Although my brother, Bill, is a transplant in Texas, he and his wife Phillis have provided a big Texas welcome for the final weekend leading up to our Spring North cycling tour. Our first taste – literally – was en route home from the train station. Being Good Friday and all, they took us to the Flying Fish restaurant in Forth Worth for lunch. They claimed not to know that it had been dubbed “Lent Central” but that seems highly suspicious. Regardless, we enjoyed the local fish delicacies and an outdoor meal.
Our next culinary delight came after a long drive in the countryside outside of Granbury. We enjoyed the rolling hills, trees, wildflowers and greenery along the way and eventually arrived at the Loco Coyote. Situated in a pasture, the long low-slung building was rustic with all the appeal of a cowboy hangout. We chose the open air room, and once again were treated to family-style seating. That turned out to be the afternoon's best entertainment.
We shared our picnic table with three young men, all of whom were local high school football coaches. The cultural clash between Minnesotans and born-and-bred Texans devoted to the state's athletic pastime, fueled by Bill's insatiable appetite for telling jokes made for some memorable story telling and a lot of laughs. They regaled us with their stories of noodle fishing, and we battled back with tales of ice fishing. While the barbecue was delicious, it was the local flavor that made it memorable. We all left still chuckling.
Easter provided some good family time, a service at an old country church in the midst of being restored, a visit to the farm and a traditional ham dinner. Despite the cool temperatures, it was a warm holiday.
Lest we grow too fat and lazy before starting our cycling tour, we made sure not to neglect our bikes. The first task was to reassemble them following their Amtrak journey. Rich made quick work of that job while Bill and I supervised. We've made a few circuits around Pecan Plantation to make sure both we and the bikes were in good working order. Everything checked out, so it's all systems go for tomorrow's departure. A full week after leaving home, we are ready and eager to start cycling. And we're counting on finding more Texas hospitality along the way.