We crossed the Sabine River this afternoon and said goodbye to Texas. Texas is big. Texas is so big it’s hard to remember life before Texas.

East Texas is quite different from West Texas. West Texas is dry, brushy, cactusy, and hilly. East Texas is green, flat and the trees are tall – pine mostly but oak and maple too.

We met two cross-country riders yesterday – unaffiliated. We met one at our motel in Navasota and the other on the road. That makes a total of five. That’s not many bikers doing the Southern Tier, especially because this is the best season to do it. If they’re not out here now, I doubt they ever are. That’s a big difference from the Pacific Coast route where we probably met a hundred fellow bikers. Here’s a photo of a guy named Paul that we met on the road. Paul is from Chattanooga and he had every imaginable gadget on his bike. We really liked his air horn that he can recharge with his bicycle pump.

This second photo is some indication of how the odds are stacked against the deer in Texas. Our suspicions were first aroused when we kept seeing stacks of “deer corn” bags for sale in hardware stores and farm stores. “They feed the deer in Texas?” I thought. “What nice people.” Well, not exactly. Based on purely circumstantial evidence (no one has told me directly), this is how deer hunting works in Texas: It is perfectly legal to place deer feeders wherever, fill them with corn, get the deer in the habit of stopping by for a corn snack, then get in one of these pillbox looking shelters and mow ’em down. Not exactly sporting, I’d say. I remember Dad and Tom Irwin hiking miles in at Deep Creek, stalking their deer, making a kill and then carrying the carcass out on their shoulders. How times have changed.

20121010-195037.jpgNext we have either a boat that will go 200 mph or sink like a stone. It was on display at a marine supply store in Cold Spring.

20121010-195441.jpgFinally is a photo to show what kind of landscape we are riding through the last few days.