bastrop state park

Day 99 – Texas Hill Country

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Day 99 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

After a month break at home, from Christmas to the Super Bowl, I’m back on the road again.  Going to the Super Bowl on Sunday made for an exciting and very long day.  Knowing how I started out the last 99 days, jetlagged and exhausted from leaving right after a trip to Africa, I settled for a late morning start.  While I took the morning to tie up loose ends, I feel better prepared for this leg of the journey.  VANilla is packed more appropriately. 

I added and deleted some items, but overall, I’m carrying less with me now.  I think the hardest items to pack are clothing.  This fall when I left, it was so hot in Texas, I could hardly force myself to pack long pants, sweaters, and jackets and frankly I didn’t have much to choose from for 70 days!  This February, Dallas has been brutally cold.  I’m quite certain the whole world knows this with the Super Bowl coverage or should I say debacle leading up to game day.  Anyway, despite knowing I’d be on the road for the next 8 months, and thus during the entire summer, I think I packed lots of heavy clothes.

On the Way to the Texas Hill Country

VANilla is carrying one less companion.  Only Petey is along for this part of the journey.  Scout is watching over us, and I have a few small items traveling with me in her remembrance.  On my way to Austin, I got in touch with my friend Molly who lives just Southeast of Austin in Bastrop, Texas.  Typical of our friendship, we fall out of touch (usually because I can’t find her, though email and the fact I have lived in the same place for 14 years has helped), and then when we see each other it’s like we just talked yesterday.  Given my late start and the route to Molly’s took me southeast of Austin, I abandoned my planned itinerary to the southwest.

Bastrop State Park

On my way to Bastrop, I stopped at Bastrop State Park for a hike while I waited for Molly and her two wonderful boys to arrive home.  Petey and I walked parts of several trails, somewhat by mistake.  I always thought I had a good sense of direction, but I seem to daydream when I go hiking.  Even with the map in front of my face, I sometimes make an incorrect turn, though I’m very aware I can always turn around if I feel uncomfortable. 

Every time I wander through the woods alone, I think of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who had to cut off his arm to survive a fall in a canyon.  The movie 127 Hours is his story.  I have my backpack full of essentials such as  food, water, a pocket knife, a whistle, a phone, and more.  Additionally, the places I visit are hardly as remote as Bluejohn Canyon where his accident occurred.

Molly’s House

After about an hour and a half strolling beneath the pines, crossing a creek or two, and spotting a woodpecker, Petey and I called it quits and headed toward Molly’s for dinner.  Molly’s back porch provides a lovely sunset view over pasturelands.  I met Henry, her three year old, for the first time and greeted five year old Owen for the second time. 

Just like their mom, they are hilarious!  I might also mention they are extremely energetic.  They wore me out with piggy back rides and bucking bronco!  Most of all they are as loving as can be, blowing kisses to me and Petey and administering bear hugs by the dozen.  We had so much fun!  Once the boys went down for the night, Molly and I stayed up much too late chatting, especially to accommodate the early morning risers!  I was sad to leave, but I’m hoping Molly will be able to join me in Yosemite! ETB

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

One thought on “Day 99 – Texas Hill Country

  1. So glad you are blogging again! It’s so great that you got to see Molly and it’s so cool to have a friend where you can “pick up where you left off !” Those friendships are so great. Owen and Henry are adorable!

    Tell Petey to smile! He looks so serious by the tree! 🙂

    Miss you – tons! xo’s

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