Based on knowing that San Antonio is a very large and congested city, plus the recommendation of our friend Tom, we mapped out a route that took out around the city in a large loop on the western side. Unfortunately, this involved some more pretty tough terrain in Texas Hill Country. After only about 20-plus miles, we felt the need to stop for lunch in the tourist town of Boerne (pronounced “Bernie”); we found the Daily Grind Cafe and Bakery.
More Hill Country followed, and at one point we had to stop and look at a map with some men selling goods by the side of the road, to confirm that we were headed in the right direction. We stopped to use the restroom and refill our water bottles at the public library in the town of Lakehills. Further into Hill Country, we passed near Medina Lake in Medina County, although down here they pronounce it “me-DEE-nuh,” not “me-DIE-nuh” like we do back in Ohio. We stopped and talked to some motorcyclists at a bar to confirm that we were on the correct road. One particular side road turned into a gravel road, and then into a dirt road, but finally turned back into pavement.
We arrived in the city of Castroville pretty worn out, realizing that attempting to make the full loop from north of San Antonio, around the western side, and south to Jourdanton all in one day was too ambitious of a goal. So after grabbing a snack and beverage at a gas station, we decided to find a place to stay for the night. We had passed an RV campground about a mile back, so we went back there to check it out. They did not appear to have tent camping sites, although we talked to one couple who were staying in their RV, and they suggested that we talk to the owners to see if they might let us camp. The owners lived in a trailer on the edge of the campground, but after looking around and seeing that the place didn’t have showers, we decided to see what might be available back in town.
We asked a couple of people in town, and they both pointed us up the road to the Hotel Alsace, the only hotel in town. We rode the mile out to the hotel, but Ray went in to inquire and found that the rate was $140 per night. We got a brochure which listed several bed & breakfast inns in town, plus a city park that has tent campsites. We started calling each of them to see what they had available, but there was no answer at any of them.
As we sat on the steps outside the hotel, a couple in motorcycle gear came up and started chatting with us. They noticed our bikes, and were curious as to what kind of trip we were doing. We told them about our tour, about the long day we had just had, and how we were having a hard time finding a place to stay for the night. They suggested that we go down to the city park, and we should be able to check in for a camp site even though nobody there answered the phone.
As we got our bikes reorganized and made our way back towards the road, we saw the couple again in the hotel parking lot. They said that they decided to come back and invite us to stay at their home near San Antonio. We gladly accepted their offer. They introduced themselves as Mark and Michele, and said that they were avid cyclists as well. They had to ride their motorcycle back home, then Mark returned a short while later with his pickup truck to haul us and out bikes back to their house. Ray and I waited and got a snack at Sammy’s Restaurant.
Mark and Michele’s house is in a very nice neighborhood on the west side of San Antonio, very near Sea World. They provided a delicious dinner of bleu cheeseburgers to us and their other friends Ray and Felicia.
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