In the Hills country – part 3 and 4
(You may wonder where is part 2 of the Hills country loop: it’s the president Johnson article)
We continue our Hills country loop, driving South of Austin in the direction of San Antonio. On day 3 we stop at Wimberley, Canyon Lake, and Gruene. Gruene was a highlight, the village was packed! The dance hall is supposed to be the oldest in Texas (1878). Unfortunately when we go there for a beer it’s between two shows, so we can’t see anyone dancing on country music.
On the last day of our loop we drive to San Marcos. The city’s top “attraction” is the outlet mall. About 200 shops of factory and reduced prices, we quickly drop by but end up spending three hours there. ‘What’s the point?’ you must think, we’ve got not one inch of space left in the van! I guess it was kinda nice doing some window shopping, being part of the “normal society” again.
San Marcos and New Braunfels are both crossed by rivers and are famous for their Texan tradition: tubing. They found the perfect solution to survive the scorching heat in summer: floating down the river in a tube, beer in one hand and optional fishing rod in the other. I couldn’t take photos, but I’m sure you can picture it. Most people come with friends and get a floater with an Esky full of beers and some speakers to play music. They tie themselves together around it and just enjoy the ride. It takes about two and a half hours, a shuttle (an old school bus) takes you upstream and you just get down the river back where you parked the car!
Our final stop is in the official barbecue capital of Texas, Lockhart. We try the best spot: Black’s barbecue. Even president Johnson used to get catering from them. It wasn’t bad! Sadly it’s not the first place we go to where cutlery is plastic and plates are styrofoam… Not caring for the environment, especially in a well known and busy shop, is loosing a few points in my opinion. America is the society of the disposable and flushable, where cleaning is too hard and mending is non sense!