The Colorado River
(well, one of them)
RDG and I spent a while on the bridge, in the sunshine, watching the world go by.
Crossing the Colorado at Bastrop before the bridge.
The fire crews who came from near and far, The volunteers, the people who opened their homes to the refugees from the flames, it all seems to fit what we saw of the people here.
We discovered, after a day driving through Texas' hill-country, that someone. Someone? Well. Me. I confess, me, had left one of RDG's bags behind at the Pecan St Inn. and we'd just booked in at the Gruene Homestead Inn, near New Braunfels, closer to San Antonio.
Although we'd spent a day driving and meandering to get there, the most direct route to Bastrop was only about sixty miles, so we set off again, leaving a message on our erstwhile landlady's phone. On the way there, the noise which had started earlier that day on the car, was getting ominously louder. We pulled in at a rest area, and I lay on the blacktop as RDG rolled the car forward and backward past me, in and out of drive. I was pretty sure that what I was hearing was a failing prop-shaft universal joint. And I was a bit concerned at the risk of it overheating and failing completely, so we stopped at a garage that claimed to be open for another hour and a half, -I just wanted, if we could, to put the car on a lift, and check it out, grease it if possible. But the proprietor said his guys had gone home, come back tomorrow, not very interested, bye.
So we continued, carefully, to the little town we'd left that morning. Our landlady had the bag. She'd realised, almost as soon as we'd left, that I'd left the bag by the bottom of the stairs, and had jumped in her car to try catch us. And tried to phone, but RDG's phone was switched off.
All well there, anyway, we thanked her again, and set off back toward town.
Seeing a garage with lights on in the bays. I pulled in, and explained our predicament. They were closing, trying to finish up a job, family, barbecues, beer, seven o'clock on a friday night, a grand-daughter visiting...
But hey. We'll listen. and take a look. and, well, we'll put it on the ramp.
My diagnosis was agreed. Propshaft u-js.
And on a Chevy Suburban, unlike my old Land Rover, there are no grease-nipples, you can't just attach a grease-gun and give it a couple of pumps. It's so frustrating. If I had the tools I habitually carry at home, I could have done it myself.
But not here.
"Where are you going?"
We explained. booked in, bags and medicines sixty miles away, and the boss-man went off, came back, said "I've talked to my mechanic, and he's prepared to stay and do it, if I can get the parts tonight."
And he could. He quoted a price that seemed very fair, especially two hours after their official five p.m. closing time, and took a cellphone number for us, recommending a couple of places to eat or drink for the estimated two hours we'd be waiting.
We did eat, sitting at a table outside Maxine's on Main, listening to the band around the corner.
When the car was ready, I saw the mechanic return from a test drive around the block, and tried to give him twenty dollars to get a beer and a steak on us, but he wouldn't take it, nor would his boss on his behalf. Both said, no, we're charging you a fair price, and we're satisfied with that. Look on it as karma, how would we like ourselves or our loved ones to be treated, if they were in a fix, as you were?
And I thought back to jobs I've done as a plumber, the times I've not charged, or vastly undercharged elderly people who were worried about money, or the times I've driven out into the snow at four in the morning, when I'd rather be asleep in bed, but I've heard a desperate voice on the phone, a child crying in the background. Maybe it does come around. Maybe. But really, I think it's about goodness, good hearted people. Thank you, thank you,
Need for Speed, 815 Chestnut Street, Bastrop. Tx.
Let it just be said, I could see myself living in Bastrop, I really could.
Whether I could make a living out of pottery and a bit of plumbing? Who knows?
I'd like to try!
RDG mentioned the oldest Drugstore/Soda-Fountain in Texas, and their Bluebell Ice-Cream. I confess I was taken aback at the size of the milkshake. Now in Britain a milkshake is mostly milk... In texas it's mostly ice-cream. I would have regretted it if I'd persevered all the way to the end, I'd have burst. Everythings bigger in Texas.
(Worth a visit for more pics around the Yacht Club area)