Leakey, Texas

Just when I thought Texas Hill Country was flattening out into vast expanses, we hit some substantial hills. We rode steep grades cut into the side of rock faces. Big, daunting hills. It was a lovely day of riding. I saw the first roadrunner of our tour sprinting wildly across a rocky ditch.

Our final descent put us in Leakey. The town had a warm feel, despite resembling a ghost town. We approached the sole grocery store just as the owner was locking the front door. She apologized about the timing, but easily gained our favor when she said we could camp on the lawn behind the store. With lodging taken care of, we decided to try our luck at a birthday dinner, something we were both owed: each a year older, each without sufficient celebration.

We asked a young lady passing by which of the two restaurants in town was better. As a waitress at one of the establishments, she suggested we dine at her place tonight. We agreed. We both ordered fish. The meal was delightful, complete with a couple of beers, dessert, and coffee. At last, the two of us had celebrated out birthdays officially. We ate our fill. We savored every bite. We paid the bill with a bit of cash designated for such an occasion, a gift from my grandmother.

Upon our return to the lawn behind the grocery store, a sheriff deputy spotted us and drove his squad car to the far end of the lot. He was barely able to fit his mass into the driver’s seat. He had a sweaty forehead and his uniform was wrinkled. I approached him, and he cast a bright beam of white light in my face, presumably to limit my gawking at the collection of fat rolls set under his chin. He rudely asked what we were doing. I politely answered. When he was satisfied that we were not breaking any laws, he drove off without a word. I can only imagine that his cholesterol-encrusted heart was racing with excitement when he realized that we were potential law-breakers. I felt that I had let him down. He wanted so badly to catch me in some sort of illegal act. In hindsight, I should have asked him to stop by in a couple of hours to check up on us. That would have given him something constructive to do, anyway.