Enchanting

Friday, February 1, 2019

The weather didn’t look that great this morning. We had some fog and drizzle again but it was warmer. We really debated about what to do today. In the end we decided we would go ahead with our plans to climb Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and we are so glad we did.

Enchanted Rock entranceEnchanted Rock is about 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, or 44 miles north east of Kerrville on a Texas farm road. Enchanted Rock is a huge pink granite dome, think Stone Mountain. Enchanted Rock rises 425 feet above the base elevation of the park. Its high point is 1,825 feet above sea level, and the entire dome covers 640 acres. Climbing the Rock is like climbing the stairs of a 30- or 40-story building. We might have gotten better photographs with better sun but the cloud cover made for a much more pleasant hike. The scenery is amazing. It’s no wonder this small park gets over 250,000 visitors each year. We had so much fun hiking around on the top. There were other people at the summit but the area is so large you don’t even notice the other people. The granite is beautiful. There are huge pieces of it on the sides of the road and in pastures as you approach the park. There are lots of other hiking trails (about 10 miles) in the park in addition to the hike to the summit we took today. We will have to consider going back for more hiking another day. We will see. The weekends are always more crowded so we may hike more of the trails at the park tomorrow. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sobering

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Yesterday we went to the local doughnut store for breakfast and then tried a Tex-Mex restaurant recommended by Barb for late lunch. In between we did some hiking in the park. We also did a little shopping yesterday but otherwise it was a quiet day in the park, relaxing. It was a gray cloudy day so not a good day for pictures.

Today was suppose to be better but not so much. We had heavy fog this morning and light rain or drizzle most of the day. Fortunately for us it stopped while we were in Fredericksburg walking around town but started back about the time we were heading back to the truck to drive home. Light rain continues now and the fog is again thickening.

Museum EntranceWith the drizzle, we decided it was an indoor day and we went to Fredericksburg to tour the National Museum of the Pacific War. This is a very well done museum. We found our experience much like our experience at places like Pearl Harbor. It’s a very good experience, well done. We are glad we went. It isn’t something you can say is fun. It is very sobering. It is however, very important that we all remember our history. If we do not, we will repeat our mistakes and poor choices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The sobering visit to the museum today reminded a lot of our visit to Pearl Harbor a few years ago.

After the museum we had a great late (3:00) lunch at a local sports bar and grill. The sandwiches were great with a good German potato salad. We saw some more exotics that we have not photographed driving back to Kerrville, but the rain and low clouds kept us from getting any pictures. Maybe another day. Another good day in Texas.

More Exploring

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Our new campsite
Our new campsite (forgot to show this yesterday)

The wind howled last night and kept us a wake part of the night. It was a cold north wind but had passed through by the time we got up this morning. It was again cold, at 31 degrees, but the sun was shining and it warmed up quickly again. It was 10 degrees cooler at 51 today so we decided to walk instead of ride bikes for exercise today.

We started the day by going to Mary’s Tacos, rated as serving the best breakfast taco in Kerrville. We have to agree they are very tasty, quite filling and very reasonably priced. We got two tacos for $5.00 including tip which we ate in the truck in the parking lot. There is no seating at Mary’s. We figured we could go back inside and order another if we were still hungry but decided one was enough. We will probably go back for another visit before we leave Kerrville.

After leaving Mary’s, we decided to drive through some of the subdivisions Ross took us through to see if we could get pictures of some of the exotic game animals here. Never thought we would be doing wildlife photography in Kerrville. We knew there were the usual whitetail deer, raccoons, etc, but endangered, and very endangered species – that surprised us. We don’t know all the facts but there are ranches that are raising these animals. Some were close to extinction a few years ago and now there are nice herds here in Texas. And surprising to us, because the ranches are raising these animals they are also allowed to hold hunts for people who have the money to pay. Lots of money. We might pay for a “safari” if it were a photography “safari”. Anyway, we found a number of animals, some of which were behind tall ranch fences and some who have escaped and are roaming freely in subdivisions. Can’t help but think that there are going to be problems in years to come with all these non-native species roaming around. Please do not flame us for this post. We are simply taking pictures of what we have found. We took some of the pictures in Kerrville and others as we drove down to Bandera and Medina. The drive to and from Bandera and Medina was pretty and interesting.

TX-16
TX-16 scenic drive

The drive from Medina to Kerrville on Texas highway 16 is listed as one of the three breathtaking drives you must take in the Hill Country. It is scenic and we are glad we made the drive but we think the people who rate these things have never made the drive up the crooked side of Pine Mountain. They grow apples in Medina and we stopped at one of the roadside stores and sampled a few apple items and bought some apple soft serve ice cream. We just couldn’t resist.

We also drove out to Ingram today where there is Stonehenge II, a somewhat faithful replica of the original Stonehenge in England. Interesting story.

After the visit to Ingram we came back to the park and while we were out walking spotted a few more exotics roaming one of the fields in the park. Fortunately we still had a camera with us. Of course there are many, many deer here in the park and we have gotten some good photos of them, too. Some right outside the front window. Another good day.

Nice Relaxing Day

Monday, January 28, 2019

Today was another beautiful day in Kerrville. It was a little cool this morning at 31.5 degrees but it warmed up quickly and was a great day.

We really like this park and town. We decided today to change sites and move across the highway to an area with almost no road noise. The site we had was nice and closer to the river but after hiking some of the trails across the highway this morning we really like the portion of the park away from the river the best. So today was a laundry day and a moving day. It only took us about an hour to move. We also got in some hiking, geocaching and biking. Both of us got over 20,000 steps today. A nice relaxing day.

