Sunshine State of Mind
May 2011
"If You Don't Know Where You're Going,
You'll Probably End Up Somewhere Else
A book title.
Author: David P. Campbell, PhD.
The seasons are changing

As a quick note; I am writing this before the T.M.R.A. State Rally and you will be reading it after the rally. I sincerely hope I got to see you while you were there. I would hate to have missed the opportunity to say hi and get a hug. I loves me some hugs.

At this moment in time, in March, all the signs are a go for a great wildflower year. The blooms came out early this year. At the end of March, as you are reading this in May you can see how confusing it can get, I will be taking a little tour of the Hill County, riding the 3's, and then on to Big Bend. I hope the drought they've been having is not too bad. I am looking forward to telling you about the adventure in the upcoming SSOM.

Wrong route

You've heard, many times, from many people, "Don't getting in a rut." I have always said, "Step back, take a look at your options, try a different route." Heeding my own advice, I took a good look at MS Streets and Trips to plan an alternate route. Ok, so it doesn't always work out the way you'd like it to, which I will elaborate upon in a second.

One of my favorite annual events is the Armadillos Crawfish Boil. The trip is a bit of a journey for me. It is always a challenge to get through the MetroMess. In an attempt to avoid as much traffic as possible, finding an alternate path is an ongoing, yet, worthwhile project.

SR-174 cuts a diagonal swath right to Cleburne, home of the Armadillo MC. A nifty short-cut, or so I thought. An "ah ha" moment turns to "Oh %$^#."

For those that have not succumbed to this beating before, word of advice, avoid 174, unless of course you like red-light to red-light racing with plenty of red lights, or sitting in traffic, while sweating and cursing.
Crawfish Boil

Guard Shack After making the turn into the driveway that leads to the Armadillos Clubhouse, stop at the freshly painted guard shack to check-in.

Motorcycle Parking

The next things you'll see are rows of motorcycles. Beyond that, the clubhouse sits, nestled comfortably among the trees.

Motorcycle Parking You won't wait long before you are greeted by the Brunson's. Buck and Betty are loyal supporters of T.M.R.A. Buck is the Armadillo Chaplin. If the opportunity arises, attend one of Buck's services. He is true to the Word, and at the drop-of-a-helmet he will break out in melodious song, filling everyone with the Spirit.

Ah, the delicious smell wafting through the air. The aroma of Cajun seasoning, with a hint of garlic, will have your mouth watering and your head swiveling, "Where's the grub?"

Page 2

Beertender But wait, before you can get to the food, another smiling face greets you with the question, "Beer?"

Whether you choose to partake is up to you. However you take your pleasure, you'll soon be rounding the corner with a puzzle to solve, "Will you start with the Jambalaya or the Mud Bugs?"

The Cook and her helper

After indulging in seconds of Jambalaya and a few mudbugs, I discovered the potatoes and corn, prepared with love by the talented T-Red. I plopped a glob of Shed's Spread on the taters and smashed them up. Can you say, "Mmmm Mmmm good!".

After sitting on a bench under the trees, chatting with old friends and making new one's, I got the itch to get going. I didn't stay around for the evening festivities of music and merry making. From what everyone said, that is when the real fun begins.

The long way home

Coyote Flats This time I didn't make the mistake I made getting there. I took a route that I had discovered years ago, off of FM-4, heading east on FM-3136 toward Alvarado.
Turkey Creek Grill Earlier, I had been chatting with Dirty Doug about the beating I took riding SR-174. It seems he knew the route well. DD suggested I stop in at a little Sports Grill on the outskirts of Alvarado, next to Turkey Creek. As one might expect, the name of the establishment is Turkey Creek.

What a friendly bunch of folks! I ordered an affordable thirst quenching beverage and Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. I most certainly will stop there again. I give it a Biker-A rating.

The weathered local, next stool over, brought up the topic of book smart as opposed to common sense. He began the tale of a well-educated man who lived in the area. It seems the genius was always in a hurry. He would tear up and down FM-3136 at speeds in excess of 80 MPH. People wanted him to slow down but he insisted that his mission was so vitally important that he had to rush to get wherever it was he was going.

Zipping around a curve at dusk, our speedster encountered a horse standing in the middle of the road. He plowed into the terrified animal. The horse flew through his windshield, kicking Einstein in the head. My new friend, and colorful story teller, went on to explain, "Yeah, the genius got kicked in the head by a horse, hasn't been right ever since."

Well, Buckaroos, while it is always good to keep an open mind and not be afraid to try new things, you cannot expect all of them to pan out. I knew the crawfish boil was going to be a ton of fun. I failed miserably in the route planning department and learned my lesson well, ending my riding day by taking a route well known. At the advice of a trusted friend, I tried something new by stopping at Turkey Creek. It was a day filled with the good, the bad and unlike the speeding genius, it didn't turn out ugly. In fact, just the opposite, it turned out great. Y'all know the best way to care for a horse, iron or flesh - so, until next time ...

Ride em if ya go em!

Bonus PIX