|Round 1 2017 complete. Despite my continual allergy issues throughout January, my month in the Hill Country has come to a close. I learned a few things over the month. I truly love the hill country of Texas. And, cedar allergies are brutal.
Allergies are nothing new to me, but it was a daily struggle. Yet, the allergies and 5 days of rain didn't slow us down much. There is so much beauty in the hill country. The clear Blanco River, Lake Travis, and the blue deep hole of Jacob's Well were a sight to be seen. We did plenty of hiking. Our favorite spot happened to be the one most near...Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberly. This was doggie heaven for the babies as since it was not peak season, it was rarely visited so our hikes were quiet, long, and solitary.
Wimberly also hosts the 284 steps to the top of Old Baldy. One of the best views around...and quite a good workout to climb! The square of Wimberly is charming, and must say my favorite stop was the popcorn shop that boasted 50 different types of popcorn. I tested 5 different kinds, and they were all outstanding! The absolute must see for me was Jacob's Well. As mentioned in my last post, I had attempted to visit Jacob's Well during my first week, but it was closed and no dogs are allowed. But, when college roomie, Kimmie, came to stay a weekend with me, we decided to try it again...and I'm so thankful we did. It consists of an artesian spring that keeps a temperature of 68 degrees year round, with a mile long cave system underneath the 140 foot deep "blue hole" of Jacob's Well. Truly remarkable!!
Venturing outside of Wimberly, our desire to hike took us to the Milton Heimer Ranch Park and the Pace Bend Park in nearby Spicewood; and a jaunt up to Fredericksburg to hike the Enchanted Rock State Park.
One rainy day when hiking wasn't so desirable, we journeyed into Austin. I had read about a no-kill animal shelter there and decided to visit. I spent the afternoon walking two shelter dogs...Cooper (the pit bull) and Primo (the german shepherd). I picked Cooper and Primo because they had been in the shelter the longest...about 10 months. Cooper didn't pay much attention to me as he was most interested in the area in which the cats were sheltered. Primo was so sweet, but had the worse underbite I had ever seen on a dog. As mom would say, "bless his heart". I left the shelter feeling a little sadness, grateful for such a well maintained and managed shelter, and renewed in my desire to help...if only through a bit of volunteering and some financial aid.
The food. How can you not love Texas food? Ok, I guess if you don't love meat, you might not see the big deal. But we hit a few "off the beaten path" eateries that make Texas proud. The mexican food we had in a quick trip to San Antonio; the burgers at the Hays County Store about 15 minutes north of Wimberly; and the Back Porch in Wimberly. The Back Porch came about due to the massive floods they had in 2015 in the area. It sits at the edge of the Blanco River in an housing subdivision. The owners wanted to give something back to Wimberly and decided to open a place where locals could come and hang out and appreciate the beauty of the river. The BBQ was truly amazing, but the topper was the dessert (as seen in the pic with Kimmie). Brownie (no nuts, of course) with vanilla ice cream, a toasted marshmallow and fudge. HEAVEN!
The cabin...albeit unique...was a bit much for us for our 3 week adventure. Great locale, but just needed some serious updating and a deep clean. We left a few days early to travel up to Lubbock with Cathy before heading back to OKC.
Overall, a terrific way to start 2017. The Hill Country of Texas. Reminds me of an old Tanya Tucker song..."when I die, just let me go to Texas."
We regroup in February before we take off again. So much more to come, see and experience...