We were in Hawkins, Texas. Birthplace of Aunt Jemima; A proud hub in the American pancake world. Strolling in I requested we bunk out in a local hotel; I was sick. Ironically the weather systems changed and with a stroke of coincidence it started to snow in Texas. We were warned that this part of the country was famous for their southern ice storms so we were lucky to be sheltered for the night. Little did anyone know that it would snow nearly a foot. Breaking any and all records in the area.
We awoke, ate breakfast at the Jewel Cafe and decided we would push west on route 80. Push is what we did. There were no plows in the area and the only pavement visible was at the bottom of tire ruts. It was a beautiful morning with freshly lain snow covering every tree and every building. The most people we saw on that run were the few stuck in the ditches by the side of the road, unpracticed in slick driving conditions. Paul & I had a blast.
It was a drastic change in scenery for us and we felt reminiscent of New England. Just west of Hawkins, Paul took the brief opportunity to photograph a large snowman while I pedaled ahead some. A few minutes later I looked back to see an empty divided highway, blue and white with the morning sun. Searching for Paul I found him sitting on a porch, drinking hot cocoa, and chatting with a snowed in Texan family. We stayed with them for hours.
One of my goals for this trip was to learn how to ride a horse. I was not all that determined to search out my opportunity that particular day but by happenstance this family let me mount up on Leo, their stallion. I donned a pair of cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, a pair of size-to-small snow pants, and my Team Bowditch short sleeve shirt and set off to trot. Boy did I have a thrill at that. I would not mind being a cowboy. I was a lucky guy that day; I do not think many people can say that their first horse ride was 3,000 miles away from home in Texas, with inches of snow on the ground.