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I've been on the road lately...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by greybeard, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Sep 24, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    My twin brother and I have long wanted to make a trip thru my part of Texas..the Texas he's never seen. By my part of Texas, I mean the part I've lived in and traveled thru before I moved back to East Texas...the rough and wide open part in the Trans-Pecos and Concho Valley, as well as the South Texas coastal region. With his failing health, it was now..or never, so he came down from Arkansas last Saturday and we left my place just about a week ago this time. He has a new F-150 full double cab, with 1500 miles on it, so we took it..just he and I..left the spousal units at home to do whatever wives do when we aren't around. No timetable, no route set, enough clothes for a week and enough cash and plastic to buy new ones if we ran out of clean ones. Only exception to that was we had to be in San Angelo to meet and visit with our cousin on the 19th which neither of us have seen since her mother passed away in 2014.
    Brother has trouble walking, so our sight-seeing was going to be somewhat limited, and most of the pics I took were on his iPhone so he would have them to show and send to his kids in Arkansas, but I'll share a few here from my phone and camera.
    We left the hated pine trees behind and the first stop was Caldwell in Burleson county for real kolaches..not those stupid weenie in a bun things some people call kolaches. We wanteds the real thing, Czech style.
    From there, it was on to Lagrange.
    LaGrange to the Colorado River overlook at the state park. It contains the memorial and tomb of the Texians that were killed in the Dawson massacre, as well as the bodies of the men who were executed later in the Meir Expedition at Salado Hacienda in Mexico in 1842. Rather than recount what every real Texan already knows here is their story:
    http://www.fayettecountyhistory.org/monument_hill.htm
    What it looks like:
    Picture0924170841_1[153].jpg
    Picture0924170839_1[152].jpg

    From Lagrange, we went down to Gonzales, where the historic "Come And Take It" story originated in 1835. We had a great ribeye at a little place in Gonzales called GG's. Pretty fancy place, good table linen and all and the prices were exorbitant but we didn't much care. Prime beef. No pics of that little town. but we then turned back north and caught I-10 to Seguin and took the (very) long way around Bexar and went up thru Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, followed the River Road a bit, and then went Southwest & wound around back south to spend the night at Kerrville. I-10 from Gonzales to Sequin was the only driving brother did the whole trip--he tends to try to sightsee and drive and wanders over the white line too much. Drove around Kerrville area a bit the next morning (Monday), had an unmemorable breakfast at some little eatery that didn't serve biscuits and gravy, then hit I-10 west again.
    We had 24 hrs to burn before we had to be in San Angelo.

    I took 277 South and headed for the Rio Grand and Amistad Reservoir at Del Rio.
    DSC00010.JPG

    To be continued...
     
  2. Sep 24, 2017
    Poka_Doodle

    Poka_Doodle True BYH Addict

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    Sounds like fun!!!
     
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  3. Sep 24, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Glad to hear that you and your twin are able to spend some dedicated quality time together. Sorry to hear of his ailing/failing health... Thanks for sharing.
     
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  4. Sep 24, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    Except for about 30 minutes, it was beautiful weather the whole trip..predictably very hot in South Texas, but high clouds and clear skies for the most part.
    I said I took 277 to Del Rio, but that isn't exactly right. Drove the 50 miles to Junction, caught 377 at Junction on I-10 and turned south...377 joins 277 just past Carta Valley about 2/3 the way to Del Rio.. 173 miles Kerrville to Del Rio according to google. (we didn't keep track.)

    Scenery looking West from 377 and 277:
    DSC00011wind.jpg
    DSC00012.JPG

    Got into Del Rio, and found Amistad Reservoir to be a little low even for this time of year. We jumped on old Hiway 90 and went West following the old rail line. Turned off toward the international border to see Box Canyon on the Pecos as it enters the Rio Grande.
    boxcanyon.jpg

    Got back on 90W..
    You won't see a sky like that here in East Texas...
    DSC00014sky.jpg

    We stopped just outside of Del Rio on Hiway 90 so brother could use the facilities at the Park service HQ and get some brochures and we discussed eating, but decided to press on..as it turned out, a mistake. There was no where to eat in Comstock except a lone taqueria so we moved on.
    Pulled off to a picnic area and took some pictures of the 90 bridge and overlook of the Pecos.
    DSC00019a.jpg
    (I think 5 images per post is the limit, so will continue farther down..with something for the goat/sheep people.
     
  5. Sep 24, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    So glad you and your brother had this opportunity! My dad is a surviving twin. He is 89 years old and has lived 14 months longer than his brother. My folks are living with me right now because of Harvey. There is not a day that goes by that he doesn't pick up the picture of he and his brother and talk about how much he misses him. These will be memories that you cherish - but you already know that. Hope ya'll have the chance to make more of them.
     
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  6. Sep 24, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    Location:
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    A few more from the same spot.
    DSC00017a.jpg
    I crop this one down a lot, because looking down on the river below, you can see goats and sheep along the river bank..
    goatsonthepecos.jpg

    zoomed in and cropped:
    goatcloseup.jpg

    Looking South, into Mexico from the same location:
    pecos lookingtomexico.jpg

    Our next stop was about 20 miles farther West..Langtry Tx, home of Judge Roy Bean...Law West of the Pecos. The original saloon where the old judge held court is still there, maintained by the Texas Park system.
    Not much to see there, except Bean's place and Seminole Canyon.
     
