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Monday, February 11, 2008


An hour after leaving Bryan I drove through Navasota and then the historic state park of Washington-on-the-Brazos where in 2 March 1836 Texas got her independence from the Mexican DICK-tator Santa Ana. (Texas have hated DICK-tators ever since).

But first I had to get passed College Station, home of the Aggies and ATM. A blue Chevy 1500 pick-up in front of me with loud dual exhausts lead the way most of the time through stop-and-go traffic. TX6 at this point was a construction zone (TX6 is getting widened as an official Hurrican evacuation route). I was relieved when RedNeck Chevy finally turned right on Bush Boulevard.

I was surprised that gasoline prices were as high as they were here, around $2.95 for the highest prices. I put in $30.10 at a Citgo at $2.85. Must be college town prices.

The dark clouds from the south were getting darker, and lighting struck multiple times. Wind was picking, up, too but I didn't notice that until I got to the state park and the wind nearly blew me against the glass window of the park's visitor center, which at 4:35 was getting ready to close for its 5pm shutting time.

The 20-something-year old man with dark hair and long sideburns (which I thought went out of fashion back in the early 1970s?) told me all the tours were over with, the last one was at 3pm. The museum and conference center were also shutting down, but I was still allowed to tour the one-mile trail around the park which lead me to the building where independence was agreed on, and then down to the Brazos river. "I hope you make it back before the storm comes" said the young man, and I did. "Good luck on your trip!" he said before I took off.

It was a lovely park with crushed gravel trails along the deeply-rutted Brazos river that flowed reddish from the sand. Hawks flew overhead, and so did the vultures again. The green grass against the dark blue-grey sky made for some nice photography. I was the only one around, walking at times against the wind.

Everything was closed when I got back to my van 30 minutes later. Park personnel got into their cars and left. I drove on FM105 south, turning left on FM1105 which led me around some green hills, happy cows (because of the lush grass) and the estates tucked away off the road. This was pretty country and I could easily have been in western Kentucky or Tennessee here, except I didn't see any cypress. Just cottonwoods, live oak and isolated pine trees. With no time schedule at this point, I didn't mind taking my time as long as the sun was casting her golden rays across the fields.

I made it to a pretty little hilltop town of Chappell Hill at sun set, a small hamlet off Hwy290 that I could hear in the distance. Villagers in town had banners on their businesses with "No to Incorporation"

I turned on Hwy 290 going east. Houston was still an hour away and it had just turned 6pm when I got on the super speedway into the city.

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