Hill Country ramble

This morning, I slept late — well, actually I got up around the usual time feeling what you’d call “puny.” I took the dogs out, awakened Deb and she fed them. We put up a new section Reflectix on Ernie’s windshield to further reduce the Texas heat’s effects on the bus. And then I went back to bed.

I’m feeling some better now. Not gonna push it today, though.

Our hosts once again served as chauffer and tour guides yesterday afternoon. After hitting up Bandera Hardware for another big roll of Reflectix, we stopped in at Busbee’s Bar-B-Que for an honest-to-Texas meal.

It didn’t disappoint. I had the smoked sausage sandwich (with pickle and onion), pinto beans (nothing like the “baked beans” I’ve eaten all my life) and slaw. Sweet tea, of course.

That piled-high plate earned a place as one of the best I’ve had since we hit the road. Straight-up authentic, and delicious.

We headed north from Bandera on 173 to the town of Kerrville, where we visited a big western-wear store. There I checked another item off my bucket list — boots. Like the Stetson straw hat I bought the other day, a pair of decent “cowboy boots” is something I’ve always wanted.

The first pair I tried on appealed to me right away. They’re not extravagant, far from the $1,500 Lucchese boots on the rack nearby, just respectable, useful and comfortable. So that’s what I left with.

I might’ve picked up a big belt buckle while I was there, too. Maybe it has a big ol’ Lone Star on it.

The town of Fredericksburg, 22 miles up the road from Kerrville, proudly struts its German heritage. Long-time locals still call the place “Fritztown.” The main street shows residents’ admirable commitment to preserving their unique culture, right down to the architecture (which was, for me, the highlight of our visit).

We parked along the street, moseyed along the sidewalk and sampled the shops. Eventually we ended up at Fredericksburg Brewing Co., which touts itself as “The Oldest Brewpub in Texas.”

A banner over the biergarten reads, “Vote Less Government, More Beer!”

Clouds had been gathering in the Texas sky all day long. As we drove back to Bandera we ran through evidence of heavy showers near Camp Verde, and we could see rain in the distance. We pulled Ernie’s awnings in when we got back, just in case.

The wind kicked up a bit, but other than a few big drops it never did rain on us. From our perch on the ridge, we could see (and hear) thunderstorms all around us. We were treated to quite the light show until well after dark, watching it from our friends’ deck.

A cooler and steady breeze swept in. Our hosts built a fire in their ring.

Today, naturally, the temps are back in the mid-90s. This is Texas.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath