Adventures in the Texas Hill Country – Garner, Utopia and Boerne

Inaugural Retirement trip – Part 7

RV rental, RV research, life back at home; all of this has continued to delay the posts about our wonderful Texas trip, but I am determined to finish it! Dammit…

If you are just joining our Texas journey, you can go back to the beginning here. There are links at the end of each post to the next.

In the last post, we enjoyed the motorcycling destination roads in the Hill Country known as the Three Sisters. The next morning, we awoke in Rocksprings to a dreary, drizzly day. Oh well, we were fine with it, since we had spectacular weather for our ride through the Three Sisters. We took a much less spirited pace down Hwy 55 back to Camp Wood due to the rainy conditions, then rode the one portion of Ranch Road (RR) 337 we missed the day before, east over to Leakey. We remembered this section of the road from a previous visit for one particular attribute, the “Rust N Peace” display shared by a rancher with a Texas-sized sense of humor!

**Rust N Peace**

**Rust N Peace**

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Panoramic view behind the funny stuff

Panoramic view behind the funny stuff

At Leakey, we left RR 337 to head South on US 83, toward Rio Frio, then east on RR 1050. A featured stop this morning was a place we first visited in the early weeks of dating in 1995. I know, I have said that before. This IS a trip down memory lane for us! Garner State Park includes almost 3 miles of access to the gorgeous Frio River, miles of hiking trails, camping and all sorts of activities in season. We were a little early in the season for all the activity, which was just fine with us. We were fortunate to share the 1700 acres with a handful of camping families and even fewer day-trippers, like us, just enjoying the solitude. The rain let up, and we parked the bikes and strolled along the river, took a selfie by the water near where we were photographed 20 years ago, and soaked in the beauty. I will let the park speak now…

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April 2015

April 2015

And, just for fun, the 1995 version…I am happy to say, though we may look different, we are still madly in love!

May 1995

May 1995

As we strolled, the rain started again, so we suited up in our rain gear, and headed out in a drizzle. With our potential future plans for RVing, we rode through the campground to scope it out and talked to a nice lady who was traveling in her RV following the loss of her husband. She was nostalgic for the days when they rode their Harleys as a couple and said she had replaced her Harley with a scooter for her RV adventures. It was a bittersweet story, but we were happy that she continued to follow her dream to RV and had visited 7 Texas state parks already in 2015.

As we exited the park, we took a detour to check out a couple of RV parks we had seen across the river opposite the park. One was nice, one not so much. But we were encouraged to find options both inside and outside the park!

We were both starving at this point, so we decided to find a local place for lunch in Utopia, the terminus of RR 1050. We hit the jackpot in stopping at the Lost Maples Cafe, which had great food, shelter from the impending storm, and a fun history! We got inside just in time, as the heavens opened up and we experienced a true Texas downpour. As we ate our hearty lunches, we heard the locals and visitors alike commenting on the storm, and tracking its progress on their phones. We also heard more than we ever needed to know about bovine diseases and treatment from one table. 😉 Anyway, the waitress clued us in on the WiFi password, and we were able to track the storm for ourselves. Apparently, Verizon is not the top cell phone coverage in AT&T territory LOL.

While we waited, we were ‘forced’ to enjoy a piece of Lost Maples Cafe’s famous pie, and then we perused the memorabilia from a movie shot in Utopia in 2010, and featuring the cafe, called “Seven Days in Utopia”. Fun movie trivia about Robert Duvall and the other stars of the movie kept us busy until the storm finally passed.

Head em up, and move em out!

Head em up, and move em out!

This gave new impact to all the signs in the Hill Country proclaiming "Watch for water on road"!

This gave new impact to all the signs in the Hill Country proclaiming “Watch for water on road”!

As we headed north on RR 187, then east on RR 470 towards Boerne, the ever-present signs warning of the danger of water flooding the roads were at top of mind. Fortunately, this day, the rain drained away as quickly as it came. Unfortunately, that is not the case as I write this post…our friends in the Hill Country have been hammered by storms in late May and have experienced devastating flooding, so our thoughts are with everyone that has been impacted. 😦

The rest of our day passed with on and off drizzle and some harder rain, but no more major storms. We enjoyed the rolling hill country scenery and sprawling ranches around Tarpley, and the old landmarks in the cowboy town of Bandera then followed Hwy 16 through Pipe Creek and joined Hwy 46 right into Boerne. When we lived in San Antonio twenty years ago, these were rural small towns. Well, all that has changed, especially in Boerne. Wow, it has become an entity of its own, not just a bedroom community north of San Antonio. We were amazed at the growth. We were pleased that our hotel offered us a suite so that we could begin to dry out our rain and riding gear.

This evening, we had plans to see one of my dearest longtime friends and her family, who live in Boerne. She was so kind as to come pick us up, so we wouldn’t have to ride over to her house in the rain. Patty and I met in my first months in San Antonio in 1984. She and I both worked for Southwestern Bell on the USAA account, and bonded over long rides in the country (in a car!) and have been friends ever since. We sort of grew up together; they were my Texas family, and I became like an aunt to her two boys. I was thrilled that they and their lovely brides and children were able to join us for dinner. How time flies…I still remember them as fun little boys, and they remember me as the “fun” aunt, who would let them drive my car and indulge them in any way possible! It was a wonderful evening, reminiscing and catching up on each other’s lives. I still cannot believe we didn’t take a single picture.

If you’re ready, go here to read about the back story and our arrival into San Antonio. Make sure you have your party shoes on…after all, we were just in time for Fiesta, the 11-day party that takes place each spring!

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17 thoughts on “Adventures in the Texas Hill Country – Garner, Utopia and Boerne

  1. OMG, love that 1995 pic! so awesome!
    I’ve never been to San Antonio (or Austin) and I hear they are both great. Will definitely get there in the near future as one of my new reps is based in Austin.

    Looking forward to your final installment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy…I love that pic too!

      Oh yes, check out both…they are very different, but both wonderful cities! I can’t wait to share the fun in San Antonio, but first I have to sift through about a MILLION photos from our week there. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love reading this! So glad we could be part of your Texas adventure!! And why didn’t we take pics??? Guess we were too busy talking and catching up on life!! Looking forward to “the rest of the story”! ~hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful trip. Didn’t now that Texas would be so lush and green… (only seem to know the dustbowl/tumbleweed version of it…). Love the then and now pictures. Very cute!

    Greetings from Germany, SonjaM

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sonja! The area of Texas where we were is not always so lush, but they had a very wet winter and spring so it was spectacular! The dust bowl areas of Texas are farther north and west, but even they have had more rain this last year. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Like

  4. Love this area. My parents live in Fredericksburg so we have ridden here several times. I just found your blog and am wandering through. I think we are kindred spirits and I hope we meet up some time on the road.

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    • Thanks, Jen for visiting, commenting and following! I am on my way out for the day, but will definitely check out your blog when I can. We love Fredericksburg…I lived in San Antonio for 10 years (20+ years ago) and can’t believe I didn’t discover motorcycling till I moved to Georgia. 😉 But we try to get back to the hill country at least once a year to enjoy the fun roads.

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