Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fredericksburg and Beyond (by Vicki)

Roger is getting behind on his blogging so I volunteered to do this one. We were faced with grey weather all week so despite the cloud cover we decided to take a scenic drive just to get a feel for the Texas Hill Country. I had read a fair amount about it so I was curious. We headed up US 281 and then Texas hwy 46 from our campground near San Antonio.

After almost an hour Roger suggested we try a more scenic route to Fredericksburg. So we turned left on to a county road. We were in for a treat. It was a tortuous little road that paralleled a small river. There was hardly another car on the road. The area reminded me of California’s middle coast, an area our whole extended family loves to frequent. However, the Hill Country is greener and the vegetation
19th century jailhouse
a little more dense. Ever since we entered Minnesota we have seen mostly tall woods or lush green grass on either side of the roads. Now there was less vegetation but it was still greener than California most of the year. It looked kind of like Southern California a month after the “rainy season” was over. For those of you who don’t know Southern California, the rainy season is the third week in February. Well, most if it anyway. There are many oak trees, but like those in California, they are much shorter that those up north or east of here. Another difference is that in Kentucky, Tennessee, and even Mississippi, they are compulsive about keeping the grass along the highways mowed. Not in Texas. The grass beside the road was about a foot and a half tall and turning yellow and brown with the change of season.

Town if white limestone
Fredericksburg is a lovely little tourist town, founded in 1846 by German immigrants. It doesn’t look like the villages we saw in Germany. It looks much more like you would expect from an old west town, except, not made of wood. Most of the buildings are made of limestone blocks. Many of the buildings had Victorian facades which initially seemed discordant with the white limestone. After a while we realized it gave the town its own unique charm. What remains of its German immigrant ancestry are German street names and places and German food served in many of the local restaurants. Some of the immigrant families even still speak an old German dialect around
Fredericksburg Brewing Co.
town, as Roger noticed walking the downtown streets. We learned recently that many of the German immigrant families left the area during Prohibition, at least the beer making ones did.
After eating lunch and drinking the award winning Enchanted Rock amber beer at the Fredericksburg Brewery, we set out for a scenic drive south and then back to our campground in Schertz. The Hill Country is touted to be like the hills of Tuscany. I’ve never been to Tuscany so I can only compare it to California. Our return drive was even more lovely than our drive up to Fredericksburg. We went south to KerrvilleIt and then down a steep canyon road to Medina. This road turned out to have the best display of fall colors that we have seen so far.
Leaves changing in Texas
However, don’t expect a lot of pictures because the weather was so grey. Some parts of the road reminded me of driving around Fallbrook, CA. Other parts were like Santa Ynez, except there weren’t so many dying Oak trees in the Hill Country.
There is much more to see and do in the Hill Country (e.g. the LBJ ranch and library) and even in Fredericksburg, the home of Admiral Nimitz of WWII fame. This trip was just to whet our appetites for a return trip. Most of our time here we will be concentrating on San Antonio.

Fredericksburg German church.

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