TEXAS HILL COUNTRY

     San Antonio sits at the southern edge of Texas Hill Country so it was a short drive to access this unique area.  Hill Country is full of rolling hills as well as lakes and meandering rivers. The towns are all small, well preserved western towns with a Texas twist.  The towns of Fredericksburg, Gruene, Wimberley, and Luckenbach were some of our favorites.
A Texas Santa in Luckenback, Texas.
     First, we were able to score a Corp of Engineers lakefront campsite on Canyon Lake.  The campground was overstuffed with deer and on my 5 mile walk along the local roads I spotted a couple of hundred deer.  In fact, after our departure, the campground was closed for a hunt.  The deer are so used to people, the hunt hardly seems fair.
Potter's Creek COE Campground
     One of the best things about our visit was that Nancy was able to reconnect with Linda Dueker (formerly Linda Kyte), a neighbor growing up and her best childhood friend.  Linda and her husband, Taylor showed us the best time.  They took us to the famous Salt Lick BBQ in Dripping Springs then it was on to an art gallery opening.  Taylor is a talented artist, so it was fun mixing it up with his artist friends.  The day ended with a delicious meal at the Dueker house where Taylor offered to split a bottle of "the world's best beer!"  That's right, he had a bottle of a Belgian Trappist beer which, according to several credible beer rating sources, has actually been ranked as the best in the world!!! What a treat...it was delicious.  If only Kathy Scranton (a beer aficionado friend) could have been there for a taste.
Taylor & Linda at Salt Lick BBQ
The pit at Salt Lick BBQ
The bottle cap from the best beer in the world!
      One day we took a trip in search of a television with the New England Patriots' game.  We ended up at Brewster's Pizza, the home of the Wimberley Brewing Company.  We bellied up to the bar and started watching the game while the owner let us sample some of his excellent brews.  I started giving Nancy my "expert" analysis of the game.  After watching the owner chuckle at my analysis, we got into a conversation.  It turned out that the owner was Bruce Collins, a former NFL offensive lineman starting for the San Francisco 49er's.  He was in the same rookie class as Jerry Rice and was a 2 time Super Bowl winner.  He even wore his Super Bowl ring and let Nancy and me touch it.  He was full of stories about football as well as his 13 children.  Wow...what an experience.
Nancy with Bruce Collins at Brewsters Pizza
in Wimberley, Texas.
     Next we spent a few days in Fredericksburg.  We started our visit by watching a video at the Visitor Center.  The super professional video espoused accolades regarding Fredericksburg, including the local cuisine.  The video invited everybody to enjoy top tier German cooking and Texas steaks or, "for the more adventurous," seafood.  What!!!  I guess only in Texas would eating seafood be considered "adventurous."

     The music in Frederickburgs is excellent as is the music in the nearby town of Luckenbach. Luckenbach, Texas was made famous by a song written by Waylon Jennings.  The town is a trip-and-a-half containing only a couple of rustic buildings, one of them being the home of the Luckenbach Music Hall.  It gets really hopping on the weekends; but even on weekdays, musicians seem to play continuously in the Post Office/General Store.
An item in the Luckenbach Hat Shop.
A working ATM in Luckenbach.
Luckenbach, Texas
     My favorite place was Enchanted Rock State Park.  The park's primary feature is a huge, rounded granite outcropping which towers hundreds of feet above the surrounding landscape.  There is an easy 15 minute hike to the top of this monolithic dome which allows unrestricted views deep into the heart of Texas Hill Country.

Enchanted Dome State Park
     For history buffs, Fredericksburg was the home of the National Museum of the Pacific War.  Since Admiral Nimitz was from Fredericksburg, it seemed appropriate to locate the museum here.  The museum is huge and takes at least 1 full day to do it justice.
National Museum of the Pacific War
This is a replica of my father's weapon when he was a
 soldier for the Army Corp of Engineers in WWII. 
This is a replica of "Fat Boy," the atomic
bomb dropped on Nagasaki during WWII.
      Another historic site in the area is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park.  LBJ was born nearby and his boyhood home was in Johnson City.  We took a private tour of "The Western White House" which is located on LBJ's ranch.  For 25% of his tenure as President, LBJ governed the country from his ranch.  Therefore, he commuted to Washington D.C. in his private jet referred to as "Air Force One Half" and the jet was available for our viewing pleasure.  The Vietnam War was at the forefront of LBJ's administration; however, the war obscured his amazing accomplishments. Under LBJ landmark legislation was passed which included; civil rights acts; Head Start; Manpower; clean air; farm programs; war on poverty; medicare; fair voting rights; child health; aid to small business; nutrition; fair housing; river protection; and the list goes on.  This man who emerged from poverty managed to pass some of this country's most important legislation.  It was quite a moving and educational experience.
The Western White House
LBJ's amphibious car.
He loved to drive new guests to the edge
of a lake on the ranch and pretend the brakes wouldn't work.  The car
would crash into the lake, level out, float and LBJ would then drive
around the lake laughing at the panic of his passengers.
Air Force One Half
     From Hill Country it was on to Dallas to prepare the rig for storage and our flight back to Connecticut for the holidays.  Of course, nothing is ever easy, so 2 nights before our plane was to depart from Dallas, the temperature dropped to a frigid 15 degrees and the temperatures held near or below freezing for almost 3 days.  Even though I took all sorts of winter precautions, the plumbing in our utility compartment managed to freeze.  Fortunately, I caught the freezing before the ice really hardened and with the help of our space heater, I thawed the lines and determined that no damage occurred. Whew!!!
Hondo's on Main in Fredericksburg, Texas
Post Office/General Store.
Luckenbach, Texas
Nancy & Linda in Fredericksburg, Texas.
      We are now in Connecticut and are hoping that all of you have a great holiday season!
CHEERS!

MAPS:  Below are 3 maps: 1) our travels in 2016; 2) all of our travels from day 1; and 3) all states and Canadian provinces & territories visited for at least 3 days.  Open the links below to view.

1)  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1jVAnYSd0GgVuECnrG5amwDkxslw&usp=sharing


2)  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uBgJ-YLvBKsvv4ynoUIVXqErHIc&usp=sharing


3)






Comments

  1. We love the Texas Hill country! We are hoping to get back in that area next winter and back to our favorite BBQ.....The Salt Lick!

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