250 new miles of Hill Country on my car before sunset means today was a fabulous day. The weather ain't half bad either . . . sunny with light clouds, breezy, mid-70s. Perfect, absolutely perfect.
I started out with my hood pointed towards Castroville. Visited the church, where they put sand and fake cactus in the holy water basins for Lent. I'd been wondering about that, because all the churches I've been in lately have still had holy water, and I thought it was supposed to be put away right now. *Shrug* I stopped by the parish offices and found out where Mrs. Winnie Karm was buried. Mrs. Karm was my confirmation sponsor, and the most beautifully kind, generous, and sweet natured, saintly woman I have ever known. She never had a bad word to say about anyone, no matter how much they deserved it. I wish I was more like her, so I'll have to work on that.
After paying my respects to her, I decided to drive by my old home. Turns out they're widening FM 471 to two lanes each way, and I had to sit and wait for the pilot truck just north of Rio Medina. Chatted quite a bit with the very friendly flag man, Javier (his wife's name is Laura too, and he has a six-year-old son and an almost three-year-old daughter). He told me the road was under construction up to the Old Medina Lake Road turn-off. OML was fine, though, which was the road I needed. Made it out to the old home without further delay, and was sad to see that it's been too dry for the blue-bonnets to really bloom out. There were a few making a good show at the top of the hill, but the ones Daddy planted by our gate haven't made an appearance. Once we get a good rain, though, as long as the new owners don't mow too soon, they'll be gorgeous, I'm sure.
I didn't stay too long there, because it was making me cry, so I headed up north on 1283. Got past the turn off to the dam, and crested a big hill, and that's when I saw what I needed to see. The hills arched their backs into the sky, and as far as I could see, the road and I were the only signs of civilization. A quick glance to the left at just the right spot (was driving, so no more than a glance of course) showed me Medina Lake. What a beautiful blue! I wouldn't have traded that one quick glance for a hundred dollars. A thousand, though, maybe ;-).
I hit highway 16 in Pipe Creek, took that into and out of Bandera, and stopped in Medina at the Love Creek Apple Orchard. Picked up some cinnamon pecans to snack on. I highly recommend them. It looks like there's quite a bit of undeveloped land between Medina and Kerville, and I found a few ranches that I'll consider buying, once I win the lottery. Hah. I saw some trees blooming in the hills, with what looked like small magenta flowers. I don't know what they are. Not enough silver to be sage, I don't think. And too far west to be redbud trees, right? I'll have to look them up. Took 16 up through Kerrville to Fredericksburg. I like Fredericksburg; it's such a cute little town. Turned east finally on Highway 290, which is the point at which I always consider myself as heading home, even if does still mean 2 hours on the road.
I stopped at the Dutchman's Market, a little meat market, to pick up some of the sausage Mom really likes. Then one last stop at the Circle E candle plant to pick up a candle for my apartment (I got the Orange Vanilla one, fruity without being either too perfumey or too foody). Then I drove back to Schertz with little more incident than several cars who thought the extra climbing lanes were for them to go slow in (GRRRR). I head back to Houston tomorrow morning, so I hope I've gotten enough of my Hill Country fix. If not, well, I'm coming back to Enchanted Rock first weekend of April. For now I'm happy and sleepy and my gas-pedal leg is sore. What a wonderful day!