Here in Texas Spring is right around the corner.
I present proof..The Texas Red Bud (one of my favorite trees) is blooming.
Since everything around it is still dormant I decided to use my new Photoshop skills to bring out a splash of color.
Happy first day of March!
This week Cee has challenged us to find and post photos of trains and/or tracks.
I happened upon this train a few years ago. It is part of the Grapevine Heritage collection in Grapevine Texas.
1927 Santa Fe Turntable
The track is also part of the Grapevine Heritage Collection. It is a Santa Fe 1927 railroad turntable that was salvaged in 1992 and placed in its permanent location in 1995.
Visit Cee’s page and you will be treated to many challenges and many wonderful photos by many wonderful bloggers.
Last year, shortly before I started the “Blazzin Saddle” ride, the men parked beside us started talking about “Skull’s Crossing.” They told stories of a climb so difficult people fall over in the middle of the road. They said the road narrows at Skull’s Crossing just before you climb the steep hill. So people that were spread out across the country roads, suddenly crunched together to climb the impossible climb.
The description of this ride states it will challenge top level riders with its hilly terrain. Needless to say I freaked out a bit.
We reached Skull’s Crossing before the first rest area (less than 10 miles). The road curved right, then left. It dipped drastically across a small bridge, then it began to rise.
I made it about half way up and noticed a woman had flipped her bike into the ditch. I also saw people stopped along the side and people weaving back and forth in the middle of the road. It was like a war zone, with bodies strewn across the road (slight exaggeration…but you get my point!) I was no longer afraid of the hill, I was afraid of the riders around me. I was afraid of crashing. I unclipped my shoes (clips are used to attach a riders shoe to her pedal), to avoid a fall (if you are familiar with cycling you will understand I was still new to clips and lacked confidence in my cycling ability). Once I unclipped I lost all momentum. Needless to say I did not complete the hill on my bike, but I finished it pushing my bike.
This year I was determined to beat Skull’s Crossing. My hill climbing has improved. Wearing clips is now second nature and I feel much more in control.
I rode along a winding country road, my surroundings felt familiar, I knew Skull’s Crossing was getting closer. I tried to avoid the crowds so I could approach the hill without anyone near me (that didn’t happen).
The amazing thing is, once I started climbing the hill I felt focused on the climb. I felt all my energy pushing the pedals, pulling the pedals and I watched the road in front of me pass on by.
About midway up the hill I noticed my riding buddy to my left. Typically she beats me up difficult hills. I encouraged her, “We got this!”
As she quickly fell behind me, all I heard was “Damn it..(not sure what is said here) …came off!”
I had no idea what happened to her bike. I knew stopping in the middle of the hill was not an option. I turned back toward the hill to find a rider directly in front of me. I told the rider I was preparing to pass her as I guided my bike around on her left side.
As I crested the hill I worked my way through the other riders to the right side of the road so I could stop and wait for Rachael.
Although I was panting heavily from the climb, I felt like riding back down just to ride back up again. I was that excited about conquering Skull’s Crossing. No worries though…I was that excited…but not that stupid!
By the time Rachael caught up I had calmed down. She recently got new clips and one of her clips slipped out of the pedal. Fortunately she did not crash unfortunately she was not able to complete the hill.
The next day I revisited Skull’s Crossing. This time in a car and with camera in hand. Usually when I’m on a bike hills look really big…but as I stood at the base of this hill preparing to take a picture, it looked extremely steep and bigger than it looked the day before.
I was even more excited that I had conquered Skull’s Crossing!
Everything is bigger in Texas!
That is what they say and I must admit…frequently it is true.
One of the things that amazed me when I first moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex was the size of the freeways. They are wide and they are tall…especially the “mix-masters”
Recently, while serving the homeless, I had the opportunity to walk under one of Fort Worth’s mix masters. I couldn’t resist getting a few shots.
You might notice in the above photo my fellow volunteers walking under the freeway. They look quite small compared to the pillars. Yet they are under the lowest level of freeway.
As always, thank you Cee for an opportunity to use photos that would be unlikely to find another home.
If anyone is interested in viewing more black and white photos, Cee’s page is the place to be!
Reasons I prefer to live in Texas…I dislike cold weather, I like hot weather and I love the wildflowers that blanket the scenery during the spring.
I rode my bike along Benbrook Lake tonight. I couldn’t help but stop and capture this photo of wildflowers.
I am grateful for Mother Nature’s handiwork!
Saturday we spent time in Waxahachie Texas. We drove there to see the Vintage Trailers displayed on the courthouse square. Waxahachie is one of many towns in Texas that still has a town square and a functioning courthouse in the center of the town.
I enjoyed looking at the vintage trailers but I also enjoyed taking pictures of the courthouse and all the activity around the square. I will share photos over the next few days of our visit to Waxahachie. I hope you all enjoy them.
Clock Tower – Waxahachie TX
Courthouse – Waxahachie, TX
Courthouse – Waxahachie, TX
Courthouse – Waxahachie, TX