For the last six weeks, we’ve had plans to finally get out to Fair Grove and have lunch at the new cafe that has opened up in the old downtown area. Every time we carved out a Saturday to go, it’s rained. We finally made it today!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best day to go. The ride out there and back is always Hilly. Today, it was Hard because there was a south wind blowing at almost 20 mph. Finally, it was Hot! So there you are…our own version of the HHH. If you’re not familiar with it, HHH is the standard nomenclature for the Hotter ‘n’ Hell Hundred, an epic bike ride held in Wichita Falls, Texas every August. In fact, it’s coming up on the 29th.
We left the house at 10:30 this morning on the tandem for what was actually a pretty easy 21 miles out to Fair Grove. The wind was behind us all the way, giving us a nice shove. If we had wanted to, I think we could have made it out there in about an hour instead of the hour and 20 minutes it took us. I kept looking at the trees and other things blowing in the wind and thinking that I had better conserve my energy for the return trip, and that proved to be a good decision.
As we crossed over the creek between Strafford and Fair Grove, we saw several wild turkeys down in the creek bottom alongside the road. It’s actually pretty rare that we make that trip and don’t see at least one bird somewhere along the way. I remember a time when wild turkeys were pretty rare to find around here, but now it seems like we see them almost every week.
When we got to the cafe, it was pretty much like I expected. It’s probably modeled more after a coffee house (in Fair Grove…go figure) than a cafe, and seems to be run by a local young lady. Her father was doing some work, and was not at all out of place in Fair Grove!
We were asked if we were riding cross country! The Trans Am route goes through Fair Grove, so long distance cyclists are a pretty common sight during the summer. In fact, the town put a nice restroom and shower in their park for the cyclists coming through.
After a fully satisfying lunch (including dessert), we took a few minutes for Pam to browse through the flea market across the street. We had never stopped in this one, and we had really never missed anything. I’m not normally a flea market fan, and this one was really bad! Mostly junk piled in every direction!
The shots below encompass nearly all of downtown Fair Grove!
As we headed out of town, we felt the full brunt of the wind. It made it a pretty slow slog home, and by the time we left it was pushing 90 degrees. Unfortunately, we still had to negotiate the Three Ugly Sisters, but we made it over the top.
Just before those hills, we came over a little bridge and saw a calf out of the pasture. It was grazing in the tall weeds in the ditch, so we stopped at the next house to let them know it was out. The resident knew the farmer that it belonged to and said they would call. In the mean time, I decided we needed to go back and get the calf’s picture for the blog. As we approached, it took one look at us and started trotting up the ditch away from us. I was determined to get that picture, so we followed, hoping it would stop. Pretty soon, it came to a place where there was a tree down on the fence, hopped over, and trotted away through the pasture before we could get situated enough to get it’s picture. At least it was were it belonged! Then, it occurred to me what we had done. We had wrangled a calf from the tandem! What a hoot!
We made it home with 42 hard-earned miles on the bike. I was glad we went the shortest route out and back instead of meandering around. Those last 21 miles were hard!