Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bluebonnets, Butterflies, and Beauty

Two weeks have passed since the last blog entry, and—supposedly—spring is upon us. March 21 has passed, yet two nights ago (March 22) I watched the USA-CRC FIFA World Cup qualifying game being played in blizzard conditions in Denver. The front hit us today, on Sunday, when the second of the Texas High Scool Mountain Bike League races was about to begin. Thank goodness, no snow, just a hard wind from the north and a brrrrr temperature.

But yesterday I had a chance to walk the beautiful course at Reveille Peak Ranch, close to Burnet in the Hill Country, and in 85-degree temperatures I witnessed the budding of spring. Here's a sampling, without comments—because you should know what a Bluebonnet looks like:
So, the mesquite (that's that thorny thing!) is finally greening up. That means, as you well know, that the last freeze is past and spring is here. Mind you, in the South Plains, where I live, you won't find anything green on the all-knowing mesquite trees just yet. (I should add, as a disclaimer, that Old Man Mark, hubby to my sis-in-law's Candi's sister Ann—yeah, you go figure what that makes us: drinking buddies?—claims that pecan trees are even more reliable predictors of freezes than mesquite.) Regardless, you get an idea of how beautiful my 6-mile course inspection was yesterday.

Today's race, which happened to be the second race in the second year of the TX High School League's existence, attracted a record-breaking 101 racers from all over Tejas, and it was truly a memorable day. The fact that I was able to pose with—hold on, so I get this straight— Mrs. Texas United America, the lovely Leilani Kohles, was icing on the cake. Well, at least it made a heck of a blog photo op, n'est ce pas?
Windy, cold, and ...
... close-up: Posing with Mrs. Texas United America, the luvely Leilani Kohles
And thus it was, my weekend. It was great staying last night with Mark and Ann on Oatmeal Creek—thanks, guys. Inspecting and working a new venue is always tremendous fun. And interfacing with Vance, Brandi, Paul, Erin, Chad, Adam, Michael, and all those other decent people in the League is a total treat. And now, once again, I'm in what I like to call my "home office" in the Hilton Garden Inn in Abilene.
A Stromboli, good nourishment thanks to Joe's Pizza here in Abilene, and a bottle of CH Lot #99.


PS: This was our staff this weekend; we took the group photo at the conclusion of the race, and somebody posted it on Facebook. I include it here as a memento for myself.
Brandi McMurry, Chris Spencer, Paul Erin Garcia, Kelly Priebel Cleveland, Josh Lewis, Vance McMurry, Paul Gerhardt, Katherine Williams, Chad andWendy Bobbitt, Jürgen Heise, Jay Williams and Michael Johnson at Reveille Peak Ranch.

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