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2005 GOF in Salado

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2005 GOF in Salado, Texas

May 6, 7, 8

My comments plus a story to read!

Salado, Texas
This is a highly touristed town in Central Texas, that was once the absolute king of the antique and tourist destinations. Snuggled up against Interstate 35 between Austin and Waco, it was the location of choice for many events, especially around Christmas. We were there, many years ago, perhaps around 1992, during the Christmas season. They put on quite a show then, and we really enjoyed it. But I really think it's gone downhill since then, and is overpriced and really not worth going to see.

I also really have an issue with the Stagecoach Inn. It's overpriced, the beds were uncomfortable, there was no internet or free breakfast, and, quite frankly, although it's been updated, it's still just an old motel. Sorry. I will not stay there again. We will look elsewhere, perhaps in Temple or even Georgetown.

We did, however, have a great time, and thought that the funkhana was particularly well done, even tho we did a terrible job! Plus we found the lake, the dam, some interesting roads, and some interesting topological features.

So - here is the story of the return trip!

The weather was beautiful all weekend; my wife and I were both up early on Sunday morning, ready to head north again. We dragged the kids out of bed (forcefully) with the promise of donuts down the road. They both took their blankets and pillows and promptly passed out in the Honda, leaving me to drive home solo in the MG!

It was a bit misty, but I figured that was OK; I'd make it just fine. I made a stop for breakfast and gas, and headed out again. As I approached Temple, the storm became heavier. Much heavier. Since it was still dark, I wasn't sure how much water was joining me inside the car. I was glad, however, that the windshield was so close as I continued to wipe the fog off (manual defrost!) I didn't really notice that my left leg was getting wet, but when the high wind starting pushing large drips in between the top and the windshield I figured discretion was the better part of valor and I headed off to find shelter. Under the bright lights of an abandoned gas station (go figure!) I noticed how much water was inside. Lots on the floor (I was really glad I had picked up those rubber floor mats on the trip down!), and some on the center console, gages, doors, and me. Hmm. I managed to mop up most of it, and then used the roll of toilet paper my daughter had left in the car to stuff the obvious cracks under the windshield (OK. It really IS time to replace that gasket!) and up between the roof and the windshield (is there another gasket there???)

Once the storm seemed more calm (I'm way too impatient to wait out a storm!) I headed out again. Oh yes, I forgot to mention: sometime in the last few months we had used the windshield wipers, so naturally I had assumed they would work again. But experience has taught me to always travel with rain-x. Good thing!

Everything's fine until I approach Hillsboro. I had seen the sign for StarBucks, and I figured I could use a jolt. Plus some warmth! Unfortunately, there are two police cars in front of the restaurant. With all this water I am somewhat reticent to actually turn the car off. I was stopped by the police in Oregon once for leaving a running vehicle. Or is that leaving a vehicle running? I wasn't about to find out if that was a law here in Texas! So I park on the other end of the parking lot, run through the rain into StarBucks, use the facilities, and order. It looks like the police are leaving. I'm worried. False alarm - he was getting another cup. I grab my brew and Danish and I'm out of there! Homeward bound! And indeed, in almost poetic fashion, the storm clears as I approach Dallas.
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