Earlier this year, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker, and an awesome group of friends, rode to south central Texas to ride the Twisted Sisters – A.K.A. The Three Sisters. The “Sisters” are made up of four ranch roads: RR 335, RR 336 and RR 337. This “triangle” of roads run through Texas Hill Country and is one of the highest rated motorcycle rides in the United States based on MotorcycleRoads.com – where it is currently rated #1.
We left middle Tennessee on Friday, April 5 and rode the first day to Texarkana – a ride of 500 miles. The second day, we pushed on to Kerrville, Texas – our command post for riding the Sisters – another 500 mile ride – with nearly two hours of rain in the Dallas metroplex. And I will tell you, it was not fun riding in Dallas traffic in a downpour.
Texas Hill Country
The Hill Country of Texas sits roughly west of Austin, extending south to San Antonio, and west to the border with Mexico. It features unique terrain for Texas with plenty of canyons, streams, escarpments, wide open valleys and cliffs. There are also some very cool cities and villages here, including my favorite: Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg is an old German town that has great restaurants – with plenty of German food – an awesome main street to walk and the National Museum of the Pacific War. This museum is a must see and will take you several hours to adequately see. Are you wondering why such a significant World War II museum would be located here? It’s because Fredericksburg is the home of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.
Other must see things in the Texas Hill Country are Luckenbach (made famous by Waylon Jennings and nearby resident Willie Nelson), the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum (in Vanderpool) and Camp Verde (in Center Point).
We specifically planned our trip for early-mid April because that is when the blue bonnets are blooming. People drive (we ride) from all over the country to see these beautiful flowers blooming. Their under-appreciated redheaded stepsister – the Indian Paintbrush – is equally as stunning and bloom at the same time. A great place to see the beauty of Texas Hill Country is the Willow City Loop. The flowers are spectacular there – as are the plateaus with endless views of the Hill Country.
Riding the Twisted Sisters
The Twisted Sisters was a new experience for Grey Beard. He has ridden all over this great country, but spends most of his time riding in Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky. The roads in eastern Tennessee are mountainous and have one curve immediately followed by forty more – some of which are switchbacks. Riding through Hill Country, and the Twisted Sisters, was different. There would be several great curves followed by four or five miles of fairly straight highway – albeit with stunning views. If you are not careful, you can become somewhat complacent while riding here and the tight, technical curves will sneak up on you. Do not let this happen. If you were to have an accident, you are a long ways from nowhere and the cell phone service is spotty – at best!
The roads were all nicely paved, with few potholes. However, there were plenty of spots where gravel would wash across the road. This was most common when crossing dry creeks where the bridges are barely above the creek beds. I’m guessing that these normally dry waterways are busting at their seams when the rains come and wash the gravel across the road.
There were a couple switchbacks on RR 337, which were quite enjoyable. But the best part of riding here is the small towns and little dive bars you would come across. Everyone was very welcoming, the beer was cold and the Rebecca Creek Texas whiskey was extremely good. It should be noted that you should not drink Rebecca Creek whiskey when you are riding… It is so good, you might drink too much.
Would I ride 2,000 miles, roundtrip, to do this again. The answer is YES. I am not sure that I would rate it higher than the mountains of East Tennessee, but it was top notch! We had an amazing time with terrific biker friends!