Hill Country Heaven

by Niel Powers 3-31-13

Silly me.  All these years, I had thought of Hill Country as being north of I-10, up Fredricksburg, west of Austin.  As I said, silly me.  If you are a motorcyclist, the best part is south of I-10, headed out of Kerrville.

I’m sure that there are more travelled club members that are well aware of them, but I had not heard of the “three sisters” until someone in Kerrville clued me in.  There are three wonderfully curvy, surprisingly hilly, ranch roads that are southwest of Kerrville. And where two of them meet, in Leakey, Texas, you will find a funky little BBQ joint, biker hang-out, called Hog Heaven.  Where, by the way, you can get some of the best Boudin I’ve had this side of Cut-and-Shoot, Texas in the bayou country.  This place is a tad eclectic.  They were selling beer, three sisters T-shirts, various smoked meats, and pretty much anything else that bikers might buy.  There was a couple there on two Boss Hoss V8’s, on bike, one trike.  540HP, just what everyone needs for carving corners.  There were also a couple people sacrificing the life of a very well-used Honda 750 in an attempt to resuscitate another 750.  I gave them even odds at best.

Texas RR & FM roads have three great characteristics:

1)      There are loads of them everywhere, and many feature great curves.

2)      The speed limit on most of them is 70MPH, although there are curves on the three sisters that will get you down under 30MPH right now.

3)      There is almost no traffic on them.  Really.  And if you come up behind the occasional pick-up truck, they’re likely to pull over on the shoulder and let you around.

We spent a couple of weeks in Kerrville, split with a week down along the border to see my mom.  Our first visit had us staying in an older RV park where some of the units were as old as the people, and the park is 55 and over only!  You know how they say that parts of Florida look like God’s waiting room?  This was the Texas annex.  But on our second pass through Kerrville, we stayed at the Guadalupe River RV park.  That’s where I really found out about the popularity of riding in hill country.  Every third RV had a trailer with one or more bikes on it.  It seems that there is a whole crowd (including a few BMW riders) that come down every winter to stay at the park and ride the roads.  Who knew!

So if you find yourself down in that part of Texas, plan a few extra days to ride. Look up RR 335, 336, and 337a – the sisters.  And check out 16 south out of Kerrville while you’re there.  It will surprise you.

By the way, while there we had two music & RV experiences.  There was a guy with an immaculate old white RV, with an immaculate HD that he carried on a hydraulic lift on the back.  Painted all around the RV were famous lines from The Doors songs.  A true fan.  The second was an old tour bus, still somewhat in use, with the name of the band painted on the side:  Phil Dirt and the Dozers.  Is that a great name for a band, or what?