Life at the Running Y

Life at the Running Y
Life at the Running Y

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Once more we are crossing Texas


Beginning of week 5 on the travels

At the moment, just before 1pm on a Saturday afternoon, we are driving west on HWY 190, which up until now has been a pretty good two lane road. The most unique feature although, is the complete lack of company of any kind, including traffic or cell towers. It is utterly straight, utterly flat and utterly repetitious. There is brown grass and some kind of low tree that has no leaves. Occasionally there is a patch of prickly pear cactus or a dead deer. Have seen at least a dozen since we left Llano, which was a cute little town just a few miles north of Fredericksberg.

Fredericksberg and Llano were actually on the western edge of what is called the Hill Country of Texas, a general area west of Austin, north of San Antonio, and east of our route through the area. There seems to be a lot to do around the area, and the number of Texans wintering in their motorhomes and rv’s was astounding. Fredericksberg itself was a great little historic German town of around 8,000 people and a lot of cute shops and a few good restaurants. Publicity says it has the best Octoberfest west of Germany, and the Volkwaagen walk in November also draws big crowds.

We drove a few extra miles to see the famous Enchanted Rock, which is a huge batholith of pink granite extending up from the surrounding limestones and offering a view of all the surrounding hill country if one is willing to do the steep ½ mile hike, which we weren’t this time since the western road is beckoning. But there were some other state parks for hiking, some rivers and lakes for boating, and many small towns to explore, with a reputation for really good live music and shopping. Of course, shopping, it seems that Texans really love to shop. I can see going back to this place in Texas, especially in April when the famous bluebonnets and wildflowers are in bloom. The Visitor’s Center in Fredericksberg was actually open and was a lovely limestone building, full of light, airy, and crafted with European/German finesse. There were plenty of maps and brochures, good parking, and helpful people. A good place to check out if you are traveling in the area.

But driving west things begin to change. The lovely low rolling hills slowly give way to flatter limestone area of truly big nothing. That’s were we are right now, and Mo is driving so that I can return to my thoughts and write about the misadventures of the last couple of days.