December 16, 2008 GMT

Texas is big! One of the first things we saw after crossing the state line was a road sign, bearing the news, “El Paso 857miles”texas.jpg
Texas was not what we were expecting. I had in my mind many pictures of what I thought I would see in Texas, Oil pumps in fields, tumbleweed, ghost towns, prairie fields and Cacti, what we had instead to welcome us into America’s largest state was a whole lotta rain. It was warm, in fact at almost 80 degrees , it was the warmest day we had had for a long time, which made conditions inside my rain suit almost sauna-like! During our 337 mile ride, we experienced rain, heavy rain, light rain, drizzle and “biblical” downpours, at one point we simply had to pull off the road and let it pass. Fortunately, aided by the ridiculously strong winds that accompanied these sections of heavy rain, the weather usually moved quickly. By the time we had got into Whataburger, soaked the whole floor- prompting the staff to surround us with bright yellow “WET FLOOR” signs-and downed a coke, a coffee and a couple of mighty tasty burgers, the road was once again rideable.

The staff and customers of this fine establishment took great amusement at our predicament, and even more at our accents, and after giving us a pair of free cookies, we were once again on our way down the I 10 to Austin.

We stayed ahead of the heavy rain the rest of the way into Austin.grey sky.jpg I kept my waterproofs on, as well as my home-made custom waterproof footwear, in the shape of a pair of plastic bags tied over my trainers as we rode on under threatening skies, but stayed dry apart from the sweat inside my rain suit. There were a couple more unplanned stops on the way to Texas’ capital. One at a classic car showroom, full of old Stingrays, Cadillacs and Thunderbirds and others, and the other at a the opposite end of the scale, a Hot Rod builders garage, backing on to a junkyard full of rusty old relics.rusty car.jpg
We made it into Austin just as the sun was setting and the temperature dropped rapidly from mid 70’s to mid 40’s. I followed the GPS instructions right o the door of Wholefoods, a special treat I had planned for Jacquie to give her a burger break. It was justifiable as Austin was the birthplace of the Wholefoods chain, and this was the world flagship store. We got our food and went and sat down next to a couple of guys, and once again, within minutes, we were chatting away, swapping stories, and after a couple of beers, the two guys were on their respective computer and telephone, trying to find us a cheap motel.
A few hours later, we were on our way to the Super 8 , in freezing rain, with an open face helmet. Not a good combination. The temperature had dropped to 30 degrees, and the sleet on my cold face felt like I was being pinched-hard!
Fortunately we only had a couple of miles to go, and as we looked out the window of our budget accommodation, the sleet turned into snow,snowseat.jpg then that turned into torrential rain. This kind of put our plans for the rest of the evening in the Live Music Capital of the World on hold.

Posted by Dan Shell at December 16, 2008 02:57 AM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!