Texas Hill Country
Fredericksburg Travel Blog› entry 45 of 59 › view all entries
I finally felt better this morning. I am very happy about that, to say the least. I still cannot eat a full meal, but that is not such a bad thing!
We left Austin about 9:30 and drove into the famed Texas Hill Country. Depending on the weather, we were thinking of driving straight through to Fort Stockton. Happily, it is a gorgeous autumn day and we went with our more-or-less original itinerary. The homes and some other buildings in this part of Texas are often built using a lovely golden-colored limestone with red terra cotta tile or cedar shake roofs. It is my mind’s picture of what Texas ranch houses should look like.
We had decided not to visit the LBJ Ranch.
Within the park, our first visit was to President Johnson’s birthplace. It has been rebuilt and restored to what it was like in 1908 when he was born, five months after my father was born. He died of a massive heart attack in January 1973, at age 64. At the time of his death I thought he was pretty old. Now, at 69, I think he was pretty young!
Across the road from his birthplace is the resting place of the Johnson family. It is not open for visits by the public, something I applaud. One can see over the low wall to see the gravestones. Magnificent trees within view of the Pedernales River shade the entire cemetery. It is so peaceful.
The one-way road took us past open fields of grass.
The views of the hills, dry from a drought-ridden summer, were beautiful.
We took a guided tour to the actual Western White House - the home of President and Mrs. Johnson and their children. They lived a colorful and exciting life with visiting dignitaries from all over the world attending their barbecues. I found it interesting to learn that Johnson purchased the house and some of the land from his uncle. He was not just given the property by his family. Since Lady Bird Johnson continued to live here until her death, the Park Service was unable to make any improvements or reconstruction work until recently. The only room in the house open to the public is Johnson’s office. It contains many interesting things, but it is fairly small.
Our final stop was to see the weir across the Pedernales River. Johnson used to shock some of his guests by driving them across the lower part of the dam in an amphibious car. It is a beautiful sight with the calm water above the weir and the limestone rocks just below. The sound of the rushing water is very soothing.
I reserved space at a Quality Inn in Fredericksburg for the night. It is very pleasant, but just another motel. Dinner will most likely be at a restaurant called The Auslander.