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Beautiful wildflowers in Texas

Any cyclist who rides the highways knows about trash. You have your eyes on the front wheel most of the time, gazing a bit to the left or right, sometimes diverting your gaze to the strip of land beyond the shoulder upon which you're riding.

There you see the trash, the broken bottles, the beer cans, the soda cans, the dirty diapers, the dead and decaying animal corpses. In the states I've been riding through, there are no bottle bills. The Adopt a Highway signs stand forlornly next to the unadopted highways.

A fortune in cans and bottles litter the roads across the desert in Arizona and parts of New Mexico.

Until you get to Texas. We've been cycling here for 20 days. I can't say the roadsides are pristine but Texas seems to be doing a pretty good job of keeping itself clean. Especially in the beautiful and affluent hill country.

And then there are the wildflowers. I had heard of the wildflowers in the hill country, especially the much-hyped bluebonnets.

Know what? Everything you've heard about the Texas wildflowers is true. Now is optimal spring wildflower season. Drifts of color border Texas roads and highways, yellow, bright red, white, pale pink, and of course blue.

This week part of the day's ride took me along a busy state highway. There was some litter, a few dead amadillos, the occasional diaper. But bravely blooming through the trash were the flowers.

Out on the roads last weekend were citizens with garbage bags, picking up trash. Part of the state's anti-litter campaign, called "Don't mess with Texas" the volunteers earned a hearty thanks as I rode by.

I also thank the spirit of Lady Bird Johnson, for whom the wildflowers of her state were a passion.

I never got the point, until this bike ride through the hill country of Texas.

Read all of Pat's entries on her journey here.

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