Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Canyon Lake, TX

I left Eufaula, OK, headed towards Bandera, TX, for an all singles dance rally. But I stopped for about a week in Canyon Lake, TX, to meet up with some friends.

Social time every afternoon.

Gruene, TX, boasts having the oldest continuously operating dance hall in the state of Texas. The dance hall has been open since 1878. Of course we came here several times to dance and listen to music. The hall has played to many famous artists, such as George Strait, but also to movies, such as the dance scene by John Travolta in Michael.

Next door in Gruene was the Gristmill Restaurant. As you can see we had quite a group come out to eat. We had 3 tables and 21 people and they served all our food at the same time and it was all good and hot. Our waitstaff got good tips.

One day while at Gruene there was a Cobra Car Club visiting. This is just a few of the hundreds of Cobras we saw that day.

Another local place we found to dance was the Midnight Express. They had a live local band which was very good.

Of course the Texas Bluebonnets were blooming everywhere we went.

We went geocaching one day and the cache was in an old stuffed bunny, which was lying on top of some real bones of some poor, long dead animal. Plus, there was a scorpion inside the bunny and he didn't want to come out.

In nearby New Bruanfels we saw where they had taken one of the old manufacturing plants, smoke stacks still standing, and turned it into high class condos.

New Braunfels is a cute town with the river running right through downtown. The town has put a water park right down on the riverside, using the river itself to create a "tube shoot". This was their spring break and kids were taking advantage of the warm summer temps, even though the water was cold.

On the River Road near New Braunfels we spotted this unusual home. On top is an eagle. It almost looks like a fancy treehouse. The top is gold so it glints in the sunlight and is easily spotted.

One day we decided to go visit LBJs hometown and ranch. Here is his boyhood home. They give tours and have the house restored as it would have been in his childhood.

This is the Texas White House. Only his study and office is open to the public. It is located about 14 miles west of Johnson, TX, where his boyhood home is located. He actually was born on this ranch, although he grew up in Johnson. They now have a self-guided audio tour for the ranch. You sign in at the state park visitor center and pick up the audio tape. You play it as you drive the tour and it explains what you are seeing. This allows you to pause the tape and get out and spend as much time as you want looking around, unlike the bus tours I understand they used to give.

After visiting LBJs home, we headed into Austin, the capital of Texas.

Barton Springs is a place to swim, picnic and relax in Austin. The springs puts out appx. 27,000,000 gallons a day. But it is not a hot spring.

As you can see, this man has a wet suit on.

Our last place to visit before leaving Austin was The Broken Spoke. Although not as old as the dance hall in Gruene, this is only about 50 years old, it too, has played to many famous country stars. They have a small museum where it has pictures of many of the people who have played there. One of the most famous was Willie Nelson.

Here is the dance hall. We did not stay for the dance since it wouldn't start for another several hours, and we still had to drive over an hour back to Canyon Lake. Another time...

There is a scenic drive along a ridge and they call the drive 'The Devils Backbone'. Along the top of the drive was this bar. We stopped and talked to the owners. It also has a dance hall, but is no longer in use. When we asked why we were told the hall was haunted. Strange things kept happening so the dance hall shut down.

Of course I couldn't resist getting to ride on a 'real' dinosaur...

Inside the Natural Bridges Cavern. It was an impressive cavern. It had the most diverse variety of formations and some of the largest rooms I have seen.


Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

Great update. Wish you would do it more often. We were at New Braunfels etc last year on our way to Florida.

Barbara and Ron said...

A haunted dance hall - Wow! I'm picturing ghostly dancers whirling around the floor.

Rita said...

Hey! Glad to know you enjoyed your trip to the Tx Hill Country. Yes, the Devil's Backbone Tavern is haunted, it's not just a story. My husband worked there for a couple of years and we witnessed some very strange things when we were the only ones there. Did Helen and Rick show you the "alien" on the wall above the fireplace? I loved that thing! Hope you can come down again soon!

ladynomad said...

Rita, I did see the "alien" only it was shown to me as the "devil". Interesting place.