An auspicious beginning to my 58th year: my 100th post from Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock. Kudos to Lisa and Claude Saunders, who offered a perfect combination of impeccable service, good taste and genuine friendliness. A great breakfast got me off to a good start on my hike to the top of our big granite dome, the Enchanted Rock batholith. I include only one wild flower photo this time as the season is early and there are more to come. And more rocks to climb.
I’m in the Texas hill country celebrating my birthday and enjoying spring in Fredericksburg. On a whim I stopped to say hello to some exotic animals at the Exotic Resort Zoo, then rolled into Fredericksburg to enjoy a hearty German meal at Friedhelms Bavarian Restaurant. Delicious! The Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast gave me shelter for the night in a lovely, quiet home exuding small town charm. I’ll have more to say about my stay after breakfast tomorrow. Off to Enchanted Rock in the morning when I awake to greet 58 with many wonders to look forward to.
Sauntering Spring around Austin and Rockport/Port Aransas
Sunday drives were a family way of life for boomers, like road trips and burger joints. While I don’t eat beef, I did enjoy the really tasty baa baa black sheep burger with goat cheese, stone ground mustard, tomato and pepperoncini peppers at Pecan Street Brew Pub. Couldn’t resist the Sisyphus Barleywine Real Ale, a nice compliment to my burger and sweet potato fries. Walking through the low trafficked, unrented stores and the open streets of Johnson City (where everyone knows each tree) fed my nostalgia for small town life. Taking an out of the way road back to 281 presented us with a romanticized family idyll: a dog swimming in a creek with mom, dad and two laughing kids. The green, rolling hills of the hill country are a welcome harbinger of spring, more wild flowers will come. Rain has caressed the land and given us a delightful bouquet.
Contrary to popular belief, there is water in the hill country. Colleen and I had to go to Hunt, Texas to find it, but Autumn cypress foliage rivals northern forests for flaming reds, orange and shades of gold and rust. Taking a break from the routine, 11 brings an opportunity for balance, recalibration and strength. For fun, we went to Stonehenge II (now in Ingram, Texas) to stand among the stones and release the old, walking counterclockwise around the circle, then ushering in a new energetic cycle by strolling clockwise among the stones. The creeks and rivers offered peace – lush grasses and languid flowing waters the dry beds closer to town have lost in the drought. Ingram has a few shops, including the Copper Cactus, whose humorous mural is featured below. If you are looking for a good German meal in Fredericksburg, I recommend Friedhelm’s Bavarian Restaurant. Schnitzel, ja voll! All in all a lovely day touring the gently rolling hills and dales of Central Texas. May peace remain and pass on to the warriors who have gone before us this Veteran’s Day 2011.