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Thread: last weekend I rode to...Stonehenge?!?

  1. #1
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    last weekend I rode to...Stonehenge?!?

    So last weekend a friend of mine and I rode to Stonehenge. Or at least, Stonehenge II. It is located in Hunt, Texas a couple of hours southwest from Austin. So before we get to the picturey goodness I'm gonna give you the details of the ride in the form of super boring text.

    First, we picked a route that wound through some of Texas' best roads, or at least that's what I've always heard. The overall trip from south Austin back to south Austin was about 375 miles. Ouch. So, I opted to spend the night in Austin and get up nice and early to head out instead of riding my extra 30-40 miles just to get to Austin from my house. I mapped the route (which went through two of the big motorcycle holy trinity roads of Texas, Ranch to Market Road 335 and 337) and the map software said it was gonna take 9 and a half hours for the trip. Emily (my riding buddy) and I opted to make tenative plans to stay overnight somewhere in case we were just too tired to ride all the way back home. So, now all we had to do was get up nice and early to start riding, right?

    Well, I'm not much of a morning person, but I was so excited about this ride that I was up and on my feet at 6 am. Okay, now, you have to understand I'm something of a night owl. The last few times I remember being awake at 6 am I was still up from the night before. Anyway, we got up at the butt crack of dawn to get moving. After some breakfast at the local grocery store we hit the open road with the sun just coming up to meet us.

    Now, regarding the weather for this trip, the high was going to be in the high upper 80s with partly cloudy skies and no rain in the forecast. Sounds great, right? Well, I forgot about that whole "early morning low temperature" thing and was quite the shivering monkey as we rolled out at 7 am with me wearing my mesh jacket and mesh gloves. Silly, silly me as I thought I wouldn't need my winter(ish) gloves and my jacket liner for this trip. Motorcycle rides are a continuing series of lessons, so, after a couple of hours at 70 mph in sixty something degrees in just mesh gloves I couldn't feel my hands very well. Still, once that sun got a little higher at about 10 am I was good.

    Coincedentally, at about the time I was warming up we arrived at Hunt, Texas for the Stonehenge II attraction. It was a project started in the mid 90's by some guys just goofing around after they found a large granite slab that reminded them of one of the Stonehenge rocks. So, they decided to use it to make a replica of Stonehenge out of steel and concrete and leave it open for free to the public. Nice guys, I tell ya. The Stonehenge II monument is about one half the size of the original, both in height and circumference, if I remember correctly. Later, they added a couple replica Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Moai statues to the replica 'Henge because they thought it a perfect fit. I'd have to agree. It was rather neat seeing these replicas. What was also neat was how this place just springs up with no warning. One second you're leaning through a nice 30 mph right hand curve going up hill and after the turn is over and the crest of the hill is reached, bam, there it is right next to the road. Wow.

    So we snapped quite a few pics there and opted to hit the road again because, as Jerry Reed says, "we got a long way to go and a short time to get there". The more we ride the less populated it gets. I'm talking it gets desolate. I wish we would have had more time to stop and take pics, but the time was short and the available places to stop were few. Still, it was a great place to ride. You could tell this was definitely a motorcycle mecca because we say way more bikes that we did cars, a ratio of at least 2:1.

    As for the roads themselves, they were a lot of fun. They run along the tops and bottoms of the hills. The cool thing I thought was that the trees aren't terribly high so when you reach the top ridge of a hill you've got this beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding hills. The actual road surfaces themselves weren't the greatest, but they weren't too terribly bad (except for the 3+ miles of pseudo-dirt road at the beginning of RM 337, talk about sphincter pucker factor!). The roads were rather technical, and often blind corners, but I felt the speed suggestions in the corners were often very over zealous. Looking back, I'd have to say I was a bit dissapointed by 335 and 337. I had heard so much about these roads about how they were so amazing, but in my mind they were just "pretty good". I guess they were just over hyped. Now, I didn't get to ride the other 1/3 of the trinity, RM 336, but that'll just have to wait for another time. But the ride was a lot of fun. By the time we were getting close to Austin we opted to just soldier it home. So, I got home right at sundown. I rode from sun up to sun down with a grand total of something just over 420 miles. Wow. What a great ride it was.

    Now that you've been good little readers, here the pics!!

    At Stonehenge II


    the bikes




    the bikes again!

    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    that funky ring of rocks




    the moai with the hat

    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    the hatted moai with a nice view behind him




    and for sizing purposes, my camera shy friend Emily with the moai hat guy

    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  4. #4
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    the other side of the 'Henge




    the interior rocks of Stonehenge II

    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    the hatless moai




    obligatory straight on shot of the hatless moai

    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    my artsy pic of the hatless moai (I never pretended to be a great photographer)




    a pic on RM 335, the only place we could really stop and get a pic

    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    And on the way back we stopped at a winery where I saw the quietest mariachi group ever






    What a great ride it was!!
    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

  8. #8
    TBeck2000
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    Awesome ride report. The roads around Austin are great for riding and driving. When I lived in the area, we used to have Toyota MR2 meets where we would drive for 3-4 hours just to find the best roads. It made for a long day for me because I usually had to drive 150 miles just to get there. I always liked the area (except for the heat and the rednecks). I didn't really like that I had to drive to the next county just to pick up some beer.

    You referred to the roads as Ranch to Market roads; when I lived there, all of the roads around me were called Farm to Market roads. Did they change the designation in the last 2 years?
    Last edited by TBeck2000; 10-20-2005 at 02:53 PM.

  9. #9
    Great story and pics Issac! I've read about the Texas Stonehenge but I couldn't even remember what part of the state it was in. What a great place to ride to!

    It is interesting gearing up for a ride when it's in the 60's with the highs climbing into the lower 90's. I always feel like I'm way over dressed. We'll I am after an hour or two. We're getting into our prime riding season! OH yEA!!


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  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline El Guapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBeck2000
    Awesome ride report. The roads around Austin are great for riding and driving. When I lived in the area, we used to have Toyota MR2 meets where we would drive for 3-4 hours just to find the best roads. It made for a long day for me because I usually had to drive 150 miles just to get there. I always liked the area (except for the heat and the rednecks). I didn't really like that I had to drive to the next county just to pick up some beer.

    You referred to the roads as Ranch to Market roads; when I lived there, all of the roads around me were called Farm to Market roads. Did they change the designation in the last 2 years?
    Hey TBeck, glad I could bring back some memories. Yeah, the roads to the west of Austin/San Antonio are a good chunk of the state to ride in. As for the Ranch to Market designation, Texas uses both designations. I've noticed the smaller roads in the eastern half of the state are Farm to Market (FM) while those to the west (especially in the hill country) use the Ranch to Market (RM) designation. I'm guessing this has more to do with whether that local area was served more predominately by either farms or ranches back in the day. Most maps now just us FM for all those type of roads within the state.
    -Isaac

    What bike should you ride? The choice is personal. The reason is universal.

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