Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pedernales Falls State Park

Wednesday morning, our Intrepid Explorers emerged from hibernation and decided that "this" would be the day to resume their explorations. But only after a good hot breakfast at a favorite diner in Johnson City -- The Hill Country Cupboard. Our previous experience at this local institution was in January, I think, of 2008, when we came up here to see the various LBJ historic sites in the area. The restaurant advertises that they have the "Worlds Best" Chicken Fried Steak... and the tag line boasts "nearly 3 dozen sold" (huh??). I wasn't looking for chicken fried steak but that ham and cheese omelet sure tasted good.

After breakfast and a quick drive around Johnson City to make sure it was still pretty much as remembered, we headed east a few miles to Pedernales Falls State Park. Part of a working ranch until 1970, the more than 5,000 acres of land that make up the Park was purchased by the State of Texas (apparently in better days when the State had money laying around to do such things) and turned into a Park which opened in 1973. The main attraction here is the river, and at the impressive Pedernales Falls after which the park is named.

From Pedernales Falls SP

The falls is really a long area, a quarter mile or more, of uplifted limestone over which the river flows and drops and falls. Most of the river is accessible on the Park side and we spent a couple hours hopping from rock to rock to get as close to falling water as we could. Since it's Spring and Texas received a bunch of precipitation this past Winter, the water flow was higher than it's been previous years.

From Pedernales Falls SP

Next on the agenda was exploring the Park's campground which was probably built in the early 70's -- and it looks like it. Designed with much smaller RV's in mind, many of the sites were too short and not very level. We took note a the few that might work for future reference. After the campground tour we found another short hike to Twin Falls. Most of that trail was clearly marked -- except for one spot where we had to send out a scouting party and have a debate before eventually finding the right path back.

On the way home we toured the town of Blanco and stopped at the DQ to do an all-important "quality inspection" of the flavor-of-the-month Mint Oreo Blizzard. It hit the mark, as it usually does.

Back at the RV Park, we had an hour or so to chill before dinner. And here at Miller Creek RV Park, every Wednesday the park prepares dinner for anyone staying here. There's a nominal charge ($3) but it sure beats having to make dinner when you're tired. Tonight it was deep fried turkey dinner with dressing, 'taters, and all the trimmings. Yum! They served about 70 people. The food was excellent and the conversation with new friends was even better.

Our first day back in the exploration business turned out rather well, we think. What will Thursday bring? Tune in tomorrow to find out what our Intrepid Explorers are up to.

Thom