Merry falls of her horse

Bad news. Stuart rang and told me that Merry had fallen off her horse, broken her ankle, has some fractures, and is in Hospital

That was late on Saturday night. Since then, she has had an operation on her ankle…She has to have a second operation soon. She was in as good spirits as possible but fuming that she has to cancel our Alaskan Cruise and drive through USA/Canada.

Poor Merry's foot after the first Operation

Poor Merry’s foot after the first Operation

It seems that because of the fractures and the second operation,she will have to go to rehab. So she might not get home for a while.I hope I can get home before her!

I’ve been pondering what to do. I’ll definitely cut my trip short as I want to get home to be with Merry but that’s easier said than done…I have to do something with Azulo. To cut a long story short, trucking the bike to LA wouldn’t save me much time and shipping from Houston is not an option according to the Agent, so I’ll ride faster to LA!

Stuart and Lucy have been fantastic and her friends are rallying around the flag! It gives me much relief to know she is in good hands

My journey from New Orleans

After that news, my journey seems a bit insignificant, but as they say…the show must go on!

I rode hard from New Orleans to Houston but took the long route via Galveston. There is a free Ferry that crosses the Bolivar Peninsula

Houses on stilts along the Gulf shore

Houses on stilts along the Gulf shore

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My Melbourne friend, Peter Harford had kindly “dobbed” in his son Philip into having me stay whilst in Houston. Poor Philip!

Philip has a lovely home with lots of room! ….

Philip Harford outside his lovely Houston home

Philip Harford outside his lovely Houston home

He kindly had me to stay for the weekend. Philip works for BHP and there are a whole bunch of Aussies here!

On Saturday we went to a Wine tasting of Australian and New Zealand wines and then onto a Bar with his Aussie mates.



Now, as we know, Aussies like a good time and lots to drink….Boy oh boy! By about 9.00 (the wine tasting was at 2.30) I was almost on my ear! They are a great bunch of mates but I wouldn’t like to be here every Saturday night!

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The beer here is strong so I thought I would change to wine. Bad move! They serve wine in tumblers….everything is BIG in Texas!

I was talking to this Harley rider who was there with his two daughters and he had bought a tumbler of wine for one of them but she didn’t want it so he gave it to me…so I had TWO tumblers which it seems make up ONE PINT. The photo of me shows me with my PINT of wine. No, it’s not water!


On Sunday I had a big hangover but boldly got up early to beat the crowds to visit the Space Centre. The Americans really do this sort of thing very well. There was several films and exhibits etc. and we saw Mission Control. I was hoping to see the OLD Mission Control where they controlled the Apollo Missions but unfortunately that is being refurbished


New Orion Capsule – next generation…going to Mars in 2030

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Phil and I had a huge steak that night…the best I’ve had in quite a while…then an early night!




On Monday I rode to Austin, Capital of Texas.

Phil had suggested I go via Lockhart where there is a famous “ribs” BBQ restaurant called BLACKS. I went there and sampled the ribs…they are sensational!


In Austin I visited the State Capital Building which is huge and impressive. They financed it after winning independence from Mexico by selling land…they had no money but lots of land!


Inside the building is a big painting of David Crockett….Better known to people my age as Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier! There was a terrific movie of that name in the 1950’s. I went to see it five times! Every kid of my age was wearing Davy Crockett hats…I think they are beaver hats with the tail hanging from the hat! The music from the film “Ballad of Davy Crockett” was top of the hit parade for weeks! Davy Crockett was killed at The Alamo in San Antonio. Whenever I feel like irritating Merry I sing the song from the film…”Farewell to the mountains”…..I get kicked very quickly!

The point of all this totally irrelevant information is that the David Crockett in the painting looks NOTHING like the Hollywood version that featured Fess Parker! (Compare the pictures below!)


David Crockett (Davy Crockett)


Davy Crockett as we saw him in the Movie (Fess Parker)

Davy Crockett as we saw him in the 1950’s Movie (Fess Parker)

very disappointing don’t you think!

On a more intellectual subject I visited President Lyndon B Johnson’s Library. The LBJ Library is quite superb. Again, the Americans do this so well. It is a fantastic legacy on the life and times of their Presidents and how they carved their place in history. I spent most of the day there and was enthralled



My last night in Austin I wanted some good Texas Ribs. Stuart kindly looked up a few places and suggested Lambert’s Downtown BBQ. An excellent choice!

Lamberts Downtown BBQ

Lambert’s Downtown BBQ

After Austin my next stop was San Antonio to see the Alamo

San Antonio

The Alamo is incredibly small…..

The Alamo

The Alamo


The Alamo is right in the middle of town as you see from this photo. Over the years, much of the original property has been built over so it’s a bit hard to get a good perspective of the Alamo as it was in 1836

I also visited one of the other Spanish Missions, The Mission of San Jose.

Mission of San Jose

Mission of San Jose


I’m not quite sure where I’ll head tomorrow but it will be a long ride so an early start tomorrow!

18 thoughts on “Merry falls of her horse

  1. Hi Geoff,

    It was great to meet you in Houston and yes we like to drink…a lot! You lasted very well. Love your blog and insights into the US. Hope you enjoyed your time in Texas and got to see Big Bend NP. You definitely went to the right places for ribs in Blacks and Lamberts – 2 of the best. Hope Merry is on the mend and you can get back soon. Take care, Sonni & Dave

  2. Hi Geoff,
    Sorry to hear of your wife Merry’s accident and that you will need to cancel or perhaps put on hold the latter portions of your planned trip. Would have thought that you were the more likely candidate for an accident during this adventure – one never knows.
    Hope she recovers quickly and that you both will soon have opportunity to complete your planned trip!
    Regards & Best Wishes, Joe & Irene

  3. Poor Merry, but that is horses for you. If it’s not the horse at the vets, it’s the rider at A&E! Such rotten timing for both of you. You might as well enjoy your remaining tour, but a pity you’ll miss your cruise etc together.
    My stepbrother, Mick Tickner, now retired in L.A. worked on the shuttle and has a NASA medal. Fascinating places you are getting to see! Keep blogging. X Gill

  4. Hi Geoff, poor Merry—-you must be sooo frustrated. Hope the pain is bearable.
    Shame about the Alascan trip, but I’m sure you’ll reschedule and with a bit of luck, our dollar might be worth a bit more!
    Best wishes for a quick recovery.

