“I can see the concrete slowly creeping – Lord take me and mind before that comes” – Ronnie Van Zant.
Soon the Bankhead will carry me into the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and all the adjoining communities that make up the DFW Metroplex.
Before that happens – breakfast.
Not just any breakfast, breakfast at the Brashear Store in Brashear, Texas.
Located only a few miles outside of Sulphur Springs, Texas, is small out of the way Bankhead Highway community of Brashear. Brashear was founded in 1868, and its population has declined ever since.
One citizen has recently put the community back on the map.
Betty is the head chef and pot scrubber at the Brashear Store. This California transplant is creating custom culinary creations in this compact community.
I arrive early to stake my place in line. Betty serves until the food is gone, so best not to wait too long.
After we exchange our pleasantries, she asks what I would like to eat. I simply state, “something savory.”
Enough said. I get a cup of coffee and wait.
Soon my plate arrives, savory indeed.
Conversation and coffee.
Too much food served with all the time in the world to enjoy it – the perfect way to start the day.
I stick with Hwy 67 as it closely follows the original Bankhead route. I enter Greenville, heading west, the sun still on my back.
Securing my Machine tight next to the Texan Theater.
Bringing national acts into Greenville, Texas, The Texan is not just a renovated movie palace from the past – it is a world-class entertainment venue.
The Bankhead is calling. I stretch my legs with a quick walk and mount the Machine for our next stretch of the Bankhead.
The next section of the Bankhead is now labeled as Texas 66, aka Route 66.
Texas 66, is a wonderful section of road. A mishmash of farmland and masterplans.
The road has changed. The environment has changed. Texas has changed.
Only a few miles ago, dense trees and swampy lowlands surrounded me. Today the horizon has opened up. I can see farther than ever before. Heading west to the Big Sky Country. Soon the city.
The beautiful Bankhead town of Rockwall, Texas, respects the old route with a great sign. The towns of Rockwall, Rowlett, and Garland have all done due diligence in honoring the Bankhead Highway.
I plan to repay them with a stop at the Bankhead Brewery. Before that, there is one thing I have to see.
Yes, that is an original 1922 Bankhead Highway build. Today Main street’s east bound terminus is the lake, where the original Bankhead bridge rails peak out of the water like snorkels. Never die.
This road IS alive.
I break at the Bankhead Brewery only a few miles down Main Street. I am pleased that this establishment has borrowed the name that gives credit to the road.
Unique art embellishes the walls of the Bankhead Brewery like this barbed-wire map of the route.
Continuing on Texas 66 into Garland, I find the historical marker celebrating the old road. I position the Machine for a photo. Take a walk around the square and continue into the city of Dallas, Texas.
I turn off 66 onto 76 and begin my descent into the city. Grand homes and gardens flank me while the skyline of Dallas presents itself as grand against the blue sky. I enter town beside Fair Park and find that the old Bankhead route travels through Deep Ellum, Dallas’ entertainment district.
I continue through the “Big D,” staying true to the Bankhead route. I turn south on Jefferson Ave to find a way across the Trinity River and an original Bankhead bridge.
Before I cross the river, the historical “sixth floor” lingers over my shoulder.
Goodbye to Dallas. The west is ahead of me and the Machine.
I will end, Across the State in Eight (part 3) – A Bankhead Highway motorcycle adventure with a pour from Rowlett’s own Bankhead Brewery’s limited-run brew.
Stay tuned for part 4 of the Bankhead adventure that will take us further west – into the Big Sky country of Texas.