Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg, Texas

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It is hard to describe a huge rock-like mountain out in the middle of country roads on your way to Fredericksburg, Texas. It looks far away, it looks small…until you stand at the bottom of the Enchanted Rock and look up at the ant-like people at the top.

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The park ranger gave us a colorful map and told us it would take 30-40 minutes to reach the top. We headed to the sign that read Summit Trail. The map reads 0.67 miles…you kidding? It seemed like such a short trail, but it’s UPHILL.

http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock

The Umpire spotted a roadrunner off to the left before we started our climb. In the photo I have circled the iconic bird because he fits so well in the landscape.

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Just to give you a bit of perspective. This is me close up.
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This is me far away.

After we wandered around on the summit for a while, we hiked down to the right to another connecting huge rock-mountain called Little Rock. But it is really not so little…

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I ran out of water before we came down. I notice this happens when I am out West. I love the drier heat, which doesn’t seem so hot. It doesn’t sap your energy like the humid summer days back home.

After a power bar and more water, we then headed to the town of Fredericksburg for lunch. When we came to the stoplight we saw the Pioneer Village and asked for some information. After a decent lunch, on our way back to the Pioneer Village, we found the Vereins Kirche, (Social Church) and stepped inside. It contained history of the early days Fredericksburg.

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https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccv01

The Pioneer Museum has a main building for information, postcards, books and gifts. There are nine buildings to walk through on the self-guided tour, and in each one there is an audio recording that plays when you enter. Some voices are the voices of people who actually lived in or used those buildings.

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The German fachwerk framing.

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Sunday House

There were some places we missed because we ran out of time. On our way out of town, we passed by the Texas Rangers Heritage Center, LBJ National Park, Fort Martin Scott and the National Museum of the Pacific War. The Wildseed Farm with 200 acres of flowers was in the opposite direction, but it is one place I would love to see in the spring.

As we plan our winter trip for next year, we intend to venture out to other places, but I’m fairly sure we will be heading back to Fredericksburg!

Finally—if you are driving down the highways in Texas, you might see these signs:
Drive Now, You Talk, You Text, You Crash

You Drink, You Drive, You Go To Jail

Don’t Mess with Texas! Don’t litter, Up to $2,000 fine

Now you may understand the quote…don’t mess with Texas!

 

Interesting sights and signs:

  • On the way to San Antonio—Taco Cabana
  • Snake Farm Zoo—why???
  • Ballroom Bingo
  • On the way to Fredericksburg–Crabapple Creek
  • Boot Ranch
  • Hunting Ranches
  • A black deer with curling straight up horns—Velvadar from India
  • A herd of Elk
  • Mistletoe in trees
  • Schmidtinzski Lane
  • Magnolia Pearl Store, Fredericksburg (check their great website!)
  • Rte. 290 Peach Country
  • Wine Country—Arc de Texas
  • A town named Stonewall
  • Bush Wacker—Handmade furniture
  • On the way home—names of towns—Fate, Texas, Arkadelphia, Hope, Friendship, and Social hill, Arkansas.
  • The Mississippi, Tennessee River
  • Danny Thomas Blvd., St. Jude’s Hospital
  • License plate: DUCSLYR
  • Exit 108 Shiloh National Park, Tennessee
  • Parkers Crossroads Battlefield
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park
  • Mousetail Landing
  • Loretta Lynn (remember I mentioned before?): Billboard for museum, campground, and restaurant.
  • Exit 152, town named Bucksnort
  • Saw Trump-Pence bus on Rte. 65 North of Nashville
  • Nervous Charlie’s Fireworks
  • White House, TN
  • Kentucky’s Largest Flea Land
  • Gander Mountain and Cabela’s within walking distance.
  • Kentucky Railway Museum
  • Kentucky Derby Museum, I-264
  • KFC Corp. Office—building looked like Old Kentucky home with pillars and statute of the Colonel out front.
  • Kentucky Caves, Lost River Cave, Horse Caves, American Cave, and Mammoth Caves.
  • Kentucky Down Under
  • Dinosaur Park & Museum sign and sporting a huge dinosaur
  • Snow flurries—33F and green grass in Kentucky
  • Fort Knox
  • Patton Museum
  • Pewee Valley. Rte. I-71

We could have worried over our 10-year-old car making the trip without breaking down or having an accident. But we didn’t. We made plans, but left things open for change. We enjoyed our family for a whole month, and it was all good. I love it when things come together, but even if it didn’t, we would be ok.

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Czech bakery on the way home!

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Remember the Alamo!

Today I see snow falling out of my window as I write more about Texas. We are home, and as we sift through our month of mail and read last year’s late Christmas cards we feel as if we have fallen into the Matrix. First of all, I am not warm yet! But I’ve always enjoyed the snow. Shoveling—not so much anymore.

Our daughter came along with us the day we went to San Antonio. We headed to The Pearl, near the upper end of the River Walk. The 15 miles of River Walk are part of the San Antonio watershed. The San Antonio River flows 240 miles through 5 counties and converges with the Guadalupe River before it flows into San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico.

First—we went to Local Coffee for lattes. Merit coffee is …mmm…and the atmosphere!

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Some of the shops around the Pearl are high-end, but it was worth taking a look. The Tiny Finch, Bakery Lorraine, Ten Thousand Villages, and The Twig Book Shop are some shops we stepped inside. Of course, the bakery had cinnamon rolls, which the Umpire couldn’t seem to resist.

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Culinary Institute of America

 

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This building once was the stable for Hotel Emma.

 

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Hotel Emma

 

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Walk through areas in the hotel.

 

River Walk photos:

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The Alamo

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The Umpire and me.

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At the Alamo there are rules of reverence:

Please remove hats inside Church, no photography in the buildings, do not touch the walls or lean on display cases, no obscene or offensive clothing, and a few others I didn’t mention.

On the grounds is a courtyard with historical artifacts and a short movie on the events leading to the fight at the Alamo and what happened afterward.

On Feb. 23, 1836, General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna and his army arrived in front of the Alamo. In the Alamo there were nearly 200 volunteers by the time they were eight days into the siege, but Santa Anna’s army was too great. The final assault came before daybreak on March 6, 1836, thirteen days into the siege.

Exactly what happened at the Alamo is still debated, but there is no doubt what this battle has come to symbolize for people all over the world. We remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds. This is where men laid down their lives for freedom.

 

 

Next up is Fredericksburg and the Enchanted Rock…