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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blanco State Park - Blanco, Texas

Today was a bit drizzly, but we took a little day trip for our 37th anniversary ( pretty amazing, huh?!!).  The nice thing about Fredericksburg area is that we have several day trips to choose from.  today, we decided on going to Blanco State Park, a twenty five min drive.  We took several family camping trips here when our kids were just babies.  The Blanco River is one of our favorites.

You can see raindrops are falling...

But we were still able to take a hike along the river bank.  The sad thing about Blanco State Park, they only have one trail, one mile in length, but it was pretty.

Being married to the same person for 37 years can have it trials but all the many joys far outweigh...

The main camping area - spacious sites.  This is the smallest state park in Texas, so if you want to soak in the river, reservations required!  Sadly, none of the sites have a view of this beautiful river. Most of the sites are water and electric; there are several sites though with full hookups.  Now if you want a view of the river, there are several cabins available.

A view of the day use picnic areas.

The main attraction at Blanco State Park--the water and the pool area they made on the river.  The water temp was perfect in June.

and easy access....anyone want to go for a dip!!

Marble Falls, Texas / Inks Lake State Park

Marble Falls area is about 50 miles west of Austin--some of the prettiest lakes are in this area which is known as the Highlands Lake area.  Sure would be nice to one of those places on the lake!  We hadn't been in this area for the last 15 years or so, and as anyplace, this area has really grown. Though Marble Falls is  only 10,000 people, you can find just about anything you need or desire there. Besides boasting some of the best lakes, it is also home to Inks Lake State Park and Longhorn Caverns.   For today's adventure, we decided to visit Inks Lake State park.  We are camped about 45 min from here, so figured the caverns would have to wait another day---they are quite beautiful caverns though and a must see if you have been.  Perfect place to go when the weather is too hot.  Inks Lake State Park is huge with plenty of spacious campsites, water and electric only no sewer.  Spotless restrooms and showers near each camping loop and even some air conditioned camping shelters!  Most camping sites have plenty of shade. 

A small peek at some of the campgrounds at Inks Lake State Park.  When our kids where 6 and 8 , we camped here for a a few days right whee you see that fifth wheel parked.  There is quite a bit to do at this state park; always has been one of our favorites,

There is a great lighted fishing pier. there are quite  a few campsites in this park and some do sit on the lake...perfect!

A place to rent canoes and paddle boats.  When we were here with the kids, we rented a canoe and took a day long paddling adventure around the lake exploring.  We can't believe they cannot remember all the fun they had when they were little!!

There is a great swimming area with a sandy bottom . The water was cool but too cold to get into seeing it was close to 90 outside...after a few hours of being in the sun, you would want to jump in.


You can even bring your own tubes and just hang out for the day bobbing along.

Or you can take this trail to devil's sinkhole.

Devil's sinkhole is very popular because it  has a great jumping rock.

The water in Devil's Sinkhole is quite deep but refreshing according to Wayne.

These people are enjoying a nice summer vacation.  Click to enlarge the people jumping from the rocks.

After cooling off in the sinkhole, there is another trail that leads you to a small but serene waterfall. A bit warm hiking up that trail in the heat of the day!



After all that activity, better be sure to bring along some fresh peaches from stonewall, texas....yummy.

Monday, June 4, 2012

LBJ State Historic National Park - LBJ's Ranch

The entrance of LBJ State National Historical Park 16 miles east of Fredericksburg.  LBJ grew up near here and when he became a senator, he purchased this property that lies along the Pedenales River from his aunt.  Throughout the course of his life he added thousands of acres to this family property.  It is a beautiful ranch. Upon his death, 600 acres were given to the state including his home which was referred to as the Texas White House.  You can drive through the ranch for free; it costs two bucks to tour the house which is well worth it.  Sadly, no photography allowed in the house.  It was a perfect example of life in the 60's/ 70's.  You would think it would be a grand house, but it is the original house his aunt had lived in with a few additions yet retaining it small scale and simple grace. 

