Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hill Country Christmas

Merry Christmas from Texas Hill Country! We are woefully behind with this blog. But, hey, we've been busy! We'll fill in the blanks of the last month soon. But, this is a timely post that we just couldn't pass by. We hope you and yours are enjoying a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Our home for the holidays is Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerrville. This very comfortable place is definitely decked out.

Bullwinkle is all snug in a his lovely spot with all the trimmings, and a view, too.

Our site overlooks a pretty creek where we have enjoyed some colorful sunsets. We're so fortunate to have friends close by. John and Sandy have been here for a couple of weeks and fellow former Kansas Citians Steve and Cathy stopped by for the week on their way south. We've enjoyed good times and nice weather, which is an extra special holiday treat.

San Antonio's Riverwalk was dressed in its holiday finery when Sandy and John joined us on a park-organized trip one recent evening. We strolled the waterway, enjoyed some tasty barbeque and watched the the lights and luminaries come to life. It was all very festive.

Our Christmas Eve was spent in the company of friends as we gathered at Steve and Cathy's for some holiday cheer. Today we drove to Austin to enjoy a holiday dinner with Paul's cousins and family. We are so blessed to have family and friends with whom we can celebrate the season.

Tonight on the way back to Kerrville, we stopped in Johnson City to see the one-million light display at the headquarters of the local electric company. This illuminated forest was something to see, and brought a perfect end to a wonderful holiday.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enchanted Rock

One of the things we "saved" for our winter visit to Hill Country was a trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. We had heard that it's a pretty special place to spend the day, take in the interesting formations, and (oh yeah) climb. Today was the day to check the place out. John, Sandy and Steve joined us for the hour or so drive north for a short, but not so little, hike.

Here's a good look at the rock from the start of the trail. This enormous pink granite formation covers approximately 620 acres and rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain on the just over a half-mile long trail. Sounds like a pretty decent hike. Doesn't it?

This is a closeup look of the previous picture, focusing on the top of the rock. Can you spot the "ants" in this picture? Actually, those are hikers. They're just a mere 425 feet above us.

Just after stepping off the trail, we came to a fork. We opted for the Summit Trail to the top. Soon at least one of us would be wishing we'd taken the level Loop Trail around the monadnock.

On the way up, we enjoyed the view of neighboring Turkey Peak. The most notable element of this photo, however, is the 45-degree angle of the "trail" in the foreground.

After the steep but short climb, we treated ourselves to an hour or so at the summit to enjoy the 360-degree views.

From here, we could see miles and miles of Texas. Literally!

Oh yeah, we almost forgot. We still had to go down! Thankfully, everyone made the trek down as easily as the climb up. Back at the trailhead, we decided we had all earned a late lunch at Coopers BBQ in nearby Llano. After an afternoon of climbing, it was a well-deserved treat.

Along the road to Llano, we spotted several signs like this one. Finally, an exasperated Paul joked, "I keep seeing these signs, but I haven't seen anybody yet!"

Yes, here in Hill Country, we are so easily entertained.