Wednesday, March 28, 2012

South Llano River State Park, Junction, TX



It was a beautiful 65 mile drive on hilly ranch roads from Fredercksburg to South Llano River State Park, with wildflowers everywhere. We had been told by several people that we would love this park, and they were right. Most of the sites are huge and some are very private. We opted for a more open site hoping to see some of the wildlife.


I put out a regular bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder, and within an hour the hummingbirds arrived. There are several bird blinds, one right behind our site that is always busy. There are miles of hiking trails in the park and  the adjoining Walter Buck Wildlife Management Area. We’ve had a couple deer walk through our site, but have yet to see the wild turkeys which the park is known for. In fact they have a huge area closed to the public except between 10 and 3 each day which is a turkey roost area.

We’ve hiked a few trails so far, and walked up to the scenic overlook. Here are some pictures from our walks.




Buck Lake.


A place to sit and look at the lake.


South Llano River.DSCN1732

Behind our site. It will be even prettier here in a few more weeks when all the leaves come out on the trees.


Birds and squirrels enjoying the water and feeders.






We’re here until Sunday for sure. It is so peaceful we may just hang out a bit longer. With the Wilson amplifier we actually have a good internet connection.  And Quincy is doing a little better with his leash and collar, but it’s hard to teach an old cat new tricks.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Kerrville, TX and More



Saturday we visited Kerrville, about 22 miles southwest of Fredericksburg. The Guadaloupe River runs through town, and we took a little hike along a trail by the river. There were lots of turtles sunning themselves, but when they heard us walking by most of them jumped off their logs into the water.


We also walked around downtown Kerrville, which doesn’t have all the shops like Fredericksburg, but there were quite a few antique shops.

Yesterday we rode our bikes to the Gillespie County Airport, which happens to be right next to Lady Bird Johnson Park. You would think it wasn’t such a great idea for a campground to be right next to the runway, but the airport is not very big, and we usually heard or saw just a few small private planes come and go each day.

That is until Saturday. When we got back from Kerrville we saw lots of activity at the airport, and saw several old military planes taking off and landing. Turns out they were having a World War 2 plane display. You could even take a ride in a helicopter or this Air Force plane.

 DSCN1684 .


Here are the others that were on display.



The airport itself is interesting, in that they have a hotel and diner on site.



When we left the airport we saw a small road across from it, Boos Lane, and decided to see where it went. Turned out to be a great place for a bike ride since there was hardly any traffic and it passed by farms and ranches and ran along the creek much of the way. It eventually intersected the main highway, where we turned around. Ended up riding 17 miles and got to see some cute farm animals along the way.



We have really enjoyed the Fredericksburg area and would definitely come back. There are lots of things we missed, like the WW2 museum, but the weather was so nice we didn’t want to spend time indoors. Today we are heading to South Llano River State Park, where we have reservations for 4 nights. Looks like we may not have cell or internet there. What are we gonna do??

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Luckenbach, TX


On the way home from Pedernales Falls we took a 5 mile detour to Luckenbach, Texas, where “Everybody’s Somebody”.  We can’t get Waylon and Wille’s song out of our heads, the song which in 1977 brought worldwide fame to the then almost ghost town. The only buildings still standing are the old post office/general store/bar and a dance hall.


The general store is now mostly a souvenir shop, but we found something we wanted. This cat  was sleeping in a bucket of sale t-shirts. I thought it would be great to buy a shirt with cat hair on it already! Too bad the cat wasn’t for sale.


We had a beer and sat and listened to a great local singer/songwriter, Levi Darr, who sings blues, rock and country.



We liked this sculpture in front of the restrooms.


You could easily miss the turn-off to Luckenbach, and Jim was inclined to just drive around the town loop, but he was glad I made him stop. It’s a nice, relaxing place to sit for awhile and listen to music. We’ll be buying those cowboy hats soon!

Pedernales Falls State Park



Thursday after a trip to the laundromat, we spent a few hours walking around downtown Fredericksburg. The city was founded by German immigrant Baron Ofried Hans von Meuesbach in 1846, and was named after King Frederick of Prussia. Better than using his own name. There are lots of interesting shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars and historic old buildings, but we forgot the camera that day.

Yesterday we took a 45 mile drive to Pedernales Falls State Park to do some more hiking. It isn’t a typical waterfalls, but it was a pretty park and we enjoyed climbing on the rocks along the river.



When we stopped at the visitor center to get our pass, we asked about hiking trails. The man behind the desk gave us a map, told us how to get to the trails and how many miles they are. After the falls we decided to take the 4 mile loop trail that starts in the campground, a very nice one by the way, with quite a few long, level sites for RVs. There was no Verizon signal in the park, though.

The 4 mile loop starts on the other side of the river, after the sign for “Trammel Crossing”. I looked up the definition of trammel after we got home and one of the meanings is “something that restricts activity”. Guess if we were smarter we would have known that meant having to cross the river but we didn’t understand why they wouldn’t have warned us that it might be tough due to high water levels from the recent rain. You can see the trail on the other side, and no, we didn’t even attempt to cross, or should I say swim.


So we ended up walking along an unnamed, fairly well worn trail along the river.





It was a great day for a hike.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area



Since we are planning to spend the rest of the spring and summer in New Mexico and Colorado, we need to get our hiking legs back. So today we climbed Enchanted Rock, a 425 ft high pink granite rock. It’s a .6 mile climb, and we came back a few miles along the loop trail around the rock. What a beautiful park, and a scenic 15 mile drive north of Fredericksburg to get there. After spending months along the Gulf Coast and in south Texas, we’ve missed real hiking trails with rocks and hills. It was a fun day.

Lots of bluebonnets and other wildflowers.




At the top of the rock. It was a fairly easy climb.





The trail back down through Echo Canyon.



Can you see the spade, heart and diamond? No club, though.


The trail back to the car.


Which went around Moss Lake.


It was nice to be on a real hike. And since this was a Texas State Park, our pass got us in without having to pay the $6 per person entrance fee.