Monday, June 2, 2008

10-08 San Antonio to Kerrville Texas and...

San Antonio

Kerrville Tx. (Hill Country)

Ballinger Tx.

Campground: Ballinger City Park. $9.00 Elect & Water. Nice city park, site are along a river/dam. City park has lots of shade trees and a community swimming pool. Pool is not open on Sundays.

Campground: Kerrville-Schreiner Park. Formerly a State Park, it is now owned by the city of Kerrville. $18 Elect and Water. Full hookups are available. Most sites are pull thru. Premium sties are on the Guadalupe River.

I’ve had a few more days in San Antonio, waiting for the truck to get a bit more service work done. All courtesy of General Motors. Not having any transportation, gives me a chance to review my upcoming route I’ll be taking and checking out campgrounds along the way that I may be staying at. Having the Verizon air-card is a real treat, even though the campground I’m in does have wi-fi as well. Just being able to get online at anytime is a real convenience.
The courtesy driver, Juan, from the Chevy place, obviously Mexican, told me a bit about his life as he drove me back and forth from the Chevy dealer to my campsite. His parents were migrant workers and he along with the family traveled the mid-west, starting in Michigan picking fruit, apples, cherries, you name it. Following the season as things ripened. He was born in the U.S., so automatically became a U.S. citizen. He described how it was hard to get an education. He worked the fields and orchards along with his parents. Back then, you did what you were told and respected your elders. He eventually married and started a small landscaping business. Hard work. Eventually ending up doing the run around chores at Vara Chevy… sweeping floors, driving customers to their destinations, getting ice. We talked about life and my travels of course. He loves life and as long as your in good health and can appreciate the beauty in this country, what more do you really need. I met his boss the owner, Mr. Vara and John Rodriguez (son-in-law to the owner) the service manager. All Mexican. One making it to the top, one made it due to family ties, and the driver, just making a living. Each one a good person.

I don’t think I would like living in this part of Texas during the summer, as it’s been in the high 90’s every day along with humidity being pulled in from the Gulf. Without any transportation, I’ve been pretty much stuck here at the campground. I only go out for a walk early in the morning or after sundown. Everyone waits to go to the pool around sundown as well. Way too hot to be outdoors.

Sitting in the camper, it almost sounds like a creaky old house. The winds have been pretty steady most days, and with the awning out over the large side windows, the wind catches it and tugs at the slide-out creating a moaning and creaking sound throughout the day. It’s a good time to relax, read a book and as I mentioned, check on my upcoming route.

On Thursday I finally headed out of San Antonio for the Texas Hill Country. The Texas Hill country is west, north west of San Antonio and is only about a 70 mile drive. I’m staying at a city park on the edge of town. So I get to enjoy a country setting, yet I’m close to everything. Fredericksburg is the big tourist town with about 140 shops.

The drive up here, via I-10 was pleasant. Gradually going uphill and seeing the craggily hills covered in cedar trees. Occasional pastures dotting the landscape. The temperature from the city (98-99 degrees) has dropped to a pleasant (85-89 degrees) and a high humidity in San Antonio to almost none up here in the hill country. Along with having a campsite with trees really helps.

I’m only staying for a couple of days. Today I drove to west along the curvy Guadalupe River, the road curving as well, required a slower speed and enabled me to enjoy the river scenery. There are lots of Lodges, guest ranches and summer camps along the river. I gather that many Texans come up here to get away from the summer heat and enjoy the country life.
I noticed Kerrville had a couple large Rv parks right on the outskirts of town and I imagine this is a good place to Winter as well.

About a 10 mile drive out along the Guadalupe River I drove to the small hamlet of Hunt to see Stonehenge II. It’s a neat scaled down “interpretation” of the original in England. I didn’t get the feeling of being at the real place, but it is fun to think that someone went to all the effort to create it. All from standing a piece of granite upright in a field, to deciding it reminded the owner of Stonehenge. After a few laughs and discussions, he decided to build his version of it. Along with two copies of the Easter Island Statues too boot.

On the way back to the campground, I stopped into the Museum of Western Art. A nice museum with some of the best current western art I’ve seen. They had an entire gallery of paintings and sculptures by high school students. The sculptures in particular were 1st rate. I would have sworn they had been done by established artists. What talent! I wish I could show you some of their work, but the museum had a no picture taking policy. I would recommend looking up the artwork of Frank McCarthy if you like western art. One site to see some of his works is:

On Sunday, I drove west on I-10 to Junction then headed north on county road 83. At a wayside stop, a sign designated this road which travels the full length of Texas from North to South as the Vietnam Memorial Highway, remembering “the men and women who gave their lives, their youth or their dreams to a war that …the country…” Wish I would have written it all down…

A quiet undulating road, the asphalt as smooth as glass most of the way. Baked in the summer heat, the black tar worn and smoothed away, revealing the white stones beneath. Hill country with it’s cedar trees suddenly vanishing into open fields, dotted with scrub, fenced in to hold the sheep, cattle and antelope ranches. Small creeks crossing along the way. Passing small towns like Eden, Menard, and Paint being the one that stood out, looking like a ghost town. Pop. 320.

No cell phone signal for miles and miles.
Ballinger Tx. A crossroads to anywhere else. I’ll stay here at the Ballinger City park for a couple days.
On the road. Yes, it’s good to be on the road, even with the outrageous fuel prices. Why not, while I still can.

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