Hiking Lost Pines

We are enjoying an extra day at Buescher State Park by hiking the Lost Pines. We thought we would have to checkout because the campground was booked but they found a spot for us.

Tomorrow, Alan is headed to a day with his Old Woodworking Machines group for a BBQ and swap meet. Hopefully, he will come home with fewer tools than are in the truck now.


Back to Buescher

We are back for our third visit to Buescher State Park near Austin.  We’ll be staying here through Friday when we head North to be closer to Manor for The Old Woodworking Machine’s TexFest 2010.

I found the beautiful photo of the Lake here at Buescher on this terrific blog that has all kinds of great photos of Texas scenery by Jeff Lynch.  I wish I could learn how to take photos that are this great!

Enchanted Rock State Park

This is one of my all-time favorite parks (even though you can’t camp here with an RV.) We stopped here on one of our first camping trips with the Airstream.

We are getting a late start because we are staying in Kerrville instead of Fredericksburg. The up-side is that it will be warmer by the time we get on the trail.

Enchanted Rock is the second largest granite outcropping in the country (after Stone Mountain in Georgia.) This is just the coolest place to hike.

On our way home we may stop at the Fredericksburg Brewing Company for a beer.

1938 Singer Featherweight

I’ve been thinking about buying a Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine on and off for the last few years.  Several of my quilting friends have one.  They bring it to bee or retreat since it is so light weight (only about 11 pounds.)

I bought this 1938 beauty at the Quilt Show on Wednesday night (when it was a little less crowded and you could actually walk around.)  I tried sewing on several different Featherweights of varying ages but this one just seemed right. Alan was a big help and enjoyed chatting with the old guy who sold us the machine.

This will probably be my traveling machine – it will fit great in our trailer (and goes with the whole vintage theme.) Alan suggested the Pepsi One can in the photo (not just because he loves Pepsi One and wants people to buy more so that they don’t discontinue it) so that anyone who isn’t familiar with a Featherweight can see how small it is.

I’ll post more about the Quilt Show later – we need to get on the road to Kerrville today.  You can check out quilt photos over at my friend Sherrill’s blog:  http://quiltinginmysleep.blogspot.com/

International Quilt Festival

Alan had his first taste of the international Quilt Fesitval last night. They always have an early opening on Wednesday night. It took us an hour and a half to just walk past all of the vendors without really stopping. I’m pretty sure he can relate even better now when I come home after a whole day utterly exhausted with very sore feet!

I’m going to the Show for the entire day today. There was a little deja vu this morning when I rode the commuter bus from The Woodlands to downtown. I can’t see the Enron building from where I am but maybe I should walk down there – but then again why bother? We did drive past our old house yesterday. The Woodlands is still thriving.

We stopped last night for a quick look at the top award-winning quilts. Sharon Schamber won Best in Show with a beautiful quilt. She quilted with black silk thread on white fabric. Here is a close up:

I’m not sure if I will be able to get a photo of the whole thing since there were so many people milling around admiring it!

Time to go get in line with all of the other quilters waiting to give away our money to all of the friendly vendors …

Dining in The Woodlands

We used to live in The Woodlands near Houston but we don’t even recognize it anymore – there has just been so much growth and development in the last ten years.  Last night we had a wonderful dinner with old friends at Brio.  I definitely ate too much and will have to cut back for the rest of the week to make up for it.   The Chocolate Hazelnut Panini dessert was just terrific.

My friend John is now completely paid up on his long outstanding debt.

Tonight, I’m heading to the International Quilt Festival for Preview Night . . . I should have some beautiful quilt photos to post tomorrow.

Hiking The Big Thicket

The weather here on Sunday was absolutely perfect for our hike in The Big Thicket – no bugs, warm and sunny but not hot. The Big Thicket National Preserve is made up of several Units that roughly align with the waterways.  We stopped at the Visitor Center on Friday and picked up some trail guides.

It turns out a couple of trails were closed for hunting season, so there was really only one practical choice for a decent day hike – Turkey Creek Trail. We started at the South end of the trail and went North to the Pitcher Plant Loop.

There is a pretty big patch of the carnivorous Pitcher Plants in this area. We had seen them before in Florida on our Beaches and Biltmore Trip (which has a proper name – not like our last trip) near Pensacola. The Plants in Texas look slightly different from the ones we saw in Florida. In Florida, the flowers were in bloom and the tops were white. Here the Plants are pretty much all green and we didn’t see any flowers.

Don’t worry – the butterfly is safe from the Pitcher Plant.  They don’t usually slip into the opening and become food for the plant like ants and spiders do.

We stopped for sandwiches at a picnic area near the Pitcher Plant Loop. There was a large gaggle of teenagers just leaving. It looked like they may have spent the night packing in the Preserve but then again they didn’t have a lot of gear with them. It was amazing how quiet it was once they drove off.

The trail crossed what I think is Triple D Ranch Road at about the half way point. (We started at mile marker 9 and the Pitcher Plants are at mile marker 3.)  The trail follows the road for a short time and this cool bridge crossed Turkey Creek:

There were signs of feral pigs or perhaps wild boar activity along the trail but we didn’t see much wildlife. There were a lot of large trees down – probably damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005. This area was hit pretty hard.

On Monday, we mostly hung around the trailer and watched the rain. I had to work in the afternoon and Alan drove into Lumberton to check out a woodworking shop. We did take a short walk around the Park in the afternoon but the rain had brought out the mosquitoes so we cut it kind of short.  On Tuesday, we are planning to head into Beaumont and visit a museum or two – if the rain lightens up at least a bit.

We will drive to Houston on Tuesday afternoon for dinner with an old friend from Enron. International Quilt Festival starts on Wednesday night.