So, since Austin, we’ve been a little remiss on the blog front…Perhaps the Holidays? Perhaps just slacking? Probably a little of both!!
But as a quick update, we spent around 10 days at a nice COE campground at Canyon Lake—Cranes Mill and then moved to Hill Country Resort in New Braunfels. The “resort” is close to my parents, so it’s just a matter of convenience, and honestly, that’s about the best thing it has going for it….at least for us.
Our time at Cranes was mostly relaxing and we really enjoyed the park. There are two COE parks in the Canyon area, Cranes Mill and Potter’s Creek. This summer we were scheduled to stay at both of them (at different times of course!!), but due to some bad flooding in May, both were closed due to damage and unfortunately, Potter’s is still closed. We did see a lot of debris at Cranes and the impact of the flooding was still obvious, but all-in-all, one of the nicer campgrounds we have stayed at in Texas.
Our campsite....pretty sweet!!
Some of the debris still remaining from the storms!
Plenty of deer roaming around!
The infamous Texas deer stare....I blinked first!!
This was a fairly relaxing and uneventful stop (from a field trip standpoint) with Greg doing a solar install and I had a quick work trip. Canyon is a little off the beaten path, so I did decide that it was a good place to get a couple of hikes in while we were there and had a little down time.
Using the AllTrails app/website, found a nice two and a half mile hike close to Canyon Dam so one Sunday, Kennedy and I decided to tackle that…..but ultimately couldn’t find it, so we just hiked around the dam, which was cool, but a little blah. But, as luck would have it, while we were on the path at the top of the dam, I located the hike that we originally set out to tackle. Note for later.
And also a picture of it from the top of the dam!!
The hike across the top of the dam
The hike to the bottom of the dam....Kennedy enjoying the water!
Well, later came on Monday, when one of my afternoon calls was cancelled, and I thought….”Hmmm…I have a couple free hours (before a fun night planned in Austin with our new RV friends), I should go be “one with nature” and do that hike. Greg is not a big hiker for the sake of hiking because of his bum knee (but if there’s a prize at the end of the trail, he may tackle it)….but seeing as this was just a trail, I was on my own. Correction. Hobie and I were on our own. So we set off to hike the Guadalupe River South Trail.
Well, the trail was classified as “easy” so I just grabbed a bottle of water and drove to the entrance and started the hike. It was a nice hike along the river with some cool houses on the other side of the river, a random seating area about half way through the hike, and then, when we reached the end of the trail...nothing. Well, a “Do Not Enter, Private Property” sign, so very anticlimactic, but still a nice hike. Until.
Beautiful house from across the river
Until about half way back, I was going down a set of nature stairs and landed in a pothole (or dirthole??) and heard a pop. Ouch! The pop was my ankle. Did I mention, “ouch!” So I quickly sat down as I was sort of seeing some stars from the pain and then called Greg, as was thinking that I may pass out. (I have a weird pain tolerance thing….long story for another time). Well, being my knight in shining armor, Greg announced that he would be right there. Ummmm…I have the car (but have no doubt he would have found a way)!?!
After sitting there for a while, the pain subsided long enough for me to hobble back to the car and drive back to the campsite. After icing it, we made a quick trip to the urgent care, where they determined it wasn’t broken, just a bad sprain with some torn ligaments and stuff. Whew! Oh, and the big bummer? We had to cancel our trip to Austin. Somehow dance lessons at the Highball didn’t seem like a good idea. Go figure!
The ankle...not wrapped
So, some lessons I learned from the hike gone wrong….
1) Even if it’s an easy hike, still wear appropriate footwear. I had a pair of Merrell sneaker type shoes on, not my hiking boots. It’s an “easy” hike, I said. These shoes should be fine, I said. Wrong! I was still in the woods with uneven surfaces and obstacles and having ankle support probably would have been a really good thing.
2) Make sure to tell your spouse (or someone) where you are going. So excited that my call was cancelled, I more or less just hopped in the car and told Greg I was going for a hike. Trying to explain to him where I was while I was sitting there in pain was not ideal.
3) Have a plan. I will now have a small backpack for hiking and will throw an ankle brace/wrap in it….just in case. Not that my ankle is ready for a hike, but when it is, I’ll be prepared.
4) Map your hike. There are apps that map your hike (map your hike, alltrails, etc.) so you know how far you have gone. When I went down, I really had no idea how far I had left to go until I could get to the car, or if I couldn’t have made it back to the car, to tell Greg how far to go into the trail. From a pure “time on trail” standpoint, I had an idea, but was honestly just guessing (ultimately it was about 1/3 - 1/2 of a mile).
