Hill Country Cruise & Wildflower Tour

Last Sunday dawned as a beautiful South Texas spring day.  I had planned a leisurely driving trek with my wife through the Hill Country north of here.  With the wet & cold winter we had, it promised to be a day full of Texas wildflower vistas.  I found roads I had never traveled on, but had heard about.  One was a little bit challenging, even at the relaxed pace of the day.

Challenging curves ahead...  I look forward to them!

Here’s the mapped route we took.  This was an old AAA map done with orange highlighter.  Old school, but quick & effective.  It’s hard to see the highlighter, but we took a clock-wise route.  Starting in San Antonio, we motored to & through Bandera, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Blanco, Wimberly, Canyon Lake & back home in SA.

Hill Country Cruise Map Route

Karlino (my 1999Mazda Miata) had a full tank of gas & all other fluids topped off.  We got on the road at about 10:30am.  About 260 miles & 8 hours later, we finally arrived home.  About 170 miles of that, Karlino went topless.   The weather was most cooperative: sunny & no clouds, with the temperatures in the high 60’s.  Very nice convertible weather.    It was so nice, we were able to get Karlino to pose with some Bluebonnets, the State Flower of Texas.

Karlino, like a kid, enjoying all the attention!

Karlino admires Texas Hill Country Bluebonnets - they're his favorite colot: BLUE!

Most of the roads were rolling & somewhat curvy.  There were also arrow straight county roads.  I stayed around 60MPH for most of the ride.

Hill Country county road - going through the trees, near a creek...

Hill Country Road - it's starting to get curvy!

Highway 16 switchback hairpins - note the changing directions of the arrows!

We saw some of other examples of nature’s beauty along the various creeks that were all flowing at a good rate.

One of the many nicely flowing Hill Country creeks we enjoyed views of...

There were other, strange works of “art” alongside the road.  Here’s an example: “Scrappy”.

SCRAPPY - look at all the interesting parts welded together

Traveling in the Hill Country without stopping to eat good Texas BBQ just shouldn’t be done.  In Blanco we ate at this local BBQ establishment called Riley’s.  It was on a corner across from the old courthouse.   We had some good vittles, all ordered a la carte by the pound or fraction thereof.

Karlino at Riley's BBQ in Blanco - from the outside

Karlino at Riley's BBQ in Blanco - from the inside

While parked there, I noticed Karlino was trying on some “racing stripes”.  Is he trying to tell me something?

Karlino showing off his new "shadow stripes" - from the front

Karlino showing off his new "shadow stripes" - from the rear

To finish up out day before getting on the reality highway to home, we stopped by Canyon Lake.  Like the various flowing bodies of water we had seen earlier, it too was back up to a normal level.  It had dropped so severely during our drought last summer.

A replenished, spring-fresh Canyon Lake - by the boat launch

While there, my wife wanted to take a picture of me alongside of Karlino.  I think she did great!

A Karlino kandid shot with his owner, Dan, alongside...

Racing Ready recommends that others take time off to step aside from the grid & decompress.  Last Sunday was one of those days & it was good!

Dan

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