LOVED Hill Country in Texas! Texas is divided into seven regions; Panhandle Plains, Big Bend Country, Hill Country, South Texas Plains, Prairies and Lakes, Piney Woods, and Gulf Coast. Hill Country is the final region we needed to check out and we loved it. The rolling hills, a lot of trees, the weather was perfect and many unique towns.
We made our base Fredericksburg, a touristy German town, as we checked out the area. There were many RV parks in the area to pick from although most were booked full. We found a new park, Quiet Creek that had just opened in August of 2015. It was a large park with 150 RV sites sitting in an open area. They planted many trees and are working on grass so maybe in a few years it will look more like an RV park than a gravel parking lot. We stayed two weeks because it was close to so much and because there were only about 15 units in the park so it was very quiet.
We spent only one day checking out the shops in Fredericksburg. There was a wide variety of shops and not the usual T-shirt shops and other touristy stuff but more upscale boutiques, galleries, antiques, and furniture. Also this area is well known for its wineries so there were wine tasting shops as well as you could hop on a van for $24.95 a person and they would take you to do wine tasting at the wineries (and there were many of them). We didn’t do the wine tasting experience.
Fredericksburg was also full of restaurants from “Authentic” German to Mexican to brick-oven pizzas and anything else you could think of. Of course, we did have to try a few of those. Because of our heritage we did try two different German restaurants and neither was good. The brick-oven pizza was excellent so we would go back there on our next visit. But our best find was Opa’s Smoked Meats – yummy! It was a small meat and sandwich shop on one of the side streets that sold the very best smoked sausage I’ve ever tasted. They had a sampling of three different meats which is what sold us. We came out of the shop with a sandwich to share, a couple of big packages of smoked sausage, a jar of their sauerkraut, a jar of Chow Chow (a delicious sauerkraut relish) and a big smile that we had found this place. We returned and stocked up our freezer with sausage and a few more jars of sauerkraut and Chow Chow before we left the area.
On one of our excursion into Hill Country we found the little town of Luckenbach, population 3. Don’t let the population fool you. This is a hopping little town of music, food, a few small shops and of course, Tumbleweed the bull. You could sit on Tumbleweed for a few dollars to have your picture taken and I wanted Joe to sit on it to share with Cate and Alex, thinking the grandkids would get a kick out of papa sitting on this huge bull. The thing was the bull was so big it was a challenge to get on him. I laughed so hard watching Joe climb up this bull that I thought I was going to wet myself. Dumb me, I was laughing when I should have been taking a video and I couldn’t convince him to do it again. Joe is such a good sport!
From there we went to check out Blanco State Park in Blanco thinking that we would stay there a few days after we left Fredericksburg. Not a nice state park. Too many sites crammed into a very tiny space right in town. But we were glad we drove to check it out without the 5th wheel.
On our way back to our home base we stopped at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park outside of Stonewall. In 1972 LBJ and Lady Bird donated 600 acres of their 1300 acre ranch to the National Park Service. This included the home on the ranch with the stipulation to the park planners that the LBJ Ranch remain a working ranch. So we drove through pastures where the cattle grazed, saw many horses and even an ostrich. We toured the house which was called The Texas White House because LBJ spent more time at this home than in the White House after he became president. The house was very simple and had been added on to several times. Everything in the house was from the Johnson’s era. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside which was disappointing but took many pictures on the outside such as the President’s Air Force One, which was very small compared to what is used today, the building where the secret service stayed and the beautiful grounds. We also stopped on our way out to visit LBJ and Lady Bird’s gravesite. This had to be one of the most beautiful and serene burial site we’ve ever visited. The area was away from everything and surrounded by massive oak trees. Beautiful and peaceful! This is a must see if you are in the area.
Our most enjoyable day was spent at Enchanted Rock State Park where we did a mile hike up to the top of a huge pink granite rock. Doesn’t sound like much of a hike, a mile, but what a mile that was. This was not following any trail but just walking up the side of this steep, smooth granite rock. What a challenge! The beauty was spectacular. We took the hike up and then spent several hours exploring on our way down, which was another challenge. The beauty of the view, the small desert gardens that Mother Nature provided, the little creek running through the rocks and the colors of the formations. Spectacular! We will do this again next time we visit Fredericksburg.
We are discovering that we are getting more and more content staying in an area for two weeks that is if we have good internet and phone service. It gets a little harder if we don’t have the outside world. We moved to the Piney Woods area in Texas a few days ago to stay at a lovely Corp of Engineer Park. Our site sits on a lake with a view of the lake out our back and side windows. We are fortunate to be able to stay here for two weeks. What more could you ask for? We are so blessed!
Stay safe! Love to our family and friends.