Bandera: There is beauty in dem dar hills. Paul and I were drawn to the Texas Hill Country after our first visit a few years ago. It has an unfamiliar beauty and an openess that can intimidate and calm in the same breath. We also enjoyed the vast starry skies for our nighttime entertainment. During our 3 week stay in Cowboy Capital, we found some reasons for settling there. The people are extemely friendly, the weather in winter is pleasant, and you have one of the largest selections of cowboy boots you can imagine.
Our respecct for Texas Hill Country trail runners has been magnified! We especially enjoyed running in Lost Maples SP. It has challenging terrain so much so we had to hike some parts. The veiws were spectacular and running on the flat canyon rock a treat. Driving West of Bandera the rugged natural beauty of Texas just gets better and better.
Woofing at Sage Gardens is like being invited into the Gibson Family. We will no longer feel like strangers and this made it a bit harder to leave. Our last night we enjoyed a delicious cajun meal cooked by Lulu, Debby’s mom. The whole extended family gathered to share in the food, conversation, and goodbyes. We have been blessed with luck on our first sojourn/van voyage.
Heading home we stopped in Austin to enjoy one last run on the river loop and take a dip in Barton Springs pool. We stayed a night at Atlanta SP. and caught the tail end of a sunset high above a lake on a quiet,desserted campsite. We woke to rain and rapidly dropping temperatures. We decided to run 8 miles anyways through the wet, wooded trails. Many of the paths were flooded by the expanding lake water. it was still a visually cool experience.
The next night we stayed in Arkansas at my Uncle Jim’s house. He welcomed us with a nice home cooked meal even though we announced that we were arriving that day.We felt nutured by food, conversation, and love. It was nice to see cousin Mike and Marnie.
The rest of the journey home is somewhat bittersweet. A spicy Thai food dinner in Indianapolis, sleeping well in a Flying J truck stop (thanks to our heater – it was 18F/-7C), snow flurries along the way and some sunshine to brighten our spirits. We are going home.