It has been a while since I posted an update so I thought I would go through my photos and come up with some thoughts on what we have been up to.
There is some sort of cactus like plant outside the entrance to our resort. It is low to the ground but has a huge stalk that reaches 10 feet or so in the air. This huge stalk has something on the end of it. We are not sure if it is a flower pod or a seed pod, but have been checking it every day just incase it flowers. The other day I noticed a massive spider web between this plant and a nearby tree.
This spider web was just huge and the spider was at least 3 inches in diameter. He was facing down so I couldn’t catch his smile. If this plant blooms while we are here I will be sure to get a picture. And no I don’t know what type of spider it is.
I have been going out every night at sunset to try to get some additional sunset photos. Unfortunately to get really good shots you need something other than a clear blue sky. Well on Tuesday we had overcast and rainy weather all day. But by the time 5:30 rolled around the clouds were starting to clear. I quickly got my camera gear together and captured a few shots you might enjoy.
We have a magazine entitled “101 Fun Things to do in the Highland Lakes”. We have been using this as our tour guide along with other brochures we picked up at the Marble Falls Visitors Centre. The visitor centre is located across the street from the Blue Bonnet Cafe, a great place to have a piece of pie. We might even go back for a meal.
One of the things recommended in this publication is to get off the beatin’ path. It describes a short driving tour through the back roads, roads that weren’t on the truck’s GPS. We started out going south on U.S. 281 which is the main highway into and out of Marble Falls. We then took a left hand turn at Round Mountain onto FM or Ranch Road 962 going towards Cypress Mill. By the way Round Mountain, population 108, isn’t a town but a collection of businesses along the highway. Ranch Road 962 then turned into CR 301 or Cypress Mill Road. This trail, barely one lane through ranch country, circled back to U.S. 281. We never saw a place called Cypress Mill but we sure got a taste for the back roads. You can try to follow along on Google Maps if you like, but don’t be surprised if you get lost.
This part of the country is made up of a lot of rock with many dips in the road. As you approach these dips there will always be a sign warning you that there might be water over the road. There also might be a measure stick attached to the side of the road with marks every foot up to the five-foot level. As you drive around you can just imagine any rain water that falls would collect in the low spots of the exposed rock and slowly run into progressively larger and larger streams. Often crossing the road. During our drive we only came across one section of road that was covered with water. The road was only slightly wet and we can’t imagine what it would look like if there was a foot or more water over the road. Also along our travels we crossed many texas gates (cattle guards) along with passing signs that stated there was livestock on the loose.
As you may have guessed, Blanco State Park is located in the town of Blanco. It’s a beautiful park right in the centre of town occupying parts of both side of the Blanco River. There are numerous picnic tables and barbecues on both sides of the river with large private camping spots only on one side. There are a number of weirs along the river. I suspect this is to regulate the flow and provide water for the town and for recreation.
Guadalupe River State Park was a little farther down the road, just west of Spring Branch. We arrived a little late so we didn’t spend much time there. They have a number of good campsites as well as a very large day use area on the Guadalupe River. Before the light was completely gone I was able to snap a few panoramic shots of the river. It certainly was a place a family could enjoy a day out. While we were there we saw someone fishing from the shore. Actually he had waded in past his knees. There were also three children with their parents swimming in the river.
By the time we finished up, the sun was quite low on the horizon and it had set by the time we got back on the highway to come home. There was quite a bit of traffic on U.S. 281 almost like it was the day before a long weekend. Well it actually is.
One last sunset from tonight.