This section is made to connect Highway 21 down to Caldwell. This starts off from Highway 71 and was designed to cover two of the legacy entries to the old Bastrop page, Film Alley and Sac-N-Pac.
Unusually, we'll skip the first mile of Loop 150 (including where it crosses the Colorado River and becomes Chestnut Street). There is a strip mall off of Loop 150 that held Bealls from 1997 to the mid-2000s when it moved to the former H-E-B, and of course downtown past the river, but that won't be covered (at least not yet).
Version 2.0 makes some minor fixes, integrates with the Caldwell page, and adds a few gas stations beyond 290.
Film Alley / 1600 Chestnut Street
The opening of Chestnut Square back in 2003 on the edge of town was surprising at the time, but today, the cinema, known as Film Alley, is Bastrop's only full-line movie theater. The above link has a picture I took back in 2019 with additional information, but you can also see BastropTexas.net's photos (of Chestnut Square) here.
Sunoco / KFC / 901 State Hwy. 95
This gas station was built in 2003, originally featuring a car wash, a Sac-N-Pac (#407), and Shell gas. You can see what I wrote originally here, and to not repeat myself, the Sac-N-Pac west of town mentioned did hold out for maybe a year afterwards but it eventually converted (and before Stripes was converted to 7-Eleven, released as an independent). Finally, in early 2022, the Stripes was finally covered to 7-Eleven. Like its conversion to Sac-N-Pac, this happened sometime between mid-January and mid-February, and circumstances allowed me to see it twice in one year.
Roadhouse Restaurant / 2804 Highway 21 E.
This restaurant first opened in August 2002. Later on, a second restaurant was opened in Paige.
146 Highway 21 East
This former gas station (Chevron), d/b/a Lost Pines Grocery Store, operated only from 2011 to the end of 2019.
Willow Springs Recovery / 1128 Highway 21 East
This operated as a motel, Lake Bastrop Lodge, from 2012 to 2016. I am not sure of its original purpose, but it serves as Willow Springs Recovery today.
Valero / 1148 Highway 21 East
"Terry's Corner" has been here since 1998. It almost certainly started out as a Diamond Shamrock before being converted to Valero in the 2000s.
Texaco / 106 Quarter Horse Loop
This Texaco gas station was built in 2017, and has a convenience store, BB Market. BB Market has "Taco Chef" and Krispy Krunchy. There's a "produce" sign outside and some fixtures inside, but woefully undermerchandised. (Maybe this was real produce originally but it seems to have fallen off quickly).
Ridgeway Baptist Church / 153 Ridgeway Cemetery
This small church upgraded its signage in the mid-2010s (a piece of the old sign, which you can see on Google Maps, is now inside the church itself. It also of course, has the adjacent Ridgeway Cemetery.
Just east of here is Highway 290, which is another route into Austin (and also goes back to Houston, though you have to exit at Brenham to continue east). Despite all the stoplights, a tollway past Manor, and that hiccup in Brenham, it remains a popular corridor from Houston to Austin. I had intended to stop at US 290 with a page on Lee County but I might as well fill it in here.
290 isn't a seamless trip between Houston and Austin, once outside the confines of Northwest Freeway, there's a cloverleaf in Bastrop to continue on the highway, stoplights in Giddings, Elgin, and Manor, and a tollway all the way into Austin from Manor. Nevertheless, the corridor remains a popular corridor from Houston to Austin.
Pilot Travel Center / Exxon / 2357 E. Texas State Highway 21
This large gas station (Pilot convenience store but Exxon gas, oddly) opened in late 2021 without much fanfare. "Paige Travel Center", as it is internally known, features an Einstein Bros. kiosk inside and an attached Whataburger restaurant.
Between the Pilot and the Valero described below, there's an underpass underneath a railroad. This has been mothballed for years; there are no trains.
Valero / 2802 Highway 21 East
This Texas A&M-themed gas station opened in 2009 as a Shell gas station. Between 2016 and 2021 it became a Valero.
There's a miniature replica of the classic Aggie Bonfire outside (as was officially sanctioned and done on Texas A&M campus prior to 1999), but it's been neglected with overgrowth.
Chevron / 1968 Texas State Highway 21
Around this point the speed limit drops as part of the entrance to Lincoln. I don't know if the gas station has always been a Chevron, but "Walch Store" has been here since at least 1988.
To the east is the bridge over US-77, which I've been on going south toward Victoria and Corpus Christi. The bridge was widened in the early 2010s, prior to this, the outer lanes split off as exit lanes and rejoined on the other side. With that said, we'll enter Caldwell.