Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg, Texas (Nov. 11-25)

LADY BIRD JOHNSON MUNICIPAL PARK, FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS

Our second stop in Texas Hill Country was at a great public (city) park. The park is right outside Fredericksburg in the heart of Hill Country, with all kinds of shopping and good restaurants. We are also close to some outstanding natural areas (including Enchanted Rock,  which is just 18 miles north), quaint small towns (Luckenbach, Comfort, etc), historic sites (the LBJ Ranch National Historic Site is just 16 miles east) and our new favorite grocery store, HEB. We planned a two week stay with everything this area has to offer.

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The campground has 90 sites with 30/50 amp FHU with cable TV and WiFi in a 330-acre city park that sits at an elevation of 1680 ft. and is known for its good birding opportunities.  The park includes a river, small lake with lots of ducks and geese, mature pecan trees to provide shade (and drop pecans loudly onto the roof!), picnic and play areas, a swimming pool, tennis courts, softball/baseball diamonds, 18-hole golf course and a driving range. It sits adjacent to the small but active Gillespie County airport.

  • Park Highlight 1: We were treated to an airshow just about everyday which we could see from our campsite. When was the last time has anyone seen civilian aircraft flying in formation?

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  • Park Highlight 2:  We had a great lunch with a lot of the pilots at the Airport Diner, which is directly across from the RV park.

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  • Park Highlight 3: There weren’t many cycling opportunities in the park but on 330 acres, there was plenty of pleasant, safe walking. The ducks and geese greeted us every time we went for a walk.

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  • Park Highlight 4:  Picking Pecans – Last night a cold front passed through, we had a littleimage rain and gusty winds (20-30 MPH). We could hear the pecans hitting the roof of the RV and decided in the morning that it would be a good day to go pick up a few pecans. Cracking pecans for an afternoon treat, we found out the oblong shaped pecans crack easier than the round ones.

FUN ACTIVITIES IN THE HILL COUNTRY

20151112_162342Farmers Market -We went to the last two weekly Fredericksburg Farmer’s Markets of the season.  They were small but we did find some late season apples, fresh eggs, and tomatoes, but sadly no kale.

 

imageA Trip to Enchanted Rock State Park – Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite formation near the Llano River. Enchanted Rock covers 640 acres and rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain. It is the largest pink granite monadnock (wikipedia- a monadnock is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain) in the United States. The granite flakes off from the forces of weathering and is constantly renewing it’s surface. We took the summit trail which was nearly straight up the face of the dome. It’s amazing that the plant life will cling on in a nook or cranny that holds any soil or moisture. Great views from the top!

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imageA Visit to Fort Martin Scott and the Texas Rangers Heritage Center – In the Texas Hill Country a few miles south of Fredericksburg, sits five old, single-story buildings fronted by a gravel drive.

This is Fort Martin Scott, and placards on wooden posts planted in the hard dirt along a walking path tell the fort’s history, or a version of it. There was a retired Texas Ranger present to describe how life was in the fort, which was pretty rough.

We also toured the Texas Rangers Heritage Center which is a museum and educational complex created by the Former Texas Rangers Foundation to celebrate the history and contributions of the Rangers, and is located next to the remnants of the Fort Martin Scott. The heritage center was built by the local Masonic lodge.

The Rangers, who operated out of Fort Martin Scott from its founding in 1848 through the close of the Civil War, are legendary in Texas lore.

 

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imageDay Trip – A Drive to Comfort, Texas image

We left Fredericksburg heading south to Comfort, Texas. The old downtown main street has one main shopping area with a few cafe’s and antique stores. It had that nice, small town feel.

imageDay Trip – A Drive around the Willow Loop

One morning we left Fredericksburg heading north on Highway 16 and turned onto the scenic Willow City Loop. The road got narrow and turned into a private road (signs gave permission to pass, as long as you respect their property) through large ranches and huge tracts of land, with free roaming cattle – and the most deer we have ever seen – does, little bucks and a few large bucks. This is Hill Country, so you have to be careful when cresting a hill, there may be cattle or deer in the middle of the road! One ranch had old boots decorating all the fence posts along the road, kinda interesting.  During the spring we are told the area is known for its beautiful wild flowering bluebonnets.

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imageFredericksburg Trade Days – Over 450 vendors selling antiques, junk, and new stuff in various barns and in a huge open air market.  Fun but overwhelming.

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A Day Trip to San Antonio – Back when we were in Idaho, Norma’s cell phone fell and dropped perfectly onto the screen and shattered. While in Coeur d’ Alene, we found an “authorized” Apple repair shop and had the screen changed. That should have been the end of that story, but soon after we departed Idaho, the phone began having other problems. It was time to get it looked at an Apple store in San Antonio. Well to make a long story short, they quickly replaced the phone with a brand new one and afterwards we walked around window shopping and then headed to a mall cafe for lunch.

imagePedernales Falls State Park – We always enjoy hiking and visiting waterfalls, so we took the drive to Johnson City (where Lyndon B. Johnson was from) to Pedernales Falls State Park. We have enjoyed having the annual Texas park pass, we save the entry fees every time we visit a state park.

 

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Happy Trails!

 

 

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