Skip to main content

Texas Road Trip Day 3 - Pedernales Falls State Park

Tuesday morning and the rain that overcast and dreary skies continued as we headed from Lindale, Texas to Austin. The trip was pretty straightforward Texas 155 to US 79 to Round Rock and then down I-35 into Austin.

More photos from the trip to Austin can be found here.

What was the worst thing about the off and on drizzle and sometimes a nice heavy shower was I wasn't able to take photos of the surprisingly rolling (at least to me) East Texas landscape. Obviously with all the rain they've had, it was quite green. However, we did stop at a few small towns - the first being Buffalo - which is on US 79 just east of I-45.

IMG_1036

There really isn't much to Buffalo; however, they were in the fall spirit. The very small downtown featured a few scarecrows including this one which was meant to be Dolly Parton.

IMG_1038

Further down, US 79 is the town of Franklin, TX. Franklin is slightly bigger than Buffalo and is the County Seat of Robertson County. It has a rather nice courthouse but it started to pour and the grounds are under construction so I wasn't able to get any photos of the courthouse.

Franklin has a number of odd and ends type shops - and of course that means there is at least one type of antique store.

Franklin, TX Storefronts

It's called the Lone Star Trading Company - and it has a number of goodies. I liked this old Coca-Cola sign it had hanging outside.

IMG_1049

When we got to Austin, the clouds were finally beginning to lift. After over two days of dreary weather, seeing the sun was definitely a gift, and the excitement of being on vacation certainly returned.

Maggie and I then went to Pedernales Falls State Park to explore. The park is about 45 minutes west of Austin off of US 290. It costs $5 per person to enter and it was worth the expense.

Additional photos from Pedernales Falls State Park can be found here.

The most popular part of the park is the falls themselves. Visitors are allowed to walk anywhere along the Pedernales here, but they are not allowed to enter the water. The reason swift currents and the possibilities for flash flooding. The restrictions have been in place for over 30 years.

The skies were nearly clear when we started to explore the riverbank and the falls - and the setting is extremely relaxing after two and a half days of driving.

IMG_1078

One of the unique features about the falls is the visual displays of nature in various rock formations and erosion. There were numerous mini caves and waterfalls throughout - making for interesting nooks and crannies.

IMG_1084

IMG_1097

IMG_1104

Further down river, you are able to enter the water to swim, wade, or tube. Of course, I hit the water - and with a strong Texas sun (even in October) causing the temperature to rise quickly - the cool water of the Pedernales sure felt nice.

IMG_1113

IMG_1118

IMG_1124

From the park, we headed to the tiny town of Driftwood to eat at The Salt Lick. The Salt Lick is famous for its barbecue and sauce. The Salt Lick does have a old time country feel as you are in pretty much an old barn and smokehouse and you eat on picnic tables. Most of the building is without air conditioning (they do have a special 'climate controlled' room). The sauce is unique as it is a mustard base sauce - which at least to me was unique to see in Texas. The sauce is more of a brown mustard vs. the yellow South Carolina sauce (Maurice's), and is mighty tasty.

All in all a great day exploring Texas. Yes, I was anxious for the rain to go away and the sun to come out, and once both happened it was certainly a relief. But even with the rain, exploring a part of the country I had never seen before was certainly becoming more enjoyable by the minute.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.