2012 - 2017 Travel Map - Now in the Bad Lands National Park, South Dakota

LBJ Ranch/Fredericksburg Tour and Guadalupe River Walk

May 1- 3 

The mornings are still pretty cool here in the middle of Texas.  Wednesday morning the 1st it was 52 outside and 59 inside when we got up at 7 am.  We turned on the electric fireplace and within a half an hour it was 68, warm enough for us.  Then by 10 am it was time to start opening up the windows as it was already 75 outside.  

The humidity is also very low here (20-30%) so we are starting to literally dry out.  May is one of the wet months here with an average rain fall of just 3 inches.  The RV Park waters everything even at night to keep grass growing. Without the grass there would be nothing but rocks and dust like the surrounding areas here.  We have been noticing that our skin is scaling and starting to crack from the dryness.  It won’t be long though until we are in the summer heat and humidity of the mid-west and north-east.

We decided to walk the Guadeloupe River trail starting from a park in Kerrville.  We arrived at the park to find out that it is closed for renovation.  So we drove around and found another entrance to the river walk at a nature center.  The river walk is only about 1.5 miles long but it is very scenic with loads of small animals. We had squirrels coming up to us within a few inches and begging for food.  It actually looked like they were posing for pictures.


Park Closed!

We got to see the chicken car at Church's Chicken Restaurant.

Start of the trail.  The people in front of us had 2 containers of corn and a loaf of french bread for the animals!

Deer in the background.








Looking west up the Guadalupe River.


As we were walking we found a Thai restaurant across the river and decided to find a way over the river and have lunch and wine there.  About a half a mile up we found a bridge over the river and to a street that paralleled the river.  We walked back to the restaurant and had a great table overlooking the Guadeloupe River.  We had some spicy Thai food with a bottle of wine watching the river run by on a beautiful day.  It just doesn’t get any better than this!


View of the Thai restaurant from the river.


Patty looking over the menu.

Wednesday evening we decided to grille the local hamburgers we bought on Tuesday.  We weren’t really happy with the hamburgers because they were lacking in fat.  I think hamburgers need some fat to make them tasty. These must have been only 3% fat!  We needed to put cheese and some juicy tomatoes to add some moisture to eat them.  They were good tasting though, just dry!

Thursday the 2nd we headed out with Janelle to the LBJ ranch in Stonewall Texas.  I’m not a big LBJ fan but he is a big part of American history.  The ranch is 51 miles from our site or about an hour away.  We headed up route 16 to Fredericksburg and then onto route 290 for 13 miles to the ranch.


The LBJ ranch was called the Texas White House when he was president.  We were told he spent 25% of his time as president at the ranch.  We started with a movie with LBJ being driven around the ranch and telling of his and its history.   LBJs birth house and burial are also on the land around the ranch. It is really great that they did this with him, what a great piece of history.


LBJ Birthplace.

Johnson cemetery.

The 2 large tombstones in the center are LBJ and his wife Lady Bird.  Lady Bird died in 2007.  She lived 32 years after Lyndon died.
We got a free pass to drive around the ranch which took about half an hour.  We saw both his grave and birth site. We also saw his vice president and presidential jet he used. The runway is also still there.  We toured the 8,000 square foot house for a fee of $3 each.  We learned that LBJ worked 18 hour days, had 72 phone lines in the house, and died at 3:55 pm on January 25th in the house.  He was only 64 when he died!  I would recommend the tour to all who pass this area.  It really is a time capsule of the 60s. 


This is cardboard!  Feel like he is looking right at me.

The LBJ Presidential jet

This is the first jet used as Air Force 1.

Entering the house from the west side.

We were told that LBJ and staff members would sit under the big tree in front of the house and discuss topics of the day.  The tree was referred to as the "Cabinet Tree".

After the president has his first heart attack he had a pool installed.  From what we are told he didn't use it much except to have parties.

The Corvette LBJ bought his daughter for her 18th birthday.  It is still driven by his daughter once in a while.

In the back yard LBJ had dignitaries sign their names in concrete.  They were very hard to read.  This one is from John Glenn in 1960.

A larger view of the concrete signature area behind the house.

Back of the house.

This was the secret services house.  It still has a rotating camera on the roof.  All of the windows are one way viewing.  Looked real small to us!

This is the runway for his jet in back of the house.
After the LBJ ranch we headed back into the town of Fredericksburg for lunch and shopping.  Fredericksburg is known for its German heritage so we had to have lunch at one of the German restaurants in town.  We went to the Auslander restaurant in the center of town.  We had so much food that we didn’t eat until the next day and that was the leftovers!  We walked around town and did some shopping/browsing for a couple of hours.  The best part of the shopping for me was the walking around to help burn off the heavy lunch.  We headed back and ended back at the RV for drinks by 5:30 pm.  Drinks went on until well after dark.  It was another really, really great day!!


The Auslander restaurant we had lunch at.
On Saturday the 3rd the temperature was again very cold at just 47 outside at 7am.  We turned on the furnace to warm the place up. By mid-morning the outside temperature was again pushing 80 and by mid afternoon we reached the mid-90's.  We had just about a 50 degree temperature swing during the daytime.

Patty and I went for a walk around the area.  Patty did 2 miles and I finished with my usual 3 miles.  We walked to the Johnson Creek behind the campground and then up a small country road before heading back to the campground. There are many ranches here and places that think they are ranches.  Most people's properties have large gates and high fences even if the property looks to be just an acre in size. There are very large homes and properties here as well though.


Nice homes around here with the typical big gate.

This ranch house is too far away to see it.

Typical cactus around this area.

Interesting looking bulls.


Janelle offered to pick up some baby back ribs if I would cook them for the evening dinner which I agreed to do.  I went into town with her and got the ribs and some corn on the cob.  Everything came out great including the ribs. As we were cooking outside we had a couple of neighbors come over (Kathy and Gary) and introduce themselves.  We talked to them for a while until dinner time. Then another neighbor (Brian) came over after dinner.  We all told stories and laughed until around 11 pm and called it a night.  
On a last note, the leveling control has now made it to Dallas according to the UPS tracking system.  We are really hoping it gets here on Monday instead of Tuesday.  We have planned our trip now to cover the extra time we have spent here.  To cover the time we are going to do "bump and runs" (200+ miles a day and camp just overnight) for the first 3 trips from here to cover 600 miles in 3 days. Then we will slow down and do what we had originally planned for Memphis and Nashville.

Stay tuned!

1 comments:

Phil and Rudee said...

Got the shirt yesterday ! Really cute ! Thanks a bunch ! Rudee