And off we go!!!!!!!!!

LOCATION:  Bandera, Texas – in south central part of the state
WEATHER:  We drove through scattered showers.  Mostly cloudy.  High 93
CAMPGROUND:  Pioneer RV Resort.  Full hook-ups.  Swimming pool, river for wading/tubing, level sites, picnic tables, nice bathrooms, and located in town.  $32/night.  5 stars out of 5
DRIVE:  6 hours

Our plan was to leave Retama Village at 9:00 AM; we took off at 9:30, not too bad!  It has been so long since we hooked up, that we almost forgot our routine. 

Being so far south, it takes a long time to get out of Texas.  The first half of the trip today was pretty boring, as we were on a route we take often, wherever we are going, just to leave the Rio Grande Valley.  We drove a total of 6 hours, including stops to pee (George), eat, and gas up.  This is the bathroom break stop…

The second half of the drive was new territory to us, so more interesting. We took back roads so we avoided San Antonio, the only major city along the way.   We entered the Texas Hill Country.  As its name implies, it is rolling hills with lots of cattle ranches.  Each ranch seems to have a fancy, ornate gate to it, often including a welded arch with pictures of the types of animals inside.  Some of the gates lead to beautiful, ostentatious ranch houses; others are wannabes.  Behind many of the tall fences are private hunting grounds.  Hunters pay money to hunt deer and exotic animals there.  It sounds awful to me. 

Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World,  was our destination and we will be here two nights.  It is a fun town.

After we got set up, we walked down to the river which flows right next to the RV park.  The water is low now, good for wading, but sometimes it gets high and is a popular spot for tubing and canoeing. 

Then, we walked into town to check things out.  The population is only 1000 but it seems bigger due to the tourists.  There are a LOT of cowboy bars and cowboy supply shops. 

These are some big cow horns!

After walking quite a way in the hot, hot sun, we stepped into Vaquero’s Bar (vaquero means cowboy in Spanish) for a drink.  I celebrated our first night on the road with a margarita.

We struck up a conversation with some locals, including one ancient-looking guy who had had too much to drink already, and were given recommendations for music and dinner.  We walked a bit farther and found a nice restaurant.  We sat on the patio (shaded and by now cooler) and listened to “pickin'”.  It was their evening for locals to drop in, join the group, play guitar and harmonicas, and sing.  Musicians kept dribbling in, expanding the group.    It was very nice.

DINNER:  While we listened to the music, we ate dinner.  The meatloaf had been recommended, so George ordered that.  I had a Caesar’s salad. 

The walk back home to Joy, the Airstream, was downhill and much cooler. 

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