03-Feb-2002 -- Continued from 29N 100W
I left Junction at 8am sharp, a chilly 44 degrees and way too cold for the outdoor pool. Going through the town brings you to what I would describe as a "Rambo" bridge; if you saw the first film you'll know what I mean. Across this and left onto US10 heading southeast. At this time in the morning it was quiet and what traffic there was was holding a steady 90....
As I went further south I realised that US10 was going to pass within about 3 miles of this point (Pic 3) - shortly after that I passed over a road that curved back in the right direction; you never know! I left at exit 520 and turned left onto Farm Road 1341 heading east.
It must rain a lot in this area at some point in the year (Pic 6); the flood gauge extends five feet above the road, despite these (Pic 7) drainage pipes. Though the creek was in fact completely dry....
There is an unmarked junction at 30D 1M 1.9S / 98D 58M 34.8S, turn left here and you see something you never see at home (Pic 5) - Rabies Vaccination! Continue on for a couple of miles and you come to another unmarked junction (30D 0M 56.7S / 99D 1M 20.6S) where you turn left onto what is actually Lazy Valley N, so lazy I guess they couldn't be bothered to sign this end of the road.
From here you turn onto McDonald loop, where the road starts to snake its way around the side of the hill; just about every exit is posted "we shoot trespassers", well, a slight exaggeration, but you get the meaning of what they said. At this point it wasn't looking too hopeful.
I soldiered on and the road wound its way round to 0.29 miles from the point; there was a turning ahead and I stopped to talk to a guy tending goats - and I thought Texas was cattle country! He explained that the plot was owned by a Mexican family who lived in Dallas, turned up once a month to feed the goats (they were pretty scrawny!) and didn't maintain their fence. Basically he was fed up with the goats eating all his greenery; even plastic netting didn't keep them out - they ate that as well.
I explained my quest and was made welcome to wander anywhere over his or their land as I wanted. It turned out though that the point was beyond their boundary line. Backtracking to the closest point, I saw two guys in a field. Asking if they were the land owner elicited that they weren't. Anticipating another absentee landlord (see 29N 100W) I was pleasantly surprised when they pointed me to the house next door and told me that he was in and that it was Terry Howard I wanted. A bit of luck at last.
Mr Howard's wife and Jack Russell terrier (called JR!) answered the door. I was asked inside where there were some magnificent hunting trophies on the wall and through to the garage where Mr Howard was reloading some rifle ammunition. We were joined by his hunting dog who as with dogs all over the world wanted some fuss and attention.
I explained my quest and permission was freely granted; off I set. Within 5 minutes I had arrived at a small clearing in some thorny scrub, clicking off the looking north (Pic 1), GPS shots (Pic 2) and looking back up towards Mr Howard's house (Pic 4). I took my leave and headed back to Kerrville for some lunch.
At the local police station was a police car Texas style (Pic 8). I then headed up 16N turning onto 87N to Mason, from there 386N to 71W to see if 31N 99W was achievable.