We embarked on a weekend getaway with my sister-in-law, Jackie, while we were in Austin. We pulled out of The Oaks RV Park and took three days to visit Luckenbach and Fredricksburg and found a couple sweet surprises along the way.
Our first stop was Luckenbach. If you haven’t heard the song Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) or listened carefully to the lyrics by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, I invite you to do so in the following video. It’ll dance around your head all day.
Luckenbach is not just a place, it’s an experience. Stuck in the middle of almost-nowhere Texas, there’s a small dance hall, post office, gift shop, outside concert area, a bar where you can grab a Texas beer or a root beer, and a whole lot of peace and quiet. It is a place where Waylon and Willie actually played, but the big names don’t really go there anymore. The old post office is now a gift shop with a warped wooden floor and local Luckenbach wares are charming to browse. The bar has a few stray cats that the owner has rescued and they love to be petted as root beer is served in tall brown bottles. There’s an old guitar player with a smooth whiskey voice who plays for tips and always takes a break to ask people where they are from. Outside is an area for tent camping among huge old oak trees and a slow rippling creek. The wooden bridge that crosses into the area is guarded by a cocky rooster protecting his hens. Overall, it’s a serene little place. Visiting there makes me understand why Willie and Waylon wanted to get back to the basics of love.
The rest of our afternoon was spent in Fredricksburg. We were short on time, so we did not get to visit the area’s wineries or the World War II Museum, but we did get to walk the historic downtown, which was very people-y. I did manage to grab a geocache while there, which was placed by a teacher’s second-grade class. We got to see the outside of Fleet Admiral Nimitz’s boyhood home (Mike’s a Navy Vet) and the old hospital. We had a late lunch at the Rathskeller Basement Restaurant where we had a delicious German meal–we highly recommend the sampler plate featuring jaeger schnitzel and other German fare. The potato salad and slaw were delicious, also. I admired some of the ironwork and other quaint places along the street, but it was difficult to get photos without featuring other tourists–it was just too busy.
We were longing to find some more quiet, out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-path places to see. The next morning we set out on a drive of the beautiful hill country around us, hoping to visit the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Unfortunately, too many people were visiting that weekend and the park was at capacity. Fortunately, this led us on a country drive that took us through hills with breathtaking views. We happened along a state park that seemed to be deserted.
We pulled into the parking lot and walked to the viewing area and were treated to this lovely view.
This was an old train tunnel that was abandoned and has been taken over by bats. The bats come out at dusk and there are several levels in the park for viewing the nightly show. Each seating area is reached by a rather steep and downhill hike. We were there during the day, but the view was still spectacular without the bats, which was okay with me (they’re such creepy creatures).
Here are the tunnel views in the daylight:
Again, we snagged a geocache and had a beautiful walk in this lovely deserted park. It was a nice stop in our countryside drive.
On the ride back to our campground, we took a detour through farm country where free-range beef, goats, turkeys, etc., were sighted all along the drive. It was actually quite pretty and enjoyable, even though Lexie (our bullmastiff) whimpered at the cows and goats.
It was a calm and relaxing weekend and we really did enjoy ourselves. I also got great photos of my husband and his sister.
The best parts of the little getaway was the spontaneity, lack of planning, relaxed pace, and family time.
Until the next time,