Monday, April 6, 2015

Fredericksburg, The Heart of Hill Country

We've had a fabulous five nights in Fredericksburg, TX. Besides visiting Enchanted Rock and the LBJ Ranch, we also walked downtown Fredericksburg and some of the very lovely surrounding neighborhoods. There are numerous well preserved historic homes and commercial buildings from the mid to late 1800's, and the German ancestry is readily apparent.

Though Fredericksburg is a tourist town, many of the tourist focused shops have quality looking merchandise and there are a lot of decent looking places to eat. We only ate out once and chose to relive Hans' childhood with a traditional German meal at the Old German Bakery and Restaurant. Though we did not buy any, their pastries looked decadently delicious!

In five days we did not manage to do everything the area has to offer, including the National Museum of the Pacific War, which we've heard is excellent. Darn, I guess we'll have to come back!

Shop alley.

The old courthouse is now the library.

Bluebonnets are looking lovely in pockets all over town.
One of many beautifully preserved historic homes.
The limestone building on the far left is an old jailhouse!

A German feast! Rouladen and Currywurst

We've had quite a bit of clouds during our stay and Sunday was no exception when we met up with Bob and Susan (Travel Bug) from San Antonio for one last hike and lunch before we move out of the area. We rendezvous'd at Joshua Springs Park and Preserve and got caught up since we last saw each other a few weeks ago on a nice five mile hike around meadows and up to a fogged in viewpoint (we didn't mind the clouds so much because it kept us cool--Texas humidity has been in the air lately!).

Walking one of the meadows at Joshua Springs.

The neon green of spring growth brightens a gray morning.

Our lunchtime wildlife sighting.

Lisa, Hans, Susan and Bob sharing lunch and camaraderie.

After lunch the four of us drove up to Comfort, TX and walked the streets of this charming, old hill country town, then piled into one car and drove some of the back-of-town roads along a tributary of the Guadalupe River. It was another fun day spent in easy going, comfortable company.

Comfort was founded by Freethinkers...my kind of people!

Plenty of nicely preserved old Texas buildings in Comfort, whose slogan is "An Antique Town".

Cute cafe: Comfortable in Comfort, TX!

This cute building is a greenhouse on private property!

Cypress Creek.

After saying our good byes, on Bob and Susan's recommendation, we drove Old San Antonio Road back to Fredericksburg. What a lovely stretch of hill country road! Rolling hills of meadows and oak and cypress forest, ranch and farm land, all in every shade of green imaginable.

The railroad is gone but the trestle remains.

We took a short detour to visit James Kiehl River Bend Park, another good find by Susan and Bob. This small park is dedicated to Mr. Kiehl and other servicemen and women who lost their lives in the service of their country. Short trails along the Guadalupe River provide birding and fishing opportunities, while interpretive plaques provide information about the areas railroad history and local flora and fauna.

Cypress reflections in the Guadalupe River.
We heard what sounded like a peacock on our walk but never located the source of those distinctive calls.

We interrupted a few of these guys feasting on something in the road...


Campground Review

Lady Bird Johnson Municipal RV Park was an excellent place to stay for a few nights. Many of it's 98 sites have a view of the runway at Fredericksburg airport. We had site 86, an extremely long pull through that used to support two RV's back to back and now is one site. The only bummer is that your door faces your neighbors door, pretty close by.

The Municipal park contains all kinds of sports fields as well as a public golf course, public pool, tennis courts and fishing in Live Oak Creek/Lake. There are two very pretty nature trails that cover about two miles, plus add on the loop around the entire park grounds and you've walked about three miles...excellent! There is an enormous (like 10 acres) enclosed dog park between the RV's and the air strip, oddly we never saw a dog in there. The only thing missing is a laundry facility, but you can find that about two miles up the road into town.

We really enjoyed staying here. Watching the variety of aircraft was interesting and walking the grounds and trails was serene and beautiful; the park is huge and very pretty in its spring clothing. Very quiet at night. $30/night for full hookups. Decent Verizon signal. We were about 15 miles from both Enchanted Rock and LBJ Ranch, and only three miles from the center of Fredericksburg. We'd definitely stay here again.

