Sunday, November 9, 2003

Deep Shit Cattle Company

After the trip to the Deming Veterans Gathering was fucked, I decided to take a little trip southwest of the Dallas metroplex to the Deep Shit Cattle Company. I had never been there, but a few folks from the MTF had been and I thought it was a good excuse to ride. One member, Gary from Pflugerville, takes an annual run to the Deep Shit every July 4th. I'm relatively certain this year was the 4th annual run. The forecast called for cool temperatures in the upper forties and off and on light drizzle. It was spectacular day to get the hell out of the house and an opportunity to explore a few unknown roads along the way.

When traveling from the DFW area you can get out of the metroplex however you wish. I choose to not dilly-dally and make a b-line to somewhere outside of the metromess. For instance, when I feel like going into east Texas I typically find myself on the other side of Terrell dropping south at I-20 exit 506 to hit FM-429. When I head to the Possum Kingdom area northwest of DFW I typically head out SR-114 to somewhere in that general direction. Sometimes up to Jacksboro for a burger at Herd's and then a nice little ride down FM-4 just east of Jacksboro.

Since I had never been to Deep Shit, I didn't know how to approach it. The DSCC itself is south of Comanche, TX along SR-36. It's actually closer to Gustine than Comanche, but who the hell cares. I figured I'd look at the map and find a good road to kick things off. From there, I'd just use the GPS to find good roads that lead me into deep shit - the cattle company, of course.

I decided to drop south at I-20 at exit 391 - Gilbert Pit Road. Gilbert Pit is a meandering tar road that winds through ranch lands toward Lipan, TX. Along the way there are open pasture lands, a few ponds, an old one-lane bridge worthy of a good inspection and a sparse number of country homes where folks have most of what they need and a few things of what they want.

I came upon this pond soon after getting on Gilbert Pit. With the cool temps, gray skies forecasting the oncoming winter and a minor drizzle, I felt everything was right with the cosmos to take a few pictures.

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Not too much farther down the road is an old, delapidated one-lane Santa Fe bridge. It's still used when the creek floods the normal route. I didn't notice when the bridge was built, but it's rusted like it was built in the 1950s plus or minus a modicum of ish.

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At some point there's a fork in the road. I believe the left fork is paved and I'm quite certain the right fork isn't. The dirt was calling and who am I to deny it? The road was hard-packed dirt with the requisite number of water-filled potholes. Even with the rain of the past several days, the road was in extremely good shape. When I arrived in Lipan I didn't know what direction I wanted to head. FM-1189 ran in a southerly direction, but soon after getting south of Lipan, Star Hollow Road beckoned me. I followed Star Hollow all the way into Tolar on US-377.

I found my way south of Tolar toward FM-205 west which took me straight into Stephenville - home of Hard Eight BBQ. It was 10:30 and I was getting hungry. I didn't know if they'd be open, but I was too close to pass through Stephenville without checking in. As luck would have it, they just opened and I was their first customer of the day. I had a huge pork chop dipped in butter/lemon sauce. Damn fine brunch and much better than the chicken I had in the tank bag.

I really enjoy roaming the countryside. Along the way there are always good folks that wave as you pass and the old barns and homes that age with neglect and at mother nature's whim fascinate me. I think of the history of each place - who built it, the people who may have lived and died within its confines and the good and bad times that only the walls know and will never reveal.

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I saw two deer while out roaming around. The first one crossed the road well ahead of me, but the second one made me clinch my seat tightly. I was on a typical texas farm road. Each side of the road has, maybe, twenty-five feet of grass between the edge of the road and the fence. Speed limits range anywhere between 55 and 70 MPH with little to no traffic. I was having a good time running through some good sweepers. Coming to the end of a right-hander I was pushing the bike upright when out of the corner of my right eye I see a deer hopping the fence line heading right toward my path of travel and an eventual collision if one of us didn't do something quickly. In that first second I thought about either braking or twisting the throttle, but after reaching the ground he hopped to the right and stayed well off the road. Absolutely amazing! I was ready for my first kill and the damn thing went and got smart on me. I wish they all acted like this one instead of their typical suicidal manner.

I finally made it to the Deep Shit Cattle Company. It's located about a mile west of the intersection of SR-36 and RR-1476 near Gustine, TX. I stayed long enough to get a picture.

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It's now time to start heading back toward the house. It's Sunday. This time of year that means one thing - football.

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