To Texarkana and Beyond

When I found out my cousin was getting married near Memphis–over 600 miles away–I had a crazy idea. You guessed it: Road trip. Half the ride would be in Texas–a perfect opportunity to see some county courthouses along the way, including such exotic destinations as Athens and Paris.

The wedding was on Friday, July 19th. I took off on Wednesday, the 17th. My first stop was Corsicana (Navarro County). As I sat at a traffic light in Corsicana, a guy pulled up next to me and yelled out the passenger window of his truck, “How many miles you got on that thing?” I told him the number…somewhere around 24k. He replied, “Aw, you’re just a rookie.” He wasn’t exactly wrong, and he looked like someone who had logged some serious mileage over the years, so I wasn’t inclined to argue.

Corsicana, seat of Navarro County
Athens, seat of Henderson County

Packing for a wedding on the other end of a 600 mile motorcycle ride presents a bit of a challenge. I mentioned in a previous post that I got a new backpack for Father’s Day. You can see it in these photos (the darker gray one), along with another bag. Other than the boots I wear to ride, I would need to take my nice boots. I also needed a set of nicer clothes, including a sport jacket. I decided the best way to pack those clothes would be to roll them up like a sleeping bag and slip them into the light gray, tube shaped bag. I then strapped them together and to the passenger seat with bungee cords.

Canton, seat of Van Zandt County

I ate lunch at The Kickin’ Mule, on the Canton courtyard square.

Emory, seat of Rains County
Sulphur Springs, seat of Hopkins County
Mount Vernon, seat of Franklin County
Mount Pleasant, seat of Titus County
New Boston, seat of Bowie County

It was a long day, 350 miles. After New Boston, I drove on to Texarkana, and stayed on the Texas side of the Texas-Arkansas border. The main memory this photo leaves with me is how tired and hot I was, and how dry my mouth and eyes.

Each new day starts out with fresh energy. Even when it’s a warm and muggy July morning, the wind and the sun feel nice. The heat and exhaustion of the previous day are forgotten. But after a pleasant morning ride towards Little Rock, the exhaustion of the road was back with a vengeance long before I rode into Memphis, then south across the border into northern Mississippi, on Thursday. The wedding was on the following day, so that was a rest day for me. The day after the wedding I rode back across Arkansas and stayed in Texarkana again.

On July 21, I travelled to Clarksville (Red River County), Paris (Lamar County), Bonham (Fannin County), Sherman (Grayson County), McKinney (Collin County), Greenville (Hunt County), Rockwall (Rockwall County), and Dallas (Dallas County).

Clarksville, seat of Red River County
Paris, seat of Lamar County

I look forward to getting back to Bonham at some point after their renovations are done.

Bonham, seat of Fannin County
Sherman, seat Grayson County
McKinney, seat of Collin County
Greenville, seat of Hunt County
Rockwall, seat of Rockwall County
Dallas, seat of Dallas County

After 280 miles logged, I stayed the night in Dallas, because I had a work meeting in Dallas the next day. After that meeting on Monday, July 22, I hit two more courthouses on my way home, in Waxahachie (Ellis County) and Hillsboro (Hill County).

Waxahachie, seat of Ellis County
Hillsboro, seat of Hill County

Over the course of six days, I rode 1,605 miles through four states and visited 18 Texas County courthouses. It was the longest ride I’ve taken, so far.

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