    It must be a great relief for you to know, Geoff, that Merry is in the best of hands, but nonetheless it must be throwing a pall over your trip.
    Thanks for another great blog.

    Ride safely, Muis.

  5. What a bummer!
    I was amused to see Merry refer to herself as “party Pooper”!
    Along with everyone else, we wish Merry a speedy and painless recovery.

    Glad to see that the bad news has not affected you excellent blog. Must agree that the Americans are so good at the museums etc. I want to visit these places too. I might also try those steaks and ribs, but I’ll pass on the tumblers of wine! Apart from quantity, was the wine quality any good?

    Keep on burning the rubber.


  6. The boys absolutely love you photos of the space centre and are now asking when can we go! I think the Hollywood Davy Crockett looks much better, the real one looks weedy!
    But I am really really sorry to hear about Merry and send her many get well wishes for a speedy and full recovery so maybe you can both replan your Alaskan cruise. Drive safe to LA – it sounds like Merry is in excellent hands until you can get there xx

  7. Hi, Geoff
    As always I’m enjoying your writing and photos. The photos show a different side to America from what we see on TV or films. The same is true from your last trip. Never having been to America I find it very interesting.

    Sorry to hear about Merry’s accident. That scaffolding on her foot looks very similar to the arrangement I had fixed to my ankle when I fell off my bike. Be careful to stay on your bike!
    Look forward to your next posting.
    Cheers Tony

  8. Hi Geoff – and Merry if you get a chance to see this!!!!!!
    We were so sorry to hear of Merry’s altercation – very very very best wishes for a speedy recovery, Merry. And what a relief that Lucy and Stuart are such a support – not just to Merry but to your gastronomic challenges as well! And such a shame that you’ll both miss the Rockies and Alaska. We absolutely loved the Alamo and the Riverwalk – but such a pity that the Alamo seems buried in the middle of town!

    Go well on your shorter trip – don’t push it too much Geoff.

  9. Poor Merry, so unlucky to have such a horrible accident, two operations and then a lengthy rehabilitation
    ahead. To add insult to injury, you will both miss out on your wonderful holiday together.
    We are all here to help as much as we can.
    Wendy and Rod.

  10. Sorry to hear about Merry and her accident…….hope its a speedy recovery.
    Davy Crockett brings back memories… son had a ‘fake fur ‘ one which was loved too.
    So much interesting history Geoff with such an historic country….keep up the good work
    till you leave for home. Thanks, safe travel , hope all goes well.

  11. Hi Geoff,
    We were sorry to read about Merry – please pass on Dee & My best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.
    I remember the Davy Crockett era well. There was also a B&W television series as well as the Movies.
    The Racoon Skin hats in our neighbourhood were rabbit fur and me and my mates had Gecado air rifles and we would shoot at anything that moved , including the local cats! (Thankfully some things have changed for the better)
    Safe travels

  12. From memory Davey’s hat was made from raccoon. Someone brought one back from the U.S. for Cam years ago. He was very envied in the district.
    Travel safely for the remainder of your journey. With love from the Party Pooper. Merry

    • Hi Merry
      I didnt go to art last week so only just heard today about your accident. It sounds terrible and what a pity you have to miss your wonderful holiday in Canada and the U.S. Never mind, they’ll still be there once you’ve recovered. I understand you have to go to rehab–I can recommend Cabribi Hopetoun, having been there twice! The food is excellent but you should request a room in the new wing–chalk and cheese to the old one.

  13. Hi Geoff, so sorry to hear about poor Merry. Being such an active soul I bet she is really fed up. Great that Stu and Lucy and friends are all rallying around. Wish we were closer but will give her a call and keep in touch that way. Enjoyed your blog as per usual, re having wine in tumblers sounds great fun, must try.xxVal

  14. Goeff
    So sorry to hear about Merry. We will miss seeing you both in September, but know you must hurry home to be with her and help with her recovery.
    We will all be here rooting for your safe return to Australia as well as Merry’s rapid recovery.
    Take care
    Marla & Bruce

  15. Sorry to hear about Merry. Ankles can be troublesome joints, and provide a lot of grief on healing. Best to her. Hope your plans can adjust for getting home early. We really don’t know what the next day will bring, do we…..

    It’s a wonder you aren’t at 300 lbs with the great eating you do along the way!

  16. Hey Geoff really sorry to hear of Merry’s accident Please send her our best wishes, good care and swift recovery! Hope your logistics work out well and swiftly to help Merry – love from us to both of you Christopher and Kate

  17. Hi Geoff,
    We have been following your trip with great interest – being of a similar vintage loved the Elvis and Davy Crockett stories. So sad to hear about Merry – dangerous couple you Bransbury’s – always riding something! Hope that she recovers as quickly as possible and that you can get home in a timely manner – am sure that with Lucy and Stuart and your friends she is in good hands. We are off to Norway on Monday so shall be out of touch for about a month so travel safely and give our best wishes to Merry and we shall contact you when we return in early September. Take care mate!

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