Monday, November 3, 2008

Lost Maples

A few people came to work Friday afternoon dressed up for Halloween. In the afternoon there was a little party with snacks and cupcakes. I went to Doc's on Congress for dinner, but didn't see as many costumed women as I had hoped, probably because it was still early. I didn't want to get any closer to the madness of Sixth Street, so I just went home about 7. There were a bunch of kids trick-or-treating in the neighborhood when I got home. I didn't have any candy, so I just watched TV for the rest of the night.
I rode my bicycle downtown Saturday morning, checking out the book festival for a little while, then a swing through BookPeople and REI before going to the Ritz to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I liked the film, but it was in the small theater, so I was closer to the screen than I normally like. I rode home and just after I got home at 3, Jimmy called wanting some help setting up for a birthday gathering for two friends since Rene wasn't home. I helped clean up the deck, then had to run over the Harley shop before they closed to get a new headlight bulb since my low beam had burned out. I installed it myself in the parking lot. It was super filthy from dead bugs and road grime under the trim ring. After I changed the bulb and put the light back together, I tested it, and there was no light. My first thought was there was something wrong with that bulb, then I remembered I forgot to plug the light back in. I took it apart again, plugged it in, tested it, and then buttoned everything back up again. I swung by the house to switch to my car and went back to Jimmy's. It was a nice night, didn't get too cold, and everyone enjoyed hanging out. Jimmy served up some delicious half sirloin/half deer burgers and deer sausage. I got home about midnight, turned on the television and immediately fell asleep.
Fortunately I did remember to set my clocks back before I went to bed. I woke up at 6:15, tried to go back to sleep a little bit longer, but wound up getting up and getting ready to go riding. I left the house a little earlier than I normally would so I could eat breakfast at McDonald's since I didn't have any milk. It was still a little bit cool on the way over, but after breakfast it was starting to warm up. I decided to keep my jacket on, but opened the vents. It didn't get too warm and I kept it on the rest of the morning, thinking I would be a little chilly just wearing a synthetic t-shirt. Just before the lunch stop, I broke off from the group and went to Lost Maples State Natural Area. Just going down the main road into the park had better colors than I'd seen so far this year. It's nothing like the northeast, but for Central Texas is was fairly impressive- a few trees in shades of yellow, orange and red. After parking and changing into shorts I headed for the west trail, having done the east trail last year. Once I got a half mile or so, I got away from the hordes of screaming children and into a quieter area. The whole time I was on the west trail proper I saw about 10 people going the other way and only 2 going my way. In the first mile or so there were several nice trees with good color. I stopped for some pictures, but didn't take much of a break until I got to the highest part and sat down for a PBJ. After 2 miles or so I was regretting the decision to not bring my hiking boots and just hike in my riding boots. My feet were killing me by the end and I was wishing I had at least worn hiking socks. I left the park about 3 and headed home the reverse of the route I plan on taking for my ride coming up. It was a good thing I checked it out because there wasn't a gas station where I was thinking/hoping there would be, so I had to go looking a little bit. I didn't take the whole route, opting for a quicker route since it was getting dark. I stopped in Dripping Springs to put on my clear glasses and jacket. I got home and watched drag racing until I started falling asleep around 9.

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