The Great Bluebonnet Expedition of 2014 was a success. The weather kinda sucked, but it was okay. We got some good pics.
I have to admit, in my own mind, part of the motivation for the trip was to recapture the joy of summers spent on the edge of the Hill Country visiting grandparents and cousins. I remember the enjoyment of turning off the interstate onto the 2-lane road that took us through the edge of town out to the country, through 14 bucolic miles of corn fields and grazing cows. Being a city girl, miles and miles of growing corn and the black heavy soil of the farmland was an oddity. Another strong memory is the sound of gravel crunching under the tires as we pulled into the driveway of my Dad’s parents’ farm and my grandmother being at the screen door on the back porch to welcome us. She always had Snickers in the freezer and the most delicious pot roast you’ve ever tasted cooking in the oven. Today, I realize her’s tasted so good, not necessarily because of any great culinary skill on her part, but because the beef was grass-fed on their own land and never treated with antibiotics and growth hormones.
Of course, over the years the landscape has changed. New stacked highway interchanges, hotels and restaurant chains now line the once serene stretch of road that led to my grandparents’ house. The cousins I once spent weeks at a time with were all too busy for even a brief visit this time. Adult children and grandkids take precedence over see-you-every-couple-of-years cousins.
So, putting aside the disappointment of my inner child (admittedly tempered by the purchase of jars of honey and locally made German sausage), we set out on the trek for bluebonnets. After we finally figured out that we needed to get off the large, fast state highways and onto narrow county and ranch roads, we found an abundance of photo ops. We talked to a waiter at a great burger place in Marble Falls and he told us exactly which roads to take for the best results. He was right. County Road 200 and Ranch Road 1741 provided a peaceful and colorful afternoon’s entertainment.
I love the limestone architecture of the farmhouses and the huge expanses of pasture studded with mesquite trees, cactus and bluebonnets.
We spent some time in Burnet at the Bluebonnet Festival. Love the huge bluebonnet sculpture in front of the Town Hall.
There was a sweet young family from Sage Creek Farm selling soaps and crocheted baby items made by the mom and beautiful wooden cutting boards and French rolling pins made by the dad. Wish I had had more cash to spend. I love to see a new generation of hand-makers, simple-lifers coming of age. It gives me hope for the future.
On the way back to Oklahoma, we drove to downtown Dallas (scary!) to Dealy Plaza, the location of the assassination of JFK. We’d been wanting to make the trip for a long time, so this was the perfect opportunity. It was very surreal. I was 8 when he was killed, and I remember seeing it all on TV. To see the street with the Xs marking the spots of the bullet strikes, the grassy knoll and fence, the School Book Depository building all right there, made it all so real. I’m glad we didn’t make a special trip previously, because we only spent about 30 minutes at the site. A place where America’s path was changed forever.
Too gloomy! Back to the bluebonnets! Here’s one more pic. Have a great day everyone and keep it simple!