The Eagles Have Landed - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

November 5, 2018

The Eagles Have Landed

(Well, for the moment at least)

We left rainy Vancouver early in the morning and were never so glad to get on a little plane as we were then!  Horizon Air is an affiliate of Alaska and our first leg was just a little hop from Vancouver to Seattle.  All went well, including dropping off the "luggage" (panniers stuffed into IKEA storage bags) and the bike boxes.  Thankfully, the nice Alaska attendant who checked us in chose to weigh my box, rather than Jim's.  Jim had a larger e-bike box which had a few extra items in it and weighed more than mine.  My box came in under the limit and she just waved us through from there - didn't even weigh the other bags!  Love Alaska Air!

Waiting for the shuttle, which ended up being too full! Oh well, we grabbed a cab and got dropped off right at the Alaska counter, so no worries!
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Once the bikes and bags were dropped off, we headed to the dreaded security check, armed with our new Nexus passes.  These allowed us to bypass the much longer lineup for security and we were through to the US passport control in a decent amount of time.  First time using automated passport control for us, so it took a few minutes to figure it all out and then we were cleared to head off and find a restaurant for some breakfast.  They tell you to get to the airport 3 hours ahead of time for international flights and with all the shortcuts we had an hour to spare, so it was a sit down restaurant for us - yay!  Worth the extra expense in my view!

Back to the small aircraft, we had to actually go outside to board, and thus endure one more downpour in Vancouver before leaving for the winter - what a great send off!

Bye bye, rainy Vancouver! See you in March!
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Yep, it be wet out there!
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Talk about getting out in the nick of time!
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The transfer in Seattle went off without a hitch and we were soon on a larger plane headed for Austin and some sunshine!  

Almost there!
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Ah, now that's more like it!
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There is a two hour time difference between the Wet Coast and Austin, so even though the flight was only 4 hours, we arrived at our destination at 6:15 in the evening.  Exhausted from having been up since 5:30 am, we grabbed a cab to our Airbnb for this leg of our journey and checked in with our awesome host, Inger.  We dumped the luggage and bike boxes, walked to a nearby market and purchased some frozen pizza and a bottle of wine to celebrate our return to Texas. 

Nice!
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 Celebration over, it was time to crash as we were expecting company the very next day.  Our daughter, Annie and her husband Matt were coming down to spend the weekend with us and we were looking forward to some catching up, watching football and exploring parts of the city with them in their car.

Friday dawned sunny and warm and we started our day with a walk down to Ladybird Lake, a familiar setting to us from our stay here last year.  

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While waiting for the kids to arrive, we took the bikes out and Jim managed to get them all put together. That was the extent of our biking for the weekend, but I'm sure the Surleys were happy to be out of the boxes and ready to go.

Out in the fantastic sunshine, on our way to catch some football on 6th, a hotspot for football loving folks here in Austin.
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Oh! If only I could fit these into my panniers!
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Loving it here in Austin, Texas!
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Monday morning and we were in no particular hurry to get going.  Eventually we roused ourselves, hopped on the bikes and took a leisurely ride around Ladybird Lake.  This is a very popular route, with lots of bikes, joggers and walkers to be found all around.  Weekends are particularly busy along here and so we were happy to have waited until Monday to get out.  Here are some pics from our ride today.

Perfect riding weather today! A little overcast and a slight breeze - and no need for jackets!
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The Bat Bridge (South Congress). The bats have flown south for the winter, but the odor remains! 😳
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Along the south side of the trail around Ladybird Lake there is this a lovely boardwalk trail. On the railings you can find these bronze belts with the lyrics to country western songs engraved on them
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There is also a series of tributes to Tejano legends. This one is Ignacio "Nash" Hernandez, Sr.
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All in all, it was a fine start.  Our time here in Austin will not always include cycling, so I won't be posting daily.  However, this city has some lovely rides, so each time we get out to explore another section, I'll post that day's ride and give you a quick update on any other exciting excursions we have done in the meantime.  I'm wondering if I should have put a disclaimer on the title of this blog as Jim and I are not the fastest of riders, nor do we do great longs distances in a given day.  Today's ride will be the very shortest by far, and also the flattest, however, I am hoping to give you a sense of what there is to see and do here in this city as a cyclist, so I hope you enjoy learning about this lovely city and come ride here someday!

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