March 6, 2012

Into Hill Country

We left McKinney Falls State Park this morning and decided to detour through Hill Country on our way to Big Bend National Park.  Hill Country is one of the most popular travel destinations in Texas, and for good reason.  It’s a beautiful part of the state, with rolling green hills, charming small towns, dramatic scenic drives and significant historic sites.  Although we would only spend the day driving through, we ended up with a great overview of what the region has to offer.

We made it a point to stop in Johnson City at the LyndonB. Johnson National Historical Park.  The park preserves LBJs boyhood home in Johnson City, as well as the LBJ Ranch.  Like other “presidential” parks that we’ve visited, this one does a wonderful job of telling LBJs story and how the Texas Hill Country figured so prominently in his life.  Lady Bird Johnson’s role is also a major focus of the park. 

LBJs Boyhood Home
Lady Bird's Role Is Emphasized
We’ve spoken of connections on this trip, and how sites in one locale may directly relate to someplace we may see months later.  Such was the case here.  In January Tim and I visited Alabama and drove the path of the Selma to Montgomery march, which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  It was President Johnson who was so instrumental in pushing through key civil rights legislation, including the Voting Rights Act.  It’s too bad that his role in the Vietnam War often overshadows this and such other major accomplishments as the War on Poverty and his Great Society.  I especially appreciate and admire Lady Bird’s role in the conservation of the natural environment.  Her beautification efforts are still felt to this day.

Lady Bird Probably Enjoyed Texas Mountain Laurel
We made our way west through the peach orchards, where the trees were just starting to bloom, and pecan groves and then took a scenic route through some of the most remote and spectacular parts of the Hill Country.  The serpentine drive along the South Fork Guadalupe River was my favorite, until we reached the sheer cliffs and deep gorges of the Frio and Sabinal Rivers.  It was quite the roller-coaster ride, and we often had the roads to ourselves.

South Fork Guadalupe River
Along the River
Unique Fences Line the Roads
It Floods in these Parts of Texas
Limestone Walls Frame the Road
Looking Down on a Peaceful Valley
We decided to spend the night at Garner State Park, another beautiful park along the Frio River.  It was quiet here tonight, with no television, phone or internet service.  This post will have to wait until we get a signal.  For the moment, however, I’m enjoying being disconnected.

Frio River at Garner State Park
Trees and Roots Along the Frio River


  1. What beautiful country! Thanks for all the pictures. LV

    1. LV, Hill Country really is beautiful, and a place I'd like to return to. There's so much to see. Sarah