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  7. Sep 24, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    Bean's place is exactly as it was (for the most part) when he ruled that part of Texas when the railroad crews were raising cain as they built the rail line along the Rio Grande.
    Bean.jpg

    The inside is sparse..just a bar on the right end and a couple of tables and a pot bellied stove on the other.

    Seminole Canyon is a wonder to see, and there is a guided walking tour to some Indian paintings and a cave farther East toward Comstock, but we didn't take it as it wasn't something my brother could handle. Wife and I have seen it tho, as well as most of the other sights in the area back when we canoed the Pecos and Devil's rivers.
    Took this from the road as we were leaving Langtry:
    You can just see the top of the canyon rim and some of the caves the river has cut and were used by the Indians of bygone days.
    DSC0002322.jpg

    Disappointed when the Park ranger told us there was nowhere to eat in Langtry on the weekdays and disappointed again to lear the old Ranch Road I had always taken back up to I-10 was in a bad state of repair. We had to double back all the way to Comstock and take FM163 thru the little community of Juno and up to Ozona..another 120 miles.
    We ate supper in Ozona at some little steakhouse just North of town. Steak was just so-so but the prices reflected the quality too. Nothing to shout home about, and we went on to San Angelo from there and got another motel room.
    It had been a very long day.

    Next morning, we went to our cousin's house, visited and then brother and I went out to his ranch. He raises baldies, purebred Brangus and goats & sheep on about 3 sections. Pretty rough country with a stocking rate for cattle about 1 momma/calf on 44 acres. The big limiter is water.
    DSC00027.JPG

    DSC00030.JPG

    If not for the windmills and stone tanks, he wouldn't have water.
    DSC00024.JPG
     
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  8. Sep 24, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    We returned to my cousin's house in town, had a late lunch and visited awhile longer, exchanging memories and pictures, including showing the pics from my Harvey flood. It was hard for them to comprehend that much water.
    Time to get on the road, but I wanted a pic of brother with our cousin. Barring a miracle, there will never be another one taken.


    DSC00031.JPG We drove Southeast this time, back toward San Antonio and hit I-10 for about the 4th time and stopped at Boerne for the night, both of us exhausted. Next morning, we took off again, skirting to South side on 1406 and took I-37 toward Corpus Christi, destination USS Lexington.
    Brother was worn out by this time, and needed a wheelchair to view the hangar deck and up the elevator to the flight deck, but it was one of the places I had promised for the last couple of years to take that old Navy man..
    DSC00033.JPG
    DSC00034.JPG
    He read every placard, looked in and out the jet intakes, and examined the cutaway recip engines of the planes from before our time, and marveled at the Phantoms and Skyhawks as I always had when I saw them coming in hot over the LZs of my own war.

    Decided at this point, we would make only 2 more stops.
    I can't be in that part of the state and not go by and pay tribute to the men of Fannin and Goliad. He knew the stories as well as I but had never been there.
    On the way thru Portland, Refugio and Stinson, the aftermath of Harvey was everywhere. Entire lifetimes of possesions stacked out in heaps along the roadways and big heaps of debris where the county had bulldozed what was picked up along those residential streets. Thousands of bales of cotton, wrapped on the sides but not on the ends in the miles and miles of fields on both sides of the highway. I don't know if it was harvested before or after Harvey or if it is salvageable or not. If not, it's in the millions of $$ in losses. :(

    We went first to Goliad, to Presidio la Bahia, and he was able to make his way thru the main exhibit and out into the big courtyard. It took some pics on his iPhone of him by the cannons but the only one I took on my camera was of him reading the inscription on the plaque at the entrance.
    The most fought over place in Texas history and location of the event that makes the Alamo pale in comparison to men lost and massacred. The men from the Fannin battleground were marched here, and executed to the man. More Texians died here than the Alamo, Gonzales, and San Jacinto combined.


    DSC00035.JPG

    It was late in the evening when we reached Fannin and we sat and pondered what it must have been like on that open prairie for col Fannin and his men as they tried to fight their way to the safety of Victoria, but were forced to surrender when the Mexican forces brought their cannon up. It's a very small, quiet somber park, and I have spent a lot of time there over the decades. My retreat and a place of solitude when I need it.

    Drove North up US59 and stopped for supper at El Campo. A place called Greek Brothers steakhouse. The ribeyes were expensive, but just happened that the special that night was ribeye by the oz...$1/oz as long as it was 8 oz or more. We ate like kings for less than $40 combined.
    On thru Houston, and we were back at my place in East Texas and we both commented on the stench of pine. His truck had over 4000 miles on it when he left here yesterday morning.

    For those who don't know, my twin was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 2 years ago, has had multiple surgeries, massive doses of radiation and chemo but the doctors in July told him they had done all they could and it was their honest opinion that he had about 140 days left.
    This was most likely, our last hurrah together in Texas.
    I will spread his ashes as he has asked, from the Bolivar-Galveston ferry in the middle of Bolivar Roads, but my life will never again be full or even the same again. It is going to be so so hard.
    (thank you for allowing me this space & time to vent some emotion)
     
  9. Sep 24, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    Thank you GB for sharing those moments and allowing me/us to be a witness to such memories and private moments. Tho the future appears bleak, the past years have been both enjoyable and full. It certainly is really good that you had this time together and something you can always treasure, until you are able to see him again. I pray for you and your family's strength, comfort, and peace throughout this very trying time....:hugs
     
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  10. Sep 24, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    What love you and your brother share. What a trip to take together. I know you will look back on the wonderful memories the two of you have made. Your brother will always be with you. You are him and he is you. Thank you for sharing this very special time y'all had together with us. Big hugs Compadre.
     
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