Since our last travel post, we shared that we were going to the 1st Annual Hawgs-n-Hills rally in Llano and that we did! Since then, we have also been to the Hill County Run in beautiful Fredericksburg AND recently spent a whole day taking experienced rider lessons at our local Harley shop. Life has been full to say the least and after 4 consecutive weekends of traveling we were really longing for a ‘normal’ weekend, if there is such a thing. Someone told me once that ‘normal’ is a setting on the washing machine, but I guess what WE mean by ‘normal’ is no where to go and a weekend free to sleep in, catch up on things left undone, do chores that threaten to make you miserable if left undone, and just generally do whatever we want free from the constraints of time.
So off we went to Llano for the 1st Annual Hawgs-n-Hills rally and we must say, WE WERE IMPRESSED! We have been to 5+ year rallies that weren’t this good. The rally was held about 10 miles outside of Llano off of Hwy 16 (between Llano & Fredericksburg). Hwy 16 is always one of the Top Reader’s Choice Roads in Texas, rated by Ride Texas Magazine, so if there were not signs out on the highway directing us where to go, we likely would not have known there was anything going on. Although the rally was just off the highway, once we were inside, we couldn’t help but notice the privacy. And much to our surprise, even though there were many folks camping on the grounds, it was quite a tame group. They had the typical rally fare, such as bike games, contests, concerts, vendors, etc, but the three things that we had never seen before were the FMX riders, the Ham Bone Express and Mark Reid, Master Body Painter.
The FMX riders are really insane to watch live and we actually missed the Ham Bone Express pig racing, but heard enough about it to make us wish we hadn’t. But it was Mark Reid, Master Body Painter that really had us floored. Ronn wrote a post on Beatnik Biker about this guy. He is AMAZING! He paints clothes on people and they look so real, you almost can’t tell the difference! And it is done in good taste! Click here to link into Ronn’s post. Click here to link to Mark’s gallery. This is a must-see!
Just an interjection of motorcycle philosophy here. You don’t decide to NOT go on a trip because you think it might rain on part of the trip. Granted, you don’t deliberately choose to go on a trip when you know the weather is going to be horrible, like there is a tornado warning or something, but being prudent and being a scaredy-cat are two very different things. I mean, really, everything is temporary, so if it’s raining now, keep moving down the road and eventually, it won’t be raining somewhere. And this is coming from us even after we had to ride thru a monsoon the last 23 miles into Midland on the way home from Llano. Not to mention that we were riding underneath a wanna-be tornado watching a funnel cloud make her descent and then retreat, over and over again, as if she was in fighting a battle of good vs. evil. I just knew at any minute, evil was going to win the battle (at least, we would win the war) and there we would be exposed and vulnerable where she could just plop down right on our heads and whisk us away, motorcycles and all.
This sounds scary and trust us, it was. We would never have deliberately done that, but when you are already in it, and there is no shelter, what good is stopping on the side of the road going to accomplish? The only prudent choice was to keep moving. This was absolutely no fun, but it is part of motorcycling. Sometimes that happens. At some point, we just accepted that if how we were going to exit this life was by a tornado coming down on top of our heads, literally, well then, let’s get in on and quit piddling around!
Being on the other side of that now, I can tell you that there is freedom in that—being so surrendered and accepting of the circumstances that whatever outcome happens will be ok. (This is what I meant by winning the war). I am sure our loved ones would vehemently disagree, but I suppose it is one of those things that if we have to explain, you wouldn’t understand. Until we have experienced that sort of surrender, the very best we can do is look at a situation like that thru glasses of fear and loss. But I can assure you that one day when you experience that type of surrender—maybe not a motorcycle underneath a battling tornado—but somewhere, someday, you will then know exactly what we mean when we say that we now understand the message behind the words “You must first learn to die, in order to live”.
So on to the Hill Country Run. We actually made this trip with a group of friends, so that was fun riding with them. But what was even more fun was staying with them at their house on Lake Buchannan, just outside of Llano. This group does this trip every year, but this was the first time we had gone with them. And we had a blast! But, as you might expect, it was one of those trips where all we can really say is “what happened there will stay there”! We couldn’t do it justice to tell you about it anyhow, but what we can tell you is we met some new people, saw some new things—well, new to us, learned some new philosophy and even learned a few new vocabulary words—Thanks, G! Does that give you any insight?
So back to the rally….we anticipated for some reason that this rally was a really huge rally, but what we learned is that apparently they put their emphasis on the run rather than the rally. Although, there were some cool vendors there. We discovered our Throttle Mates at this rally. You can click here to read Ronn’s post at Beatnik Biker about the Throttle Mates. No sense in repeating what has already been said, eh? So we learned that the next time we do this rally, we need to do the cowboy breakfast and go on the group run. That is really where the essence of this rally is and when we stopped to think about it, that makes sense. I mean, when you are in that part of the country, why would you want to stand around and browse from vendor to vendor, when you could be riding those great Hill Country roads? Hence the name Hill Country Run (not rally). We went. We learned. Now we know.
And we can’t say this trip is complete without mentioning that we swung by Luckenbach. That was very cool for me because that was the first time I had been there. If you are in the Hill Country area, especially if there is anything motorcycle related going on, this is a MUST-DO. It’s like a ghost town that comes to life when motorcycles roar thru.
And would you believe that we had people that were planning to go with this group that elected to not go because they were worried about it raining on the way home? Geez people, buy a rain suit and leave worry and fear where it belongs! As we learned at the lake house, “Worry, fear, panties and scales are all the work of the devil”. When we asked why, we were told very matter of factly, “Worry and fear keep you miserable, panties are up your butt all the time and scales just tell you information you really don’t want to know!” So there you have it—life lessons in a nutshell!
And just for the record, the weather was beautiful there AND back (overcast some days, but great riding weather) with only a few sprinkles of rain. So those that didn’t go missed out on the whole glorious weekend all because they were worried the weather would be bad. Now wouldn’t that be a shame—for those of us who went and know how much fun we had—if we had worried like that?
Well, this is already getting long enough and I know I mentioned that we also did some experienced rider training, which was PHENOMENAL by the way, but that will have to be another post for another time. Until then, keep the rubber side down and quit worrying!