Another beautiful Tuesday (at least, that was my initial assessment) and another courthouse ride. I had originally intended to hit four courthouses, but, while summer storms may be pleasing to those at home, they are the devil to riders…who forgot their gear! I did plenty of dodging of storms but never could dodge the spectacular winds raging, seemingly, from the different directions at the same time.

I started from my office again, around 6:00, thinking I would wait out the traffic (also a dream). It took a long time to navigate around town but I finally got to TX 66 (the road I enjoyed so much on the last trip) and headed towards Greenville. TX 66 is a beautiful road for scenery and it goes through Rockwall and Royse City (as well as a number of other small towns) without irritating stops for the most part. However, the condition of the road isn’t great from a biker’s perspective and I had to watch what I was doing. There are plenty of favorite rides in the Metroplex for riding groups that have roads of similar quality, but they’re more familiar while this one wasn’t.

Hunt County CourthouseThat said, I’m looking forward to riding it yet again and here’s why: the Hunt County Courthouse in Greenville is nice. It’s not spectacular, but it’s nice. But it’s situated on a town square that seems vital and, best of all, owns a winery with attached bistro. Landon Winery beckoned me with “come hither” eyes like I rarely see. I didn’t succumb, but only because I was still going to try to hit three more courthouses and clearly had serious storms to outwit. But believe me, I marked it’s location and will be returning soon!

From Greenville, I took TX 224 out of town and was immediately blasted with whirling winds, cloud banks boiling all around, and lightning strikes close enough to see the bolts but not close enough to hear the thunder over Coco. I definitely considered turning back (the wise thing to do but I’m nothing if not a doer of foolish things). Still, I’d come too far to give up so I pressed ahead. TX 224 is also a very nice road and it’s actually in better condition than TX 66 which shouldn’t be surprising since it likely gets less traffic.

The Delta County Courthouse in Cooper is not spectacular and neither is the town square (which isDelta County Courthouse probably to be expected from a town with a population below 2,000. I got my picture, such as it was, and was bedeviled by a burger joint, also giving me that “come to Daddy” look. I resisted and I’m not sure I’ll make a special trip back (I mean, this is Texas; there are burger joints all over the place). It was on out of town on TX 154 towards Sulphur Springs.

TX 154 is a really beautiful road that merges with TX 19 and goes by Cooper Lake and Cooper Lake State Park. Now this is another place I would like to come back to just to hike and, maybe, camp. The storms were around me in earnest and it was clear there had been some rain. It was extremely windy and every now and then I felt a drop or two that I was sure signaled a deluge. But the rain didn’t come. The wind was cold, though, and again I lamented my ill preparation. I’m a seasoned rider; what was I thinking? Ha! I WASN’T thinking and that’s a persistent problem I just can’t seem to shake in life!

Hopkins County Courthouse

The Hopkins County Courthouse in Sulphur Springs is spectacular – absolutely beautiful. It’s old (I think…it HAS to be because no one builds new buildings that look like that) but looks new and is beautifully kept. It was dark but my wamma-jamma-super camera takes great night pictures (after owning it three years, I finally figured that out last night) so it was documented. The whole town square was under construction and I couldn’t tell how much business was going on there. Looks like a revitalized area and I would expect it to be a happening place on the weekend. Frankly, on Tuesday night, not much is happening in any small town outside the metroplex.

It was full dark (9:30 pm) by now and the last stop on my plan was definitely in stormville so I decided to put off visiting Emory until another trip. I also hit I-30 for the ride back. I prefer more scenic rides but when it’s dead dark and there is no moon, only periodic lightning, what’s the point of scenery? Dallas was 75 miles away and it took me just over an hour to get back. Funny, though, how once I hit Rockwall and familiar ground, the ride flew – probably because I was!

Until next time eyes up, wheels down.

Total ride time: 4:45. Total miles 200.

Six down, 248 to go.