Vernal Equinox and Pressed Pennies

March 20, 2016

Business meeting in Austin.  Nice weather.  Hill Country roads.  Moto.  Good combo.

I picked up on a new excuse to ride earlier this year – the Iron Butt Association Pressed Penny Insanity.  You know – those souvenirs one finds in the tourist routes that roll a penny with an impression of wherever someone might wind up stopping.  I did a test run in January up to Gainesville to have breakfast with the Lonestar BMW Riders.  I shared my experience with Mike Kneebone who with the help of others is still fine-tuning the requirements for this ride.  The concept of this ride is to collect 100 of these pressed pennies from different sites and in at least 20 states and 5 of those must be west of the Mississippi.  Remember what I said – it’s just another excuse to ride.  The album in process that is documenting this ride is here – .

With a work event in Austin, I figured the best way to get there would be moto.  A ride thru the Hill Country in a round-about way to get to Austin in 450 miles sounded totally logical to me.

IMG_5849 IMG_5850
The first stop for a pressed penny was south of Glen Rose at Dinosaur World.  I welcomed the break from the high 30’s temperatures on this day of Spring.  It would warm a bit as the sun got higher in the sky and I continued my trek south.

BBQ in Lampasas is always a good reason to get off of the moto.

IMG_5856 IMG_5860
Inks Lake State Park and Longhorn Caverns took me off of the major roads I usually take through the Hill Country.  I grabbed a canoe-pressed penny at Inks Lake and found the Longhorn Cavern machine broken.  Oh well…

IMG_5867 IMG_5870
A giant colorful rooster caught my attention just north of Fredericksburg.  There were plenty of folks walking about Main Street in the city.  It was turning out to be a beautiful day.

I looked at the clock on the moto as I was leaving Fredericksburg to try to go to LBJ State Park.  I had about 20 minutes to get there right before the visitor center closed.  I walked in right at 5:00 and let the park ranger know what I was seeking.  She was entertained and wished me a safe ride.

IMG_5876 IMG_5880 IMG_5882
I love dropping by Luckenbach when I’m near there.  The pressed penny machine was even more of a reason to stop, have some brew and Bratwurst and listen to some guitar-pickin.

I checked into the motel at Kerrville and had a good night of sleep.
March 21, 2016

IMG_5889 IMG_5892
I rode east through Comfort and the far-north hills of San Antonio picking up more smashed pennies along the way.

The last time I was in San Marcos and the glass-bottom boats at Aquarena Springs was with my parents.  I think I was 10 years old or so.  It is a lovely spring with crystal clear water.

Keith and I met at Dirty Martins, supposedly the oldest restaurant in Austin.  They made a great burger, and the visit with Keith was very nice.

IMG_5906 IMG_5909
I checked in to the motel and walked up to the Austin Visitor Center to grab a state capitol smashed penny.

The hotel was much nicer than most of my road digs.  I chatted with Debbie on the telephone as the west sky continued to darken.

IMG_5965 IMG_5975 IMG_5981
IMG_5983 IMG_6029 IMG_6040 IMG_6044 IMG_6049

The next several days were spent learning as much as possible and networking with others in my industry.  The evenings were filled with Austin music on 6th Street, a visit to the South Austin Brewery and a whole lot of walking!  I joined the crowd on Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the ritual of the bats going out for the evening.  And a couple of pressed pennies were gathered in town before I headed back home to gather several more along the way in north Austin and Temple.  It was a nice start of the spring and a fruitful gathering of pressed pennies for this nutty ride.


You may also like...