5) Get a dog that understands what to do in an emergency! Just kidding, but Hobie is no Lassie, that’s for sure. As I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do, and wait for the pain to go away, and all he wanted to do was go, go, go!! Seriously!?! He is not very empathetic and definitely not good in an emergency!
This was what was in front of me as I was sitting on the step.
And Hobie....he was on the move!!
And again....he wanted to go, go, go!!
So, rookie hiker….rookie mistakes, but several lessons learned.
Prior to the downfall of my ankle, my sister Cheri, Kennedy and I made it to Gruene’s (pronounced Green) Market Days. Gruene is a historic district, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places. There are some cool shops, restaurants (Gristmill is on of our favorites) and a very cool dance hall, appropriately named, Gruene Hall. The dance hall was built in 1878 and is Texas' oldest continually operating dance hall (and of course I forgot to take a picture of it!!).
Gruene Water Tower....the center of the Historical District
The General Store in Gruene
Market Days are popular in this part of Texas, with many of the small towns having them on various weekends throughout the month. Basically they are a cross between a craft/art fair, flea market and farmer’s market.
A few of the vendors at Gruene Market Days
And as luck would have it, Cowboy Kringle was there too!!
I have no idea who Cowboy K is with....
just a random photo op for me....but cute family!!
Post foot incident, we did manage to get another trip in to Austin to meet up with Eric and Brittany of RV Wanderlust for dinner on Rainey Street. Rainey Street is in downtown Austin and is a bustling hub of bars, lounges and food trailers. A lot of the bars and restaurants are in quaint old historic houses with most of the houses built before the 1930’s.
Our first stop—Craft Pride for a couple of beers, then pizza at Via 313, which is basically in the backyard of Craft Pride and is a food truck. Via 313 serves genuine Detroit Style, which is a little thicker and square. PizzaBest pizza we’ve ever had from a food truck....and best thicker crust pizza. Ever.
Lots and lots of beer. All Texas beer on tap!
The very awesome pizza food truck and Eric and Greg ordering the pizzas!!
Yum! Then, a little more exploring.....The Container Bar was next. And yes, it is exactly that. A bar made out of shipping containers and it was totally cool. It sort of reminded me of a gerbil habitat with various containers hooked to each other….a little maze-like of sorts.
It was dark and the pics of this place didn't turn out great,
but check out their website for much cooler pictures!!
Open air bar, surrounded by more containers.
Our last stop before we called it a night was Icenhauer’s, which was another great stop that had awesome drinks. The whole street had a great vibe and when we were leaving (around 7:00), the pace on the street was seriously picking up. And yes, we’re old and can’t hang like we used to….but in our defense, it was a Sunday!!
One of the foodtrucks on Rainey. Loved their sign!!
Some other highlights these last couple of weeks included two orchestra concerts that Kennedy played in. One was Regions Orchestra Concert, which she auditioned for and the other was her school concert. Unfortunately she’s so little, we never did “see” her on stage, but we’ll take her word that she there!!
Even a decent zoom lens resulted in no sighting of her!!
All the girls had these cute black dresses
Okay, zoom lens did result in a sighting....in the middle.
Thanks goodness for glasses, makes it easier to spot!!
Post concert...hanging out in the concert hall/school cafeteria.
We also had a situation with our coach stairs. The situation—they wouldn’t close when they were supposed to. Long story short and after hours of Greg troubleshooting and a several more hours with an RV tech, they are now working. Seems there were several reasons they weren’t working, none of which I understand. The silver lining in the situation—we found a pretty decent tech in the area and he recommended a great little diner in Marion, a town down the road. Score.
The new restaurant was in Marion. Here's the town's city hall...how cute!!
And one last highlight; Greg saved the life of a steer. Nothing short of superman heroics. I wasn’t there to witness the magical saving of life, but next to the campground is an open field with some random animals—cows, longhorns, horses, etc. The field is surround by suburbia and some large cardboard with plastic (pallet size) had blown into the field and the longhorn was eating the plastic. Greg saw the cow munching on the plastic, hopped out of the car (I believe he put on his cape, but not positive) and starting yelling at the steer to “drop it!” After several attempts to get the steer to release the plastic, and followed by what I’m assuming the steer thinking that Greg was totally crazy, the steer dropped the plastic and Greg grabbed it and got it out of harms way. Life saved! My hero!!
The yellow part is where he was gnawing on the plastic....
And he lives to see another day!
Well, so much for a quick update. Yikes!
We’re hoping to eek out at least one more post before the end of the year, but just in case the slacking continues, we hope everyone has a nice Christmas and a very happy New Year! We appreciate everyone following along on our journey.....more antics to come in 2016!