deer oh, deer


looking north on the ranch
LBJ's beautiful air force 1/2 ....a Lockheed Jetstar Vc - 140 enlarge by clicking on this or any other picture

he had fun with this car/boat

His hunting rig

LBJ State Historic National Park- Stonewall, Texas - The Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm

The Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm sits within the boundaries of the LBJ Ranch State Historic Park about 15 miles east of Fredericksburg in a town called Stonewall, Texas.  The ranch was owned by the Beckmann family and depicts life during the early 1900's.  The buildings are well preserved as is the life of the German settlers.  Admission is free and is well worth a tour. 

Amazing lookin chickens!

All the canned goods you see are made here right on the farm. 

A nice garden where the canned goods come from.
livestock pens

the outhouse
hogs can go over half a ton

fresh eggs

The windmill is important when you do not have electricity.

Chicken and dumplings cooked over a wood burning stove...smelled amazing.

I can play one of these.
Yardbirds

The view of the barn through the garden.

Click on any picture to enlarge and daydream!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mr. Wayne's Big Mistake

"I slept in the graveyard, it was cool and still, cool and still and it was cool"
Tom Waits - Cold Water
There is a man who has traveled full time in his RV for a couple of decades and he lists on his website, by state, his top picks and I just love using his site as he saves me a lot of research. Research is work. I am lazy. I am also picky about where I stay as I do "live' in some of the places a month or more. Following his recommendations, I've stayed in some nice parks in NM, Arizona, Oregon, California, Idaho, etc. We left Houston after a short stay and on a whim, I decided to go Corpus Christi as the people down there probably needed some lessons in saltwater fishing and it has been many, many years since I was there. So I referenced my reliable web site and made some reservations. One thing seemed odd, he mentioned, "even though the park is "downtown", it is in a remarkably quiet area. Clearly the Trailer Life ratings do not give adequate consideration to this outstanding new section of this park."
When I was leaving the park in Houston , the guy who owns the Slick Willie's chain came up and asked where I was going. I told him I would be back and told him my plans. He said, "Well, its a good thing you are going on vacation but its a damn shame you are going to Corpus." I shrugged that off and said I was going to a very nice campground there. I did not have a good drive to Corpus. I was tired when I got there.

The campground is in a remarkably quiet area.

cool and still

It that a refinery in the background? Just like being back home.

Is this Howard's place? Howard Bazaar?

The laundry had a clothesline on the side which often had clothes. It cost a dollar to use the drier but only 50 cents to use the clothesline

The site was large and I was setting up when my neighbor walked up and told me not to leave any items in my truck at night. Several vehicles had been broke into during the last two nights.  I needed forty feet of sewer line to get to the connection and I only had thirty so I drove past several homeless shelters and got into a lot of traffic to go to the Walmart where it looked like the clientele were all just dropped off a bus from some over crowded penal system....more traffic down to Padre where the 30mph was stirring up the breakers and seaweed and back into traffic....I'm not going to go on.....I was not a happy camper....That night I left the light on outside and was loading my pistola when I thought, "Now, do I really want to shoot some homeless person or young punk over $20 worth of crap in my truck???" I thought that was a damn good question as  I laughed and loaded the three seventeen round clips. I'd shoot them just for touching my truck. I did not sleep well that night. I left Kobe outside chained to the truck and heard him growling and barking and someone screaming like they were getting there ass tore up by an 80 pound dog in the vicinity of my truck and I felt like I should go and help my dog but I was having one of those rare sober nights enjoying what sleep I was getting and did not want to get up so I fired a few random warning shots out of my bedroom window (yes I opened the window first) just to let any nearby N'eer do wells know  that there was a new sheriff in town. The next morning when the office opened I had my money refunded for the week, packed up and headed north. I spent 19 hours there.

You can click on any picture to enlarge. "Howdy, neighbor".