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2/2 through 2/6/2014 - South Llano State Park

Sunday, 2/2/14 - Happy Super Bowl
Fire damaged forest



The flags indicate where new trees have been planted

We took a drive from Lockhart over to two
nearby state parks; Bastrop and Buescher.  In September of 2011 a wildfire affected 96% of Bastrop State Park.   The forest is still recovering but all of the campsites are open as are most of the hiking trails.  New trees have been planted along the burnt out treees but it's probably going to take years for the forest to come back.

Buescher State Park is about ten miles from Bastrop along the same camp road.  When you go into either park you just stay on the camp road to visit the other.  It was a hilly, scenic ride - might be fun on a bike.

When we drove through, the temperatures were in the 30's and it was a damp cold so we didn't do much walking around (I know - what wimps!).

On the shore of Lake Buescher















2/3/14 through 2/6/14

We left our nice quiet site at Lockhart on Monday morning and headed west for South Llano State Park in Junction, Texas.  It was only about 180 miles but what a difference in landscape.  The land is starting to look more like a desert and we are seeing more cactus.  There also far fewer towns in this part of Texas.
Our new home at South Llano SP

South Llano River
 

Yay!  We made it to the top of the hill.
The big attraction here at South Llano is the wildlife.  As we entered the park we saw wild turkeys crossing the road.  We also saw deer bounding through the woods.   Later that evening we saw a mule deer.  There is a large turkey population here and many areas are restricted from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 a.m. as the turkeys come to these areas to roost for the night.   There are four observation wildlife blinds where you can sit and watch the many different birds.  There are also many trails here for biking and hiking.  We started out biking on one and ended up hiking as much as biking - very hilly and lots of loose gravel and rocks.

The deer here are amazing.  Every morning and evening we see the herd passing through to the left of our trailer.   Early Tuesday evening Marty quietly went out with his camera and tripod to take some photos.  Unfortunately our next door neighbor saw him and, in a very loud voice, asked "ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE PICTURES OF THE DEER"?   His response - "I was".   Luckily, the next morning at sunrise he was able to take pictures of the whole herd going back to wherever they hang out during the day.


The view from our window!



South Llano Turkeys and Deer
The only thing we don't like about this park is there is no internet and no tv stations.  We do get one radio station, the Fox channel so we get to listen to country music and a little bit of news.   We spent Wednesday morning at the local (Kimble County) library using their free wifi and downloading everything we could.   I downloaded my limit of 6 books from the Chicago Public Library and we both downloaded a whole bunch of podcasts.   That should hold us until we can get back on the internet.

This is a tiny little town with a populastion is 2545.  As tiny as it is, they have a Sonic, Dairy Queen and McDonalds.   They also have at least four churches and four thrift stores (and one really nice library).

We woke up on Thursday morning to frozen water pipes.   Marty took the electric space heater out to the water spigot and got the water thawed out - YAY!!    The temperatures were in the low 20's and with the wind chill it was in single digits.  Time for us to go somewhere warmer (if we can find that).