January 20 ......
Leaving Nac for Austin and points South. We are trying to stick to smaller roads (and smaller towns) on the way ... like Alto, Rusk & Palestine. Lots of "Piney woods" and some hillier country. Mostly brown and grey this time of year, with green coming from pines, cedar, holly & laurel.
More signs that amuse me ... "Inside Yard Sale" (oxymoron??) Grapeland Safari ...Exotic Animals" (I'll just bet) BIG BIG gate over an imposing driveway ..."North 32' Ranch" ...I see dollar signs. Don't blink when you go thru Oakwoods, TX ... feed store, Post Office, Stray dog and a Baptist church ...that's it. No wonder all those beauty queens just want to get out of Texas. The Lipsey Ranch, The Pate Ranch, Keechi Creek ... white faced cattle grazing next to oil derricks pumping. The "Horse's Mouth Book Store and Internet Cafe" is right next door to the "Gun Shop" in Buffalo, TX .. (pop 1804) I am imagining the couple who own the "Sweetheart Ranch" ... nice. The wind is picking up just enough to make driving harder and harder. Jeff is glad we don't have too much farther to go. Bicycle team with about 30 riders and a van following ...Hearne, TX on the Little Brazos River has 2 Dairy Queens!!...population 4,950. There is a train on the siding ... 3 tender engines and cars that went on and on and around a bend .. too many to count. In Milano, TX (pop 400) "NAT"S - Beer, Pool & Dancing Since 1968"... all this in a building about the size of a 2 car garage. Thorndale, TX (pop 1278) has "Carol's ... Groceries, Antiques, Restaurant & Gifts". I could just move right in !!! Finally, finally ... a 4 1/2 hour drive (that turned into 6 because of the wind) is over and we find our new home in Austin. Good night!!
We begin our relaxing time here in Austin .... the "pretty" part of Texas. We are in a campground in a "resort" area near Lake Travis .... which is a huge lake formed by the Mansfield Dam. It's a very nice place, recently expanded in a hope of becoming an RV Resort, I think. I love looking at the trees with the funny balls of green in the live oaks ... Mistletoe! If the folks here are depending on the lake for business, they had better keep praying for rain. The lake is about 40 feet below normal just now. Partly due to drought and partly because there are more and more housing development to the south that need more and more water. If they have more rain here and the lake begins to fill, but there is no rain to the south .. they must release water to the people "down hill". Too many people moving to the desert landscape and wanting green lawns!! We saw the same thing last summer in Colorado and New Mexico. Stupid!
January 20, 2009.
We have a new President! Watched the Inauguration festivities begin early this morning from our campground at Lake Travis. There was not much activity .. everyone seems glued to the TV. I am just so optimistic about the things he said in his Address and the way he has of inspiring people to better things.
We are a bit northwest of Austin, Texas at the edge of the Hill Country. The weather was crystal clear today and grew warm and sunny after a pretty cool night. The weather here is a far cry from what we are seeing in other parts of the country, where we keep tabs on friends and family. Chester County .. Chicago ... Hickory, NC ... everyone is in a deep freeze!
We are happy just to stay put for a while, and plan to do just that while the temperatures climb to the mid and high 70s later this week!! Whoo-hoo!! Then we plan to head to San Antonio and Corpus Christi. More later!