Heart of Texas (HOT) Rally
Brady, TX
April 30, 2011
Bo Griffin

This was the second running of this rally, but the first time I had been in it. Michael Hickman had mentioned it while I was participating in one of his rallies. James Stovall, the rallymaster of the HOT rally, had participated in a couple of Michael's rallies.

Anyway, I had registered for this rally thinking that I could start from the house on a Saturday morning and finish 12 hours later in Brady, TX. This would allow the least amount of conflict with work, family, and all of the other stuff that could come up. Therefore, no problem, I could commit. However, as it got closer to rally time, James had issued some Alternate Start locations? I had no idea what this meant, but I found out that Paris was the closest alternate to my house and it had 675 points associated with it. Therefore, whether I chose to leave from my house or Paris on Saturday morning, I wouldn't have to have a motel Friday night and it would be cheaper and more acceptable to my situation.

Ok, so the bonus choices appeared on my email early Wednesday morning as promised and I gave it a quick scan. I wasn't able to fully engross myself in the process because I was at work. However, from time-to-time, I would give a quick look. I soon discovered Paris was going to be a tough choice. In fact, I just didn't like it. Therefore, I would have to position myself to one of the other favorable alternates. I considered Amarillo and Lufkin, but Lufkin soon won. I had already been offered to share a room in Brady with Richard Swim (thank you Richard. I owe you $45). All I needed to do now, is just find a cheap room in Lufkin and all would be good (been there, done that, no problem).

Betsy Young and Bobby Fox also headed to Lufkin. I met up with Bobby at Jacksonville and Betsy caught us at Lufkin. We all three stayed in the Lufkin Inn and went to sleep with the vibration of music coming from the bar next door and the exhaust trumphets of various Harleys and pick-up trucks.


The map above depicts my "what-if" scenarios that I fumbled with while deciding on Lufkin. There were several theme (group) bonus packages offered so that if you chose that particular package and got all of the bonii within that group, you would get double the points. Each one of the colored routes above includes one of those themes (fuel, bridge, state parks, cemetery, lighthouse and court house.) I threw the court house route out the window right away because I would have to start in Odessa, then go to Fort Davis. Or, just start in Ft Davis, either way, it wasn't going to work for me.
You can see on the left side of the page above that the shortest route and quickest time was the State Park theme. It also had the least amount of total points. However, it also had a big opportunity for adding on to those points by getting additional bonii because it was near several other good points. Plus, if you were crazy enough to, you could pick-up some extra whataburger bonii as a result of the proximity to Austin and populated areas? (not me)
I chose the State Park theme, then added on several more points along the way to end up looking like the route above. It did require being very prompt along the way as you can tell by the time posted (it was a 12 hour rally). Not much time to get fuel and go to the bathroom.
Fort Boggy State Park was the first bonus. There were several of us searching for this sign. I'm not sure why we didn't just shoot the photo and move on. I was thinking that the sign should look different than it did.
Mother Neff was the second bonus  and we had to take this staircase to the top of the rock tower. It wasn't too tall at all.
I got lucky and found a group right next to the road in Bastrop. They were very willing to help out.
That's Bill Puckett's #19 hanging on the sign and his yellow gold wing in my mirror. Bobby Fox was also there.
Even though you can't see anyone in the picture, there were about 5 or 6 of us circling this bonus. Construction had shut-down one of the entrances and we had to scavenge to get access. I tried a walk-through gate but it was locked. You never know where you are going to gain-or-lose time.
An easy bonus
This one was easy to get to, although the first gps routing was down a dead-end road. I got lucky and caught it on my map before I made the mistake of going down the gravel road. Bobby, on the other hand, was not so lucky. I should have called him in advance. (Sorry Bobby)
  Fredericksburg Cemetery
This photo required the court house as well as the clock tower. I had to back-off a little here.
Hold Mouse over image for change
I didn't want to go after this bonus because I was unclear about getting the picture correct. It said we had to be in the middle of the bridge and shoot the photo north with the rally flag in the photo. It also said we had to shoot the Colorado river with it. However, I couldn't get the river in the photo so I shot a second photo. If you will move your mouse over-and-away from the photo you will see the second shot containing the river.
Ghost Town Conoco
The happy butane tank as my final points
Actual Scoring Log & receipts (completed)
Bonus list
Alternate Start List
GPS file