Upon returning to Austin from NYC, we hit the road and headed back out into the hill country to continue exploring what we had cut short to make the NYC trip. We stopped in for lunch at the infamous Poodies Roadhouse and the proceeded to wander through numerous quaint little towns, stopping at antique shops along the way. We covered quite a bit of ground in and around the hill country, but here are a few highlights.
We spent one eventful night camping on the shores of Inks Lake. It was a gorgeous day, the lake was beautiful and warm and people were swimming (in December!). It felt like summer. We settled in and enjoyed a great dinner as the sun began to set. We discussed how it was possibly the most peaceful night we had had since leaving Seattle. All the sudden, the wind picked up an bit so we headed to bed in the tent. Within an hour, the wind was so strong we were wrestling with the tent to keep it upright and we were continuously having to go out and restake it, as the wind was pulling out the stakes. At about 2am and not an ounce of sleep, the tent was collapsing on us and rolling us up into a ball. We finally surrendered and crawled out of the tent. Clouds of dust and debris were being pummeled in all directions. We wrestled the tent into the car and attempted to sleep the rest of the night in the car… not peacefully. Such a night of irony.
We visited the town of Fredericksburg, a very quaint and somewhat touristy town on the western edge of the Texas hill country. The town had a very European feel as it was originally founded by German immigrants and has continued to carry that flavor to this day. Amazing Christmas lights lit up the entire town and it felt magical and festive. It was the Texas version if Leavenworth… without the snow. We also enjoyed some music and a bit of dancing at the Crossroads Saloon.
We decided to camp one night near the so-called ‘town’ of Luckenbach. The town consisted of a small general store, a post office and a giant outdoor dance hall/music venue hosting live music almost every day. The town has history back into the 1800s and is quite a gem of Texas history and culture. We will definitely be returning here for more music. There is an old Waylon Jennings song about Luckenbach referring to a simpler life and a place where you “get back to the basics of love.”