Camels in Kerrville

Sunday, January 27, 2019

We had heavy rain overnight. The rain that was predicted for yesterday. So glad it was overnight and not during the day yesterday, and then today was another beautiful mild day.

CTC Sunday ServiceThis morning we went to church with Ross and Barb at Calvary Temple Church. The congregation was very welcoming. The contemporary music was very good and the guest speaker equally good. Ross was disappointed that we didn’t get to hear his pastor but we plan to listen to the stream next Sunday. The guest speaker was Dave Roever a Vietnam veteran, purple heart recipient and he has a full time ministry with wounded veterans, whether wounded physically or emotionally. It is called Operation Warrior RECONnect. He has an amazing testimony.

Camp Verde General Store and RestaurantAfter service we had reservations as Camp Verde General Store and Restaurant. We were there early and had time to wander around in the general store. It’s not like Gibson’s from yesterday, in that they don’t have everything but they have some really nice things. Although tempted, our table for lunch came available just in time and we resisted any purchases. The original Camp Verde General Store established in 1857, was established to offer goods and services to the soldiers stationed at Fort Verde a mile to the west of the store. The camel sculptures on the property refer back to the US Army camel experiment at Fort Verde. Interesting. The grounds of the property are beautifully maintained and we had a fun time exploring prior to lunch. The restaurant is known for its reuben sandwich which we all ordered. It was very good as was the service we received. A fun time.

 

River Trail MapAfter lunch Ross and Barb needed to meet up with some friends who wanted some real estate advice from Ross. We went back to the campground and after our lunch settled a little took the opportunity to take the bikes out on the River Trail. What a grand time we had. We had a great ride in a great atmosphere. If we lived here we would want to ride the trail every day. It was heavily used today on this beautiful Sunday.

 

We still haven’t made it across the highway to the other section of this park to hike some of those trails but we have the rest of the week. It should be a good one.

Tour Of The Hill Country

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The weatherman had predicted rain today but it was a wonderfully sunny day. Cool early today with a low of 36 but after about 10:00 it was great with just a light jacket in the wind.

For breakfast Ross and Barb took us to Hill Country Cafe, a local legend. It is in the location of the first HEB grocery store. Can’t hardly imagine a HEB in the tiny space. We met some of Ross and Barb’s friends as soon as we walked in the door. It was a quaint little place with very friendly service and good food.

Texas Lion's Club CampAfter breakfast we headed out on a driving tour of part of the hill country. It was a great day for the tour and of course all the time we are visiting with Ross and Barb. We first went out to the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville. Ross is president of the Houston Lions chapter. This camp is for special needs children of Texas for summer camp. It is a great campus with all the regular summer camp activities available to the SN kids. They even have an equestrian program. Running deerThere is a great view of the Kerrville valley from the top of the camp. We then drove through another Kerrville subdivision looking at deer and pronghorns before we started our drive to Fredericksburg. It was an interesting drive with several stops. We have decided we will probably go back to Fredericksburg one day during the week when there aren’t so many people downtown.

We did get a good visit at the Wildseed Farms store.

Then to St. Mary’s Catholic church. It’s one of the painted churches  and just beautiful.

Gibson's General StoreAfter returning to Kerrville, we visited Gibson’s General Store. If they don’t have it, you probably don’t need it. Anne did leave with another pair of women’s small work gloves, which are hard to find.

A sampling of their merchandise:

After a nice walk, we returned to Ross’s home for a wonderful salmon dinner prepared by Barb. Wonderful day.

On To Kerrville

Friday, January 25, 2019

This morning was another beautiful morning in Falfurrias. Still a little cool at 43 this morning when we got up. We slept about an hour later than normal after our busy day yesterday. We first completed Fred’s travel day preparations. Then we walked down to Whataburger to pick up breakfast and returned to eat in Fred. It was then time to raise the jacks, air up the air bags, hookup the truck and then say our goodbyes to our team. Today we were the first to leave at 9:35 so we got hugs from everyone. We look forward to working with this group of NOMADS sometime soon. It’s been another great team.

After our hugs, we headed toward San Antonio, Tx with Anne driving the first leg. We headed out like we came in, on US 281 toward Alice. Rather then turning toward Corpus Christi, we continued on 281 toward San Antonio. Before arriving in San Antonio we stopped at a rest area and changed drivers. Today Max got the hardest part of the drive going through all the construction on I-10 in San Antonio. There were some really tight cattle chutes and nasty road construction. From there we continued north on I-10 toward Kerrville, in the hill country of Texas. Tonight we are comfortably parked in the Kerrville-Schreiner Park right on the Guadalupe River, and plan to be here for a week. This park was a Texas State Park at one point but was transferred to the city of Kerrville.

Anne’s cousin Ross, and his wife Barb from Houston have a house just down the road from the park and are spending the weekend here so we can spend some time together. It is great to see them. The past several years it seems we only see cousins at funerals so it’s nice to spend some good time visiting. Barb and Ross came to the park shortly after our arrival and took us on a drive of the immediate area so we could get our bearings. Since tomorrow may be wet, we also drove up one of the hills to The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Gardens. What a wonderful garden in the shape of a cross. In the centerpiece of the gardens is the 77 foot 7 inch Empty Cross. Click here for more information on the gardens and cross. There are many beautiful sculptures in the park as well. We might try to go back to see the cross at night.

Click this picture to see the Google imagery of the prayer gardens
Click this picture to see the Google imagery of the prayer gardens

After a quick tour of the town, we had an early dinner. Later we went to Ross’s house and just sat around and visited. Good times.

texas deer
After dinner Ross and Barb drove us through a subdivision that is known for its deer population