Austin, Texas
City Hall Steps
3:00 P.M., March 2, 2006
Havin' fun
with the sun
in Austin
Thursday began with Ophie and me getting much needed rest.  We got up at 7 AM, getting on the road in Midland,
Texas with a cup of coffee and a pastry.  Just guessing what route we should take from Midland to their next
destination, Austin, almost proved to be a real embarrassment (we'll talk about that in a moment).  

Down the road at the first gas stop, I noticed a huge puddle of gas under the Nitro Tire van.  Not seeing any real gas
leakage, I took a chance to press on to Austin.  Gas mileage plummeted to 7 miles to the gallon.  Hmmm . . . was I
losing gas on the road . . .  or what!?.

Further down the road, I had a strange feeling we were traveling the long route to Austin.  We pulled into a gas
station just outside Abeline on I 20, I asked directions, only to find out we were about two miles from US 84 East, the
main cross-country route to Austin.  Had we not stopped, we would have been two hours late.  A real embarrassment
avoided by divine intervention.  As it turned out we were one minute early (per our watch). Whew!!!

Traveling through the heart of Texas, we came across minor excitement with a three alarm fire in a farm field
diverting traffic.  See the billow of smoke below.

We arrived in Austin to a lot of traffic, but found our way down town.  We had a parking place coned off just for us
courtesy of City Hall.  We thought we were in luck, what with three TV station camera crews surrounding us.  
Dagnabbit.  They were there for a council meeting.  (Apparently the fireworks were elsewhere today.)

It was pretty exciting with the Austin Scleroderma Foundation getting to meet Natalie and Whitney from the Lance
Armstrong Foundation.  The group shared their common charity experiences and how they deal with their condition
on a daily basis.

At the end of the event, Jim jumped on The Julia Lynn and drove around the block, letting a pinch of Susie's hair fly
into the wind in front of City Hall.

Everyone said their goodbyes with a great time had by all.

Next stop -- HOUSTON!
The big excitement of the day.  A
Texas brush fire.
Setting up in front of City Hall.
A clean fund raising idea!
A piece of the Guinness Book of
World's Records.  A chunk of the
world's largest bar of soap.  A gift
to the RFL Team.  Pretty cool.
Everyone having a good time
sharing stories.
Even the younguns join in.
It's a bird.  No it's a porpoise. No
it's a _________.  Fill in the blank.
I know you!
Natalie and Whitney from the
Lance Armstrong Foundation join
Standing 'round The Julia Lynn.
The Julia Lynn.
Admiring The Julia Lynn.
A fashion statement.
That doesn't add up!
Susie's mojo bag.
Getting ready to circle City Hall.
No tickets please.
Getting ready to let Susie's hair go.
Way to go Susie!!!

Reflecting on the moment.
A fashion statement.