Woke up in downtown Austin not too much worse for wear. A look outside verified it had rained in the night but based on radar it didn't look like it would rain much if at all the rest of the day. Cloudy and going to be in the mid-70's. Hung around and got as much good out of my overpriced room as I could since I'd planned a relatively short, relaxing day. Cruised to the other end of downtown past the impressive Texas capitol building, which of course is just a few feet taller than the national capitol building.
Visited the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Named after Bob Bullock, a former Lieutenant Governor, and not Sandra.
Great museum so I could totally get my history geek-on. One of the best parts was watching one of the short movies they had playing that walked through the different battles that occurred for Texas independence and at the end, when Texas wins at the battle of San Jacinto, a bunch of the people in the room clapped and cheered. Love it.
Scooted out of Austin and headed south for a late lunch/early dinner at Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, TX based on the advice of a buddy that had been down here before. I was expecting a small rural establishment. In actuality, this place is a BBQ compound. Lots of old stone buildings with tons of inside and outside seating. It was in the middle of the afternoon but there was still a lot of people there. They are making their own wine too so there's also wine tasting rooms. You eat at long tables in huge 'banquet' type rooms... at least that's where I was.
Not a good pic, but you get the idea that the place isn't a shack along the side of the road, much neater looking from the highway side.
They are apparently well known for their brisket... sounds good to me:
The meat was very, very good. The bread was fantastic. The sauces were good, but I really like a mustard sauce so was wanting a little there. The potatoes and beans were just ok.
Ugh... stuffed. When I'm traveling I tend to just eat granola or Clif bars and bananas for breakfast and lunch and I think my stomach shrinks. Then when I get to a big evening meal, I just about can't eat it all. I'll push through.
Back on the road headed for Fredericksburg where I plan to spend a few nights and do some loops around the Hill Country. Stayed off the main highway as much as I could. Went by Pedernales Falls State Park... man, I have a huge pet peeve with public parks that charge just to drive through. Would have liked to see the Falls, but just didn't want to pay the $5 to drive in and drive out. Bleh.
Rode through Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch park. His ranch sits right along the Perdernales River. Neat layout. This church is across the river from the ranch and I thought the color and the way the sun was hitting it was neat.
Nice curvy roads making my way to Fredericksburg through ranches. Came up on a guy in a nice old T-Bird. Plugged fuel filter. He had help coming and I was plum out of Thunderbird fuel filters so pressed on.
At 5:24pm... the cold front hit. Went from 75 degrees to 60 degrees in about a 1/2 mile and the wind picked up. Was still about 20 miles from Fredericksburg and it was starting to feel pretty chilly. Just 97 miles today.
Found a really nice, affordable mom-and-pop (and-son actually) motel on the north side of town. Park in front of the door. Can push it into the breezeway if bad weather would pop up. Nice people.
Fredericksburg appears to be a popular destination for folks wanting to get away from Austin and San Antonio for the weekend. Tons of shops, antiques, restaurants, etc. This is a slow time but there was still quite a few people still out walking the main street when I got to town.
I was still stuffed from the BBQ but the innkeeper said to go down to Hondo's for a beer. I swung by the grocery store and grabbed a few breakfast/lunch type items to have in the room then stopped at Hondo's. The "Almost Patsy Cline Band" was gearing up to play and I nabbed the last stool at the bar. Had my first Lone Star beer which turned out to be damn good.
Great mix of young and old in the place and I was actually surprised at how many songs I recognized since I'm not a big country music fan. The highlight for me was when they played 'Pancho and Lefty'. Love that song. Great conversation with Mike-in-the-Big-Cowboy-Hat from Austin. Got a lot of info regarding the Big Bend area. I'm really intrigued by the McDonald Observatory and their "star parties". Might have to try and make that work.
Going to be cold on Sunday, but planning to do a loop and go through Luckenbach.