The weather is once again having an impact on our travel plans. This time we're being held-up a day instead of being pushed out early as we were a few weeks ago in Nevada and again in New Mexico. A cold front combined with a storm system passing through this area have combined to bring a couple days of cloudy and cold and wet conditions to South Texas. We had expected to leave Bandera and arrive in Rockport tomorrow, Tuesday. But we've extended another day here in Bandera and will now be on the move Wednesday.
Yesterday, Sunday, we took a drive through the Hill Country. Our first stop was good old Luckenbach. We stopped there almost two years ago and found it a friendly, if quirky, place. [journal entry from 2008] There's an old building that serves as a general store, a saloon, and the Post Office, there's a large dance hall with a stage, and just a few other small scattered structures for restrooms, storage, and such. That's it -- it's not much. What attracts people is the music. Talent from all around the Hill Country and beyond... some good, some great, but all entertaining... can be found performing on stage or maybe just jammin' in the saloon. You'll always find chickens roaming around the grounds and, often, a full-sized longhorn steer that all make up the peculiar but warm and friendly country environment.
We stopped for a beer, a Luckenbach hat, split a BBQ sandwich, and enjoyed some live music from 5 very talented musicians that were nothing short of excellent. It would have been easy to kill the rest of the day there, which is what happened the first time, but we really wanted to get into Fredericksburg and explore that historic town during the rest of the afternoon.
Fredericksburg is just 8 miles from Luckenbach. It's a town of about 10,000 people that was originally founded by German immigrants in the 1840's. The wide main street through downtown is lined with historic buildings built during the mid to late 1800's. Today, tourism is a big economic driver for the town. We walked both sides of the historic downtown area, poking our noses in here and there, and generally enjoyed the busy sidewalks, shops, museums, and restaurants. The whole place felt alive and vibrant... and very much in the full spirit of Christmas.
What a great afternoon.
Looking forward to making a batch of chili on Tuesday...