Hill Country (part one)

11 Apr

Big Spring welcomed us with a goodie bag at the tourist information centre, as P1120260well as all our literature we were provided with a reusable bag, a large bulldog clip, a safety cutter  a paper clip and best of all two hand fans, ideal for the extreme temperatures we were not accustomed to!  Texas RV ranch also welcomed us and found us a site for the night, we delighted in the shade of a real tree, one with leaves on, there was grass too, we were not quite out of the desert yet but almost.

Next day we drove to San Angelo and the State Park just north of town. The campground was a very well spaced flower meadow, we also had a view of what remains of the lake, 5440 ft surface area of water has diminished, in our estimation, by at least 90%. We walked to the waters edge past a boat ramp now isolated from the water by 500ft of weedy waste land.

A short drive allowed us to visit the town of San Angelo itself, it was Good P1120273Friday and we had expected some hustle and bustle but apart from a few tourists it was extremely quiet. The attractive building which houses the visitor centre was the start of a shady stroll along the river bank to the old historic part of town where restored buildings now house shops and commercial premises.

Eggemyer’s General store being the most interesting, if a little touristy. A train P1120268set running around above the goods on display was an immediate attraction for Robert.

We continued our journey into the Texas Hill Country and had intended to stay at Brady overnight, the campground was very full and did not appeal to us so we drove on a little further to Mason pulling into RV park beside the Llano River. We do like being beside the water, this spot did not disappoint, tranquil and quiet, not too many others and an uninterrupted view of the water. We took a stroll to the river bank after tea and spotted huge bass swimming in the shallow edges along with some smaller fish and what we think was a pike. Several of our fellow campers were fishing. Next morning we witnessed one catch of around 15 inches long, a lovely fish proudly shown off and then put back for a second chance

In preparation for the holiday week-end we had booked ourselves in to Fredericksburg RV. The highway from Mason to Fredericksburg became P1120297greener the further we travelled along it and either side were colourful wild flowers to brighten our journey, the blue ones we would call Lupine but over here they are Blue Bonnets and proudly herald Spring. The weather was also becoming more humid so whilst the temperature was lower we felt even hotter. 

P1120303

The campground was about a mile and a quarter from the main street but our walk there took us through some picturesque back streets with older style property which we enjoyed observing. Most were on good sized plots and seemed in good condition for there obvious age. The town seems to have held on to the majority of its older houses and looked after them which gives it a quaint feel, however we did not perceive a great deal of what we would think of as German architecture. Most of the stores in the main street were closed on Easter Sunday allowing us to potter and window shop, many had a German theme to them with Wellkomen over the door, this seemed to make them German in the eyes of the Texan proprietors.

I had been unaware that this part of Texas had a long history of wool production from sheep and goats, I began some research to see if there was an interesting visit to be had and discovered Stonehill Spinning in East Ufer Street. My conversation with the proprietor there, Dorothy, revealed that the wool industry is sadly in decline in the region, the fleece being sent off to Russia, the Middle East or Mexico for spinning and processing. The lady herself however does own a flock of merino sheep and has her wool spun in Michigan, bringing it back for sale in her quaint Fredericksburg store. Along with yarn sales the store holds items for rug making spinning and weaving, classes take place in the lovely big room at the back.

Having kept me company while I pursued my interest it was only fair that the next stop was specially for Robert – Guess what – a microbrewery! No pictures today, it must be getting boring by now watching us consume beverages you cannot try yourself! (By the way, I had Texan wine, something else they produce we were not aware of, a very nice Chenin Blanc) .

P1120307Before we finally left Fredericksburg we wanted to visit the Pioneer Museum to learn a little of the towns historical past, a display of old fire engines  and the complete history of the towns volunteer fire brigade were on display.

Also, some interesting and weird household objects. The picture to the right P1120320shows a small pram, not sure if it was for child or doll, but the contraption hanging from the ceiling seems to be either a baby seat or swing, as there was no information regarding its past uses we were a little in the dark and can only assume, however it looks very dangerous to me whichever use it  had. (A grandmothers nightmare!)

The reconstruction of the barbers shop was just like a scene from a wild west movie.  P1120313        

    I love this old chair too which looks like it was for the show shine boy!P1120314

But best of all I could, just for a moment, look to a future dream, all I needed was the shawl…. that’s a work in progressP1120322 ….. it may take some time…..

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