Monday, June 22, 2009

Fredericksburg & Enchanted Rock In Texas

My current location is in the center of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan zone, known locally as the Metroplex. From the Metroplex there are several good weekend getaway and one day Roadtrips.

Roadtripping up to Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma is one. Roadtripping down to Glen Rose with a visit to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and Dinosaur Valley State Park is another. Heading east on I-20 to Louisiana and Shreveport/Bossier City, for a day of riverboat casinos, is another.

The Daytrip Roadtrip I'm going to detail in this particular blogging is a the Daytrip Roadtrip to Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

I have gone on two Roadtrips to this area. The first time was on the way to San Antonio. The second time was an Easter Sunday. A hot Easter Sunday. The Roadtrip south was on Interstate 35. Before you get to Waco in I-35 you come to the little town of West. West is a town founded by Czech immigrants. There are a lot of Czech bakeries in West, making these really good things called kolaches. I've never driven by West without stopping for kolaches.

Waco is the next town you come to heading south. I should have listed Waco as a good Daytrip Roadtrip. Waco has an excellent park called Cameron Park. The Brazos River runs through Waco. It is very scenic. Also, near Waco you can visit the site of the infamous Branch-Davidian Massacre.

But, we are heading to Fredericksburg on this Roadtrip, no time to stop in Waco. In Austin I got off at the exit to Highway 290. Highway 290 takes you through Stonewall, the site of the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. Worth a stop to look at where LBJ grew up and visit the interpretive center.

Wildflowers were being colorful on a scale I had not seen before, almost from the start of this Daytrip Roadtrip.

A little further down the 290 you come to the site of the LBJ Ranch, along the beautiful Pedernales River. You can stop here and visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park and take a tour of his ranch. We don't have time for that on this Roadtrip, but we did stop to look across the river at LBJ's Ranch.

The next thing we came to on 290 was Wildseed Farms, about 7 miles east of Fredericksburg. This is the biggest wildflower farm in America. Since it was Easter it was prime wildflower time, with a lot of people. Wildseed Farms was sort of in festival mode on Easter, with cowboys doing a BBQ cookout.

Then it was on to Fredericksburg. A very busy tourist town. There is some German influenced buildings, but not totally German themed, unlike another town I can think of, in Washington, named Leavenworth. For more details about Fredericksburg go to my Eyes on Texas webpage about Fredericksburg.

Leaving Fredericksburg, it was north on Ranch Road 965, eighteen miles to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. It was crowded, but we got in. I'd hiked to the top of Enchanted Rock on a previous visit. It is a good hike.

After Enchanted Rock, the Roadtrip continued on RR 965 to Highway 16, north to Llano, then east out of Llano on Highway 29, driving past Buchanan Lake, on the way to heading north on Highway 281 to Lampasas, heading east out of Lampasas on Highway 190, passing through Fort Hood Military Reservation and Killeen, finally getting back to I-30 just south of Temple, passing through Waco again. It's about 90 miles from Waco to my home base and the pitstop for this one day Easter Roadtrip.

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