Ever hear of Navasota, Texas? Probably not. It’s in southeast Texas about fifty miles NW of Houston. Its downtown was bypassed by SR6 and is nearly deserted these days although it is clear from the blocks of 3-story buildings that it was once a thriving small city. Riders of the Southern Tier know that name, however, because it is one terminus of Adventure Cycling’s Map 4. Days spent poring over maps in preparation of a big ride tend to imprint facts like that in one’s mind. I remember wondering “what is it like in Navasota?” Well now I know (flat, green, humid, small cattle farms.)

Today was unusually cool for this time of year. The high temperature was only 61F. The weather was overcast with dark stratus clouds and a 20mph wind blew from the NE. The wind impeded what we had expected to be an easy 50-mile jaunt from Carmine.

Because there are no other towns with campgrounds or motels within miles, we pretty much knew Navasota would be our destination last night as we planned our route, so we went ahead and made reservations at the Best Western via internet. We’ve been tenting all week so we feel we’ve “earned” a motel stay. It’s the first time we’ve made reservations which, I suppose, makes us unusual. We’ve always just walked in and asked “How much for a room for two?”

I told Mary we should announce ourselves upon arrival in our best hillbilly accents “‘spect you be ‘spectin’ us. We got reservations! This here’s Mary and I’m Lief. We got reservations.”

The manager has a fancy camera with which he takes pictures of distinguished guests (like us). He had them on a slide show on a flat screen at the reservation desk. He asked if he could add us to his collection and of course we agreed. This would be the first photo of us together on the bike and the first photo of us riding because it’s hard to photograph yourself riding a bike. I’m hoping he can email me the photo so I can include it in my blog to prove we really are riding a bicycle.

We met one tough hombre on the ride today near Independence and he posed for me (below.)

We passed through a tiny hamlet called Gay Hill (snicker, snicker) so of course I had to pose and add it to our collection of unusual place names.