We are in Site 86, our neighbors door faces ours.
The air strip is behind the truck.

Many of the sites in this park have a front row view of the air strip.

There were three old military helicopters practicing hovering one sunny day.

The Hangar Hotel and the Airport Diner face the runway.
Notice the hotel balcony with chairs for plane watching.

A B17 and a B24 took off several times a day during our stay.

The butterfly / hummingbird garden adjacent to the RV park.

Evening reflections on Live Oak Creek Lake.

View trail or water trail?

Bird blind overlooking several feeders.

This guy was as big as Hans' fist!



Today we're off to South Llano State Park, an easy hour drive from here, where we'll be without signal for a few days unless we go in to town...


22 comments:

  1. Another perk for Texas - a history of Freethinkers! I was already hooked by your gorgeous photos of the water reflections, green meadows and groovy small towns - but the Rouladen and sweet red cabbage sealed the deal! An airstrip and a butterfly garden certainly provide for a unique variety of visuals at the campground.

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    1. We easily could have spent a week here and had plenty to do. Spring is an amazing time to be here!

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  2. We enjoyed a brief stay in Fredericksburg, what a cute town. It was freezing cold when we were there so we had to eat warming German food. It looks like the area is worth revisiting when it's warmer.

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    1. Definitely worth a revisit, especially in the spring!

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  3. What a cute place to visit! And oh my, all the beautiful hikes and scenic routes the area has to offer make it a great spring destination. I'm loving those bluebonnets! How nice to have Susan and Bob as personal guides!

    And thanks for mentioning the huge doggie park...

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    1. Driving by once more I saw that this is the FUTURE Fredericksburg dog park...it will be a beauty once it is open!

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  4. You have some fantastic photos in your blog today. The one of evening reflections on Live Oak Creek Lake is my favorite, but the last one of the wildflowers in a colorful little grouping is my second favorite.

    I don't remember ever seeing the shopping alley in Fredericksburg. We'll have to look for it next time we head up there.

    Safe travels to you.

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    1. Thank you!

      That cute little shop space was on the west end of the main shopping area.

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  5. Having Hoffs as my ancestors I LOVE real German food and those plates alone are enough to make me want to visit the Hill Country in spring. My original reason was the wildflowers but your post shows me there are many other reasons to go. Great tour and terrific pictures. Glad the 4 of you could get together once more. Don't we wish those Freethinkers had filled up Texas rather than being forced out.

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    1. The whole country could use more Freethinkers!

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  6. Thanks for a lovely tour of Fredericksburg and the surrounding area. The town looks so lovely. The old courthouse turned library is beautiful. Glad you had a fun time with Susan and Bob. Sounds like a wonderful visit to the area.

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    1. This area is very much worth a visit, especially in the spring!

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  7. My first time to visit your blog. Lovely post with pretty photos and informative commentary. Thanks for the visit...lovely! Rhonda

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  8. We really enjoyed staying at Lady Bird Municipal Park, too. Looks like you had a great time and a wonderful variety of experiences -- we'll have to check out Comfort next time we're in the area. So glad the bluebonnets are putting on a nice show for you!

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    1. We were very pleasantly surprised by this RV park, and the area. So worth a visit!

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  9. A campground with a front view of the air strip would be Steve's fave. If in the future we will pass by this town, this park will be our choice.
    I have heard good things about Fredericksburg and glad that you stopped by there and enjoyed it. Susan and Bob are really good Texas transplants, they know where the cool places are.
    There are also good hikes at South Llano and lots of bird blinds too.

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    1. Susan seems to be a born travel agent! She knows a huge area surrounding San Antonio very, very well!

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  10. Wise choice to bypass the pastries at the Old German Bakery, lest you get hooked like me and have to return for a box to go! ;-)

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    1. My tummy said yes but my head won with a NO!

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  11. Love this area! The cypress trees along the rivers and springs are so unique. And wildflower season is really popping. Everything is so GREEN! (We're in NM now and it is NOT green.) You always find the coolest places everywhere you go. How did we miss Joshua Springs and Comfort??

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    1. Joshua Springs and Comfort are very tiny!

      We're heading into NM in a couple of days...brown here we come!

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