So, I know that I said that the next blog post would most likely be from another state, but feeling compelled to close out our time in Texas with its own special post. First, it’s only appropriate that the temperature hit 100 degrees yesterday and today, it's like Texas is telling us to leave. We will be glad to get to the cooler, 90 degree weather soon!!
One thing we’ve noticed with every place we go, there’s never enough time—regardless how long we stay—to get to everything done we had planned to. Our time here was no exception. We didn’t even tackle San Antonio and Austin, so have put those on the list for December (when you can walk outside without breaking into a sweat!!)
Texas, or at least this part of Texas, is all about their tubing. And, I would have to say, New Braunfels is probably the tubing capital. (Although it doesn’t appear they have the same kind of clout as Lockhart, no official declarations or anything.)
When we first arrived in Texas, there had been some serious rain and flooding, which ultimately had a huge impact on the tubing industry. We would drive by all of the various tubing businesses (and there are lots of them), and due to the water levels and the fast flow of the rivers, they were closed to tubers, and thus, the tubing outfitters were closed. It was really sad to see all the businesses 'dark' and the ripple effect that tubing has to a whole area.
After a few weeks of the tubing outfitters being shut down, a few of them opened up with guided whitewater type trips, but people weren’t rushing here to raft. It’s all about the tubing. They finally got water levels under control July 4th weekend, and boy did the tubing kick into high gear. On the weekends, it’s crazy. It’s like a cross between a beach in China and a frat party. If you’ve ever seen the beaches in China, they’re packed, tons of people and while the amount of tubers isn’t quite as bad, it’s still very very crowded. And the atmosphere, well, it’s one of partying. Lots and lots of partying. While there’s nothing wrong with that, we quickly came to the conclusion that our tubing adventure—if we were able to squeeze one in--would be a weekday!
And as luck would have it, we were able to get in a tubing trip before we left. Seemed sort of “unTexas” if we didn’t at least get that accomplished while we were here!! We tubed the “bottom” river (Guadalupe), which was about a two hour float. Perfect since it was Kennedy’s first float trip. We used Rio Raft Company, which was right down the road from our campground, and they took us to a drop off point, we put in our tubes and we floated back to Rio. Seemed like a better way to do it versus waiting for a bus to pick us up when we were done. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours!!
Greg deep in thought....
A rare picture of all three of us....
Nice float....Guadalupe River
We were excited to see a little wildlife—some turtles, fish, ducks, and a really cool bird which I’m in the process of identifying. The one very disappointing thing we did see--beer cans at the bottom of the river, on the cliffs, etc. It’s such a clear, beautiful float and people mess it up by not taking their trash with them. Drink up, but jeez, be respectful. (okay, off my soap box.)
Not the greatest picture, but a few turtles hanging out....
When we were staying in Boerne back in early June, Hobie got a pretty good haircut so we decided to make the drive back so he could get another cut before we hit the road again. He could have gone another couple of weeks, but the groomer did a great job, so made sense just to go back. While we were waiting for Hobie to get groomed, we took another scenic drive around Hill Country. We took the back road from Boerne to Kerrville, and it was a beautiful ride. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore Kerrville, so will need to make another trip there at some point.
Another one of the many rivers of Texas...the Medina River
During our drives around Hill Country, one thing there is no shortage of is ranches. Serious ranches. Lots of them. We’ve enjoyed driving the back roads looking at these ranches. We’ve admired many of the entrances to the ranches and have found humor with some of the names of the ranches (i.e. Fat Ass Ranch and Winery). Some of the entrances are very grand, some are plain, some have statues, but they all are interesting in some sort of way. We’ve snapped a few pictures along the way and honestly wish we would have taken more, but this is probably our favorite of all the ranches we saw. While the entrance isn’t so grand, the name is awesome!!
Nothing like just putting it all out there....
We’re wrapping up our two plus weeks at the Summit Resort, which the location has been great, but the campground could use a little TLC. We also ran into a slight issue with a few of the full time residents, an issue we never thought we would encounter when we decided that campgrounds were going to be our new home. Gangs. Gangs in campgrounds, really? Yep, and they’ve been harassing and intimidating us. There are about five of them, sometimes three, but they travel in a pack and stare and intimidate me (and Hobie) when walking around the campground. The gang—well, they’re deer, but they are scary deer. You take a step forward, they don’t budge. They look at you with “dare” in their eyes. You get a little closer, they continue to stare and take a step closer. No messing with them. They don’t run away like typical deer when you walk towards them. Nope. I used to think deer were so cute; not anymore. We’ve had to reroute our walks to go to the other side of the campground.... Deer 1 – Cori – 0.
Three of the culprits...
Ready to pounce!!
And in wrapping up our time here, we have a few random observations about Texas, our new home state.
There are a lot of taxidermy businesses here. Lots. (We have five deer that we’d like to donate to a local shop for stuffing!)
Camouflage is the preferred color here. They have camo clothes, crocs and even camo paneling at Lowes.
No other state we have visited loves their flag like Texans love their flag. Well, Texans love Texas in general. Lots of artwork, stars of Texas, state of Texas, and other things that just spew Texas pride. Like the takeout container from a local restaurant…..embossed with an outline of the state of Texas. No cheap Styrofoam containers here. All Texas all the time.
Old Hardware store, flags and metal art...of Texas!
People have been really nice and helpful, although driving skills could be enhanced. Blinkers are optional and crossing five lanes of traffic is typical.
And we’ll wrap up this post with a few random pictures of Texas that just didn’t fit into a regular blog posts. Until next time Texas!! Oh, and the drone is still alive!!
It's not Texas, without a Longhorn!
Faust Street Bridge in New Braunfels.
The Faust Street Bridge dates back to 1887.
Its design is a "Metal Pinned Whipple Through Truss" (if you're a bridge geek, you'll know exactly what that means). In the world of historic bridges, we've been told that's a big thing.
The old hardware store in New Braunfels.
We've all seen the food trucks....how about a boutique truck?
Love the mobility of the store!
Naegelin's Bakery. Oldest bakery in Texas. The pastries sort of tasted like it too.
Devil's Backbone Overlook on Farm Route 32
Playing with the new lens....
And Hobie....looking all cute. (pre-haircut)
Thanks for following along......until next time, from a new state, for real this time!!