Sandra and I went to Fredricksburg last week to do the Bluebonnet tour, and now we are on the way home.
The famous Willow City Loop, a 20-mile drive out and back from that old German settlement, and it was every bit as good as the billing: Bluebonnets, White Poppies, Red Drummond Phlox, Orange Indian Paintbrush, Blue Curls, Yellow Plains Coreopsis, White Baby’s Breath and maybe a thousand others I cannot name.
And the best part of all is that it is set in a Hill Country movie-quality panarama of rocks, Longhorn cattle, overflowing streams, Mesquite and Live Oaks. Just as beautiful as Gilmer, only different.
We also did the neck swivel thing in the new War of the Pacific Museum. This is a top- quality display of everything that took place in the Pacific Theater.
Lots of culturally correct Japanese and Chinese history that led to the war and then every possible artifact involved thereafter; boats to planes to tanks to a submerged submarine rising to meet the visitor at the entrance.
It must require a full two days to absorb this historical extravaganza, because we were not able to complete it in parts of two days. Every World War II vet should see this museum; despite a personal participation in that moment of history, there is a fuller explanation to the full story. And, the enormity of that story is beyond my childhood recollection, so, my neck pivoted 360 degrees to take as much in as possible.
Then the eating out in this remote Hill Country location seemed to suggest that all of the top chefs in Texas have taken up residence in Fredricksburg. Excellent food every meal; maybe pricey by Gilmer standards, but worth it.
We also took in Wildseed Farms and the Herb Garden, two attractions for seeing cultivated plants. Wildseed Farms is the place to buy seed for your wildflower patch, such as what I have down by the pond. There is a mixture called Texas-Oklahoma Mix which does very well here, especially if we add lime to reduce the million years of pine straw which has turned our soil acidic. There are lots of wildflowers native to Upshur County, which are attractive just now, and the addition of some other statewide varieties can be very pleasing to the eye.
In our patch we have Toad Flax, Scarlet Flax, Baby Blue Eyes, Buffalo Eye, Indian Blanket and Clasping Cone Flower; all from Wildseed Farms to add to the local standards.
Then we started home, sadly thinking our color tour was over. But not so! The roadsides from Fredricksburg to Llano to Cherokee and then to Goldthwhaite seemed to be through a tunnel of color along Highway 16. But it was not over when we reached Highway 84 and on to Waco. Surely different flowers and different color, but beauty off into the trees as far as a sore neck could stretch to see.
This was maybe one of the best short vacation trips we have taken. Not expensive, easily accessible and highly recommended. But don’t go until you do your neck excercises; there is too much to see and you will surely pull a muscle if you go.