Day Twenty-Four

Canton, TX to Waxahachie, TX

After yesterday, I hoped to get back on track. I had a lot of miles planned, but the winds looked favorable. It was cold in the morning, around 34 degrees. It never got very warm, but with the sun shining it seemed better. My first destination was Kaufman, straight west of Canton on a decent state route. It took a long time to get there, though--it turned out to be nearly 30 miles. To keep my mind occupied, I sang R.E.M.'s " Man On The Moon," although I'm sure the town wasn't named for comedian Andy Kaufman. Today I left behind the East Texas pines for  ranch country. There were lots of small beef cattle ranches and horse farms. It will be a few days before I get into open range country, though

In Kaufman, my first order of business was to find lunch. I wanted a full tank to get me to Ennis, the next big town, another 25 miles away. I found a Dairy Queen and, since it was Friday during Lent, ordered a Snickers Blizzard for lunch. Heck, everything else had meat in it. One regional  menu difference I noticed--this Dairy Queen had Mexican food.

There was some construction on SR 34 to Ennis, but it wasn't too bad. At one point there was a one-lane road with flagmen, but I was able to keep pace with the cars in line. Further south, I had the pleasure of riding on smooth new asphalt. The welcome sign for Rasser boasted of " The Best Water In Texas." The water supply is a big deal in Texas, with many towns displaying road signs denoting " superior" or merely " approved" water. There was a huge, wide  bridge over the Trinity River. I should have stopped for a picture to show how flooded it was with all the rain from the past few days, but I didn't. Upon entering Ellis County, the pavement changed again, back to the lumpy rocky stuff from which  so many Texas highways are made. At least the shoulders were wide. With the wind mostly at my back, I made good time. Finally I got to I-45 on the edge of Ennis and rode onto US 287 straight through town. From the outskirts of Ennis  to Waxahachie, the road became a big highway with four lanes, heavy traffic and (thankfully) wide shoulders. The only memorable sight was the Texas Motorplex, a dragstrip.

I was happy to get off of the highway onto Business 287 into Waxahachie. I don't know if you've ever wanted your hachie waxed, but I suppose this would be a good place to do it. Downtown was pretty well preserved, and the courthouse was truly fantastic. Unfortunately for me, it was in the middle of being rehabbed, so there was scaffolding all over it. I was glad they were doing the work, but it didn't give me a very good photo opportunity. North of downtown, there were lots of really nice restored homes, including a few B& B's. At the far north end of town was my Super 8. I finally did my laundry for the first time since Columbus, GA (try not to think about it). Because there was no place to eat within walking distance, I ordered a pizza. It never came. I could have called and complained, but by that time it was late and I didn't want one anymore. I raided the motel's vending machine instead, probably saving 1000 calories.

Totals for the day: 73.39 miles in 5:42:57 for an average of 12.8 mph.

Click here to see today's photos.

Copyright 2002-2013 David Johnsen. All rights reserved.