From Austin you take Hamilton Pool Road all the way down. After you descend for several miles, navigate the switchbacks and cross the Pedernales on that ancient one lane bridge. At that point the road turns into FM 962. And somewhere out there, down a gravel path and over a low water crossing, Louie's in-laws have a little piece of paradise.
There's an outdoor kitchen and some old cots to sleep on. A stack of wood and a black cat named, Matthew.
We camp out there occasionally, away from the distractions of the city. On spring evenings the insects, frogs, birds and fauna create a symphony of sounds.
Raucous calls. Subtle songs. There's really no need to talk.
Listening is enough.
Wake up with the sun and throw on your kit. Fill extra bottles and pack extra tubes. These are the magical roads. No cell service. No gas stations. Just the endless rolling hills of central Texas.
Louie, Eddie and I have been riding together for years. We know what the other will do. We know when someone isn't feeling all that well. And we know exactly how to turn the screws when that happens.
We're teammates and enemies alike.
In a strange way, it's what we want from each other. It's how we learn things. How we discover the truths that hide out at the periphery of our abilities. We push each other because we all understand this.
It's not till the next day that we can admit our weaknesses. We laugh about the attacks, express outrage about the sprint signs we lost and talk shit about our next adventure. Puddle jumping through life until we can meet up to torture each other again.