Let’s go to Austin! The “CITY OF WEIRD”, because we haven’t seen enough weirdness yet! But first, the trip to Austin. It’s a short 6 hours or so – it’s going to get warmer as we head south. Its boring freeways there, but we just want to chill vs technical ride – especially me, leading us granny style to Austin. The traffic in Dallas and Waco was AWFUL. Our hands hurt from all that clutch work we had to do. I locked up the brakes (all ‘2’ of them) at 70mph on the freeway and came pretty damn close to giving the bumper ahead of me a little love tap. People are cutting us off left and right, distracted drivers galore, people staring so hard they are drooling, and then THE semi. The one that is swerving all over the place and is lookin a little ratty. Its seen better days. I cling to the far left of the left lane and just want to get by this guy – hoping Shelly also notices the hot mess of a semi with a driver who is either dancing to tunes, texting, falling asleep, or messin with people for fun. We hit the gas and just as I go to shift – I see the trim around the driver’s side semi door floppin in the wind. Shit. And just as that fleeting thought was over – sure enough, OFF comes that floppy door mold and it wants to touch me. I barely miss it midair, look in the mirror hoping Shelly clears it – and BAM! She has no choice but to hit it dead center. But, she’s upright, and we are now pass that guy. And we cannot WAIT to get off these damn bikes for the day….. After we ride another 2.5 hours. The saving grace of the day is that the sun is out and it’s finally getting warm enough to ride without FULL gear on! We roll into Austin in the early evening hours, find a hotel just up from the main drag of Austin, and check in. I scope out the damage to the bike from the mudding this morning, to Shelly’s high jump on the freeway. My bags are not pretty looking – ugh. Look away. Shelly’s bike looks ok aside from the definitive “I hit that semi chunk right here – just look!!!” gouges out of the front tire. We are both feeling pretty lucky to be a) alive and b) off the bikes safely!!!! From riding in freezing rain with icicles on my eyelashes, to horrid side winds, to sleeping in an RV with a cat that Shelly is deathly allergic to, to a house with a king size bed in the living room, roasting marshmallows with a blow torch, a po-dunk bar with the best sideburns id ever seen, to sleeping on twin size mattresses with 3 people, to twisters nearby, to mud bogging, to dumping the bike, to crappy traffic and bad drivers, to hitting semi chunks, to Austin. It’s only been 2.5 days and the only way to describe TX so far is WEIRD. Cheers!