I went down to the Hill Country this weekend, and it couldn't have been a more perfect couple of days for the trip. The terrain in this state varies from coastal savanna to desert to mountains to black prairie, but the Hill Country to me is the most iconicly Texas in landscape. You've got ranchland and wineries, and kitschy small towns and old dance halls. Not to mention Luckenbach, Texas. (Willie's place is a little farther over on the interstate.)
We took the non-interstate route. (The main disadvantage of state highways is the sparsity of (approved) rest stop opportunities. In other words... plan ahead.) We had pie at the Koffee Kup in Hico on the way down. (Voted "best desert" by Ride Magazine, and word had clearly gotten around. Very popular with the hobby cyclists, who were out in herds this weekend, enjoying the weather, too.) There's also this amazing chocolate place. So chi-chi chic in... Hico. Went by Dublin, where they make Dublin Dr. Pepper. (If you like DP, which I don't. I'm sure this is state sacrilege.)
Went right by Enchanted Rock. (Which I did not stop and climb.) Then on to Fredericksburg, which is the sort of Town Square Texas place that trades on kitschy antique shops and boutiques. Everyone seemed to be having festivals--which of course you would, since October is when the whether is (usually) really pretty. (It's been freakishly rainy this year.) Also, Oktoberfest is big in those parts. Big contingent of German settlers. That's why you have towns named Boerne right next to Blanco.
So I trekked out to Guadalupe River State Park. The terrain was perfect for getting 'in character' though as I huffed and puffed up one of the hills, I realized the benefit of getting boots on the ground, so to speak.
Here are river pictures:
I'm not sure what it says about me that I was more worried about the person leading their small dog over a tangle of exposed roots where he might fall and strangle himself on his lead, than the poeple letting their barefoot children wade through the same branches underwater. Hello water moccasin, sharp rocks and branches. Also, water moccasin.
For proof that Texas really isn't for the faint of heart, I offer the following picture. The shade is sort of dappling it so I'm not sure the full impact is there. But this is an ant mound. It's like Linengen and the Ants.
ANyway. Here's some gentler fauna I met on my hike. You have to look close under the trees.
She was so pretty! We stood and stared at each other for a ridiulous amount of time. We were actually much closer than this fuzzy picture implies. (I was trying to get it before she took off, and predictably she did right after.)
Then I had to run and get Mom, and we started the drive home. No pie on the way up, unfortunately.