The Road to Fredericksburg Through Blanco, Wildseed Farms, and Luckenbach
After an enjoyable lunch in Wimberley, we set out for Blanco and our first visit to Blanco State Park.
Since visiting Buffalo Bayou and Spring Creek earlier this year, I’ve developed a new awareness and interest in the importance of waterways. Having had no particular interest in the subject before, apart from the occasional, “oh look, that’s pretty”, I now find myself studying satellite maps as I track rivers and creeks across the state. In order to develop a broad understanding and frame of reference about Texas, the ability to locate the state’s major waterways seems important. All this to say that when I notice we’ll be crossing the Blanco River on our way to Fredericksburg, Blanco State Park seems a good place to see the river.
Texas state parks never disappoint. Once inside the park, we cross the Blanco at a low water crossing, which is always a more adventurous experience than crossing on a bridge! The park is not very big but is certainly popular with summertime campers. There are several swimming areas, located both above and below the dam. Driving along the southern side of the river, we find a parking spot near a dense stand of cypress trees and go for a walk in the shade of their canopy. More than the river, the shaded path under the cypress trees will be what I remember the park by.
Leaving the park, we drive through Blanco and continue west. We don’t stop at the court house, but I would have liked to if we had more time. The limestone court house was built in 1886 but was only in use for four years until the county seat was moved to Johnson City. It seems a pity, considering what must have been a substantial investment in the building. Since then it served as both a school and a hospital, and even stood empty and abandoned for a while. It currently serves as a visitor center for the area and apparently has a nice collection of black and white photos on display.
I’ve decided that Wildseed Farms deserves another visit. After enjoying the colorful spectacle of poppy filled fields back in April, I want to see what the farm has growing in the middle of summer. We pull into a nearly empty parking lot. It seems the heat may dissuade people from visiting. There are fewer plants in the beds and even fewer in the garden center but the benefit of this is that I have the display gardens all to myself, after Tim decides this is an opportune time to catch up on some emails. In his twenties, Tim would habitually refer to any flowering plant as a daisy, and has shown no inclination since then of adding to his botanical knowledge.
The fields are covered in yellow Coreopsis that recede into the distance, while the display gardens have been planted with multicolored Zinnias and the occasional sunflower. I can’t think of another place in which I’ve come across such a density of flowers. My stroll through the garden may be uncomfortably hot, but, wow! What an experience to have it all to myself.
Continuing on from Wildseed, Tim decides that since Luckenbach is only a few miles away, it requires a visit. The town’s post office is considered by many to be a favorite photo subject in this area, and has been since Waylon Jennings first sang the hit country song Luckenbach, Texas in 1977.
Luckenbach was settled in the mid 1800s but today, apart from the old post office and the dance hall, there isn’t much else in the town. The dance hall is open on weekends and is popular with country music fans.
We’ve come to the end of our day and are looking forward to checking in at the Fredericksburg Inn and Suites, which we’ve chosen for its convenient downtown location. More about that in my next post.