Somewhere around the 8th day of our Epic Adventure across the country with the family, I ventured out onto the farm roads of Caddo Mills, TX. Caddo (as the locals call it) is about 45 miles northeast of Dallas, and is really, really a rural farm area. In the year 2000 there were about 1100 people in Caddo, and according to the Chamber of Commerce, more than half were women at that point. All of the roads in the area are either highways or farm roads marked with FM in the name. In fact, these are officially known as farm-to-market roads, and are pretty much two lane roads that local and farm traffic flows on.
Having never been through Caddo Mills, I asked our hosts (my wife’s mother and husband) which general direction I should head, and the pointed out which road would take me into downtown Caddo. I was impressed, I didn’t know they had a downtown, but was told that once I saw the donut shop, that I’d know I’d made it. They shared their concern for speeding traffic on the highways, and I assured them that I’d be safe. I did wonder how the local folk would take to a large brown guy in spandex rolling down their farm roads, but everyone gave me plenty of room as they moved clear over into the other lane to pass. Probably not used to seeing my kind out in their parts.
After a few miles I could see a metropolis ahead and realized I must be reaching town. I was surprised to see that Caddo Mills had an Opera House. I’m guessing it’s historic, but it’s possible they still put on productions. There was an antique shop, a general grocery, an automotive shop of some sort, and of course the donut shop I’d heard about. I’m told there are also 7 churches in Caddo.
After cruising through town, I turned on Hwy 66, but quicky got off at the next farm road because the grooves on the side of the road were pretty nasty. I picked the next road I could find that seemed to be making a big loop back to where I originally started from and turned down it, only to find that I had left the stripes on the road behind. I road on unmarked roads for the next several miles.
Eventually I found a familiar road and completed my 20 mile loop by heading back to where I started. I made a joke that I could start the Caddo Mills Cycling Club and probably be the only member for a good long time. The roads around Caddo were great for riding, and peaceful and lightly traveled in the morning. Of course, after getting back home, I think that Texas and Oregon are trading paving techniques. Check out the road in front of my inlaw’s home…(and then go check out Windsor Island Road):