forgotten it was Sunday. The Country Kitchen was closed and all I found was a Dairy Queen. Somehow, a Hunger Buster hamburger wasn’t a good substitute for a big cafe-style breakfast.
The good people of Hebbronville (there aren’t many of them) are church-going folks. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church was packing them in. Of the other churches in town, I noticed most had smaller crowds, except the Methodists who had a Spanish language service listed for later in the day and the English service had been conducted on Saturday night. Much of the population of Hebbronville speaks Spanish, accounting for the large number of worshippers at Our Lady.
But like so many other small rural towns of Texas, Hebbronville is dying. Shuttered businesses and houses are common. Much like Ballinger in West Texas and Muleshoe in far west Texas near the New Mexico line , there is nothing to keep the young folks there. Sad to see what were once thriving businesses now empty and falling down.
Then it was back on the scoot for the ride home. Though the Burgman gets 60 miles to the gallon, the tank only holds 3.4 gallons. I had 113 miles on the odometer since the last fill-up, but thought it wise to gas up before heading back. You see - - the number of gas stations is rather limited in The Big Empty.
Nice day - nice trip - nice bike. I let the Burgman settle down to a comfortable 70 miles per hour - I wasn’t in any hurry - and got home by early afternoon.
Then I let a nice nap in my easy chair wipe the grin off my face.