Our return trip home was all about wild flowers. We have heard all about the famous Texas Bluebonnets in the Hill Country of Texas. So we made an easy detour to the Fredericksburg/Kerrville area off Interstate 10 and stayed a few days to see what we could see.
We spent a few days in Fredericksburg as our first base camp. Fredericksburg was settled as a German community in the mid 1800’s and maintains a strong cultural tie to their heritage. It is also the birthplace of Admiral Nimitz. The buildings are all made of limestone reminding us of the Cotswolds in England and the North Central park of Kansas.
Of course, we made sure to find some good German food for dinner. Our choice was Rathskeller Restaurant. It is down in the basement below the old Keidel Hospital in a quaint stone building. Food was great, glad we picked it.
Our big day of Bluebonnet hunting started nearby at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. We had read that Ladybird Johnson was a big advocate for wildflowers and the park is full of them. We spent some time walking around the park, it is situated along the Pedernales River, which is LBJ’s childhood home. The flowers were beautiful around the park. It was the perfect place to start our hunt.
We did a circular route up Hwy 281 through Marble Falls and up to Burnet. Then headed west on Hwy 29 to Llano. The countryside was beautiful, but the flowers were scarce. We stopped for a picnic in Llano and did some more homework. Found a backcountry road called Willow City Loop. It was said to be the best flower viewing in the area. So, we headed off to check it out. Spectacular might be an understatement. Now this is what we were looking for. A narrow road with quite a few pull-overs and fields and fields of wildflowers, but it was the Bluebonnets that stole the show.
We also took a side trip to Luckenbach. Yup, Luckenbach Texas of Waylon Jennings song fame. It is a bump in the road. Only a couple of buildings. We stopped in at the general store/bar and had a beer and listened to some old boy strumming his guitar and singing old favorites. He had a peaceful, soothing voice and just played songs off the top of his head.
Our next stop was down to Kerrville. Our friends had stayed there in their RV ad recommended it, so we drove down and stayed a couple days. After all the driving we had been doing, we wanted to get out and walk. We found a wonderful walking path along the Guadalupe River. We walked out and back about 7 miles total. The pathway was very nice, clean and the views of the river and town were really nice.
After over two weeks on the road, we had our first rain day. Fortunately, it was only an overnight/morning storm, so we went out in the afternoon to explore Hill Country. We headed out south of Kerrville and worked out way towards Bandera. There were very few wildflowers on this route, but the hills were magnificent. It was so peaceful and green. We made it to Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World and walked around some. Neat old town with covered wood sidewalks.
In all, it was a great trip. The wildflowers and Hill Country were a great way to cap off our “tour of Texas” spring road trip.