I woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful sunrise over the lake. The ground was still wet from an early morning shower, but the sky was clear and a cool breeze was blowing off the lake. I could tell that it was going to be a perfect day for a long motorcycle ride, but where to go?

As a wanderer, so many times I have to remind myself that it is the journey itself, not the destination that is important. With that logic firmly in place I recalled another cliché

“You can’t see the forest for the trees”

“You can’t see the forest for the trees“. Lake Livingston is right in my back yard (Literally) and I
have not truly seen what this area and the lake has to offer. I took it for granted since it is always here. Well today I was going to take a slow ride around the lake and uncover some of its secrets.

I started my road trip around 8:30 am when I fired up my 2007 Harley Road King. This faithful bike has been to 48 states and Canada with me, but it doesn’t get to get out of the garage as much these days since we upgraded to the Ultra for comfort reasons. Today, on the road by myself was the perfect for the King.

I didn’t make it far before I pulled into Jerrys restaurant in Onalaska to start my day. There is nothing more important that a good hearty breakfast if you are going to be on the road all day, and I never miss a chance to have breakfast. I was greeted by my favorite waitress Nikki Adkison. Nikki has worked at Jerrys as long as I can remember, and she doesn’t have to ask me what I am drinking. Nikki greets me with a big smile at my table and hands me my first hot cup of coffee.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I like to keep Nikki on her toes, she could bring my breakfast without asking as well. I like to change my breakfast order on occasion just to keep her guessing! Jerrys Restaurant offers an outstanding breakfast, all of the staff are friendly and helpful, and I recommend stopping here to anyone looking for a great breakfast.

My first stop along the way was unexpected. While crossing the big bridge heading West on 190 I saw a man reeling in a fairly large fish from the rocky banks of the shore. I pulled over on the shoulder of the road, climbed over the guard rail and walked down to see what he had caught. The 6 lb. Catfish was already in the cooler by the time I arrived along with a few smaller fish. I introduced myself, and I met Al and his 2 grandchildren. Al said brings that he brings the grandkids out here fishing in the morning when it is not too hot in the Spring.

We talked for a few minutes and Al even offered me one of their catch. I politely declined as I have nowhere to store a still twitching catfish, but thanked him for his hospitality. I continue on 190 West and exited on 156 south heading towards Coldspring. Just as I was passing one of my favorite Ice Houses, the Bullet Grill House (Too early for a beer and I never drink while riding the motorcycle) I was able to get into 5 th gear and get moving. At Stephen Creek a decided to turn onto 224 and drive past Wolf Creek Park and Cape Royale. Route 224 is a beautiful ride on a bike, it has rolling hills, twisting roads , and very little traffic. I passed by Wolf Creek Park and got a nice glimpse of the lake, but I was really looking forward to seeing Cape Royale.

I swung into Cape Royale wanting to see the homes, the view of the lake and of course, the golf course. This plan came to an abrupt stop, however, when I got to the guard shack. I explained that I was writing an article for the Piney Woods Pathfinder, and just wanted a quick tour around the area to see what it was like. My credentials as a local writer did not make the cut, and the security guard ordered me to turn around. I should have gone Eddie Murphy on the guard and said that I was writing for Rolling Stone Magazine! Oh well, I gave it my best and will have to visit another time. The thought crossed my mind of riding around that gate but that would have to wait for another day too.

My next stop was Coldspring. I know very little of this cute little town. I have been through it before, but I never stopped to explore. As I rode through town and circled the courthouse (I love towns with a courthouse in the center of town) I simply had to stop and investigate what was going on at the corner of Byrd Avenue and Butler Street. Outside of Rosalie’s Cottage was a group of 10 musicians playing Bluegrass music on the porch. I don’t have much of a musicians background but it looked to me like several guitars, a full base, a banjo, a slide guitar and something at looked like a western version of a ukulele being played. I am sure that I just murdered this instruments capabilities, and I apologize in advance for not being more informed.

After listening to the band play several songs I wandered into Rosalie’s Cottage to investigate, buy a souvenir, and hopefully ask some questions. The first thing a purchased was a sticker for my bike. Just keep moving….Life with NO regrets” I know that I was in the right place now. Rosalie’s is a cute and eclectic antique shop with a wide variety of merchandise from antiques to bath balms and Hippie stickers. A must visit if you are in Coldspring. While in the shop I did have a chance to meet and visit with the owner of this establishment, Mrs. Nena Sledge. Nena is a wonderful, friendly enthusiastic business owner, who informed me that the Bluegrass band out in the front of her shop on the porch gets together every Saturday morning around 9 am, and they play until around noon. It is free to stand around and listen, and musicians come from all over the area to play together on Saturday. Today there were 10 artists playing but some days there are over 40 musicians playing, and they have to move to the courthouse lawn to accommodate everyone. This is a great place to visit on a Saturday morning if you are out and about. Come by Coldspring for breakfast, some great music and be sure to stop in at Rosalie’s Cottage and say hello to Nena.

Continuing South I was hoping to ride over the dam at the south end of the lake. Getting on the dam is not possible these days and the best view of the dam if you want to see it is from the parking lot or viewing area on the west side of the lake just behind the Browder’s Marina and convenience store. I stopped here for a few minutes to stretch my legs and take in the view before heading to Livingston.

I am glad that I finally took a slow ride around Lake Livingston and took in some of the sights and local flavors. You don’t have to go far to find fun and beauty in the Piney Woods, you just have to go. Nacogdoches and Huntsville and my next planned visits then I plan to challenge myself with 30 burgers in 30 days in the Piney Woods. See ya next month!

Never lost….but sometimes hard to find.
Till next time, this is

The Piney Woods Wanderer