Sunday, March 6, 2016

Road Trip to Houston: Texas Hill Country

Day 8

The plan for today is to explore some of the Texas Hill Country and end up in the small town of Fredricksburg where we'll spend the night.  We left the hotel around 9:00 and drove west out of San Antonio to the small town of Bandera.  This would be the start of our loop through some of the hill country.  We headed south to the town of Hondo, which turned out to be a mistake as this is really the bottom of the hill country area and not very interesting.  Since this area wasn't very interesting we turned north to the small town of Utopia.

It was time for lunch so we decided to eat at the Lost Maples Café.  It seemed like everyone else had the same idea because the café was nearly full and more people were continually coming and going.  The Lost Maples Café is quite old and very funky inside.  It was built before 1904 and has many uses before becoming a cafe including a Masonic Lodge, a doctor's office, a drugstore and a classroom.   Val and I both had burgers for lunch and they were quite good.  Although we were full, we decided to try the pecan pie for dessert, which was very good, but very rich.

The Lost Maples Cafe

After lunch we decided to go to the Garner State Park on the Frio River.  This is a holiday weekend (Valentine’s Day tomorrow and Presidents Day on Monday) and the weather clear and warm so the park was very crowded with families swimming, fishing and just relaxing in the sun.  It was a very scenic area with the river running clear and the cypress trees growing in and around the river.  Val and I hiked along the river for a bit to get away from the crowds before moving on to our next destination.

Our next stop was the town of Concan, which was just down the road.  It turned out not to be a stop as there was not really much of a town.  By this time it was mid-afternoon and we decided we had better head north towards Fredricksburg, our destination for the night.  We did take a side trip to follow the Frio River for a while, which, as I said, is a very clear and inviting river.  We saw many people out along the river enjoying the warm weather and having a good time.  As we drove north there was one section of very hilly country which looked very much like the area where we live. It was a nice drive.

It was a longer drive than we thought and didn’t arrive in Fredricksburg until after 5:00.  We had heard that Fredricksburg had an interesting downtown with old buildings, shops and places to eat so we had planned on getting there mid-afternoon and explore the town, but that didn’t work as planned.

We felt pretty full from our lunch so we went to a nearby market and bought a vegetable plate and had that for dinner.  It actually hit the spot as we usually don’t get much in the way of fresh vegetables on the road.

We had a good time today, but I think we both expected more from the Texas Hill Country than we saw.  The scenery was nice, but nothing really spectacular, but that may have just been the time of year.  Everything was brown and of course many of the trees were without leaves.  We were told that within a month or so everything would be green with a lot more water flowing and wildflowers blooming.  I’m sure that would have made a big difference in our impression of the area.

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