Day 5: Hanging out with LBJ

LOCATION:  Johnson City, Texas
CAMPGROUND:  Another Harvest Host site.  209 Vinery.  Small tasting room with super friendly owners/hosts.  Level parking lot.  One other RV here.  Great location — just 3 blocks from downtown.  5 stars out of 5.
WEATHER:  Cold in AM; Hot (84) in PM
DRIVING DISTANCE:  30 minutes

We awoke to fairly nippy temperatures – 39.  Since we are trying to conserve battery use, we did not want to run our built-in propane furnace, so George got out his new “toy” – a small propane heater with a hose he connected to our main propane tanks.  It did the trick, and got us toasty very quickly.

Today was another day with a short  driving distance, so we took it easy in the morning.  Around 11:00, we drove to former President Lyndon B Johnson’s “Texas White House” which is both a national and state park.  We hiked on some of the trails, and toured the “living history farm” on the property, where volunteers dress in period clothes, take care of vegetables and animals, and give informative talks about the property.  The daughter of the homeowners was a midwife and delivered LBJ, their neighbor.

Here are LBJ and I hanging out….with masks, of course!

We had a picnic at the park, then drove on to Johnson City, only about 20 miles away.  The host came out to help us park, and we chatted a lot.  It turns out that the host has a sister who works at Mayo Clinic,  and at one time, worked in the same department that I did.  Wow! 

We walked the short distance to the main square.  There is not too much in Johnson City, other than 2 brewpubs and some whacky antique shops/junk stores.  It turns out that Johnson City was not named after LBJ, which we had assumed, but after his cousin who settled the area in the 1800s.

We stopped by Johnson’s boyhood home, but it was closed for Covid. 

George checked out one of the brewpubs and I thankfully got cooled off by their A/C.  Then, back to the 209 Vinery to show our support.  (We always buy something at the Harvest Host sites to show our appreciation.)  We each had a glass of wine (quite good) and bought some bottles.  The place was hopping with local “older” ladies (about my age).   I thought this was a smart idea of the winery – a win/win…..They are closed Tuesday – Friday, so on Monday afternoons, they offer wine at a very discounted price to the local ladies.  It is wine from bottles  that have been already opened for tastings, that they don”t want to sit until Friday.  The ladies know the routine, and pretty much help themselves.   The winery also uses this as an opportunity to have the ladies  critique some of their new wines.  I thought it was very clever!

We walked back into town to the other brewpub that has a very nice menu.  It was hopping, too, seemingly with local families.  We had their lamb burger that was very tasty. 

Another early night.  A note about our trip….We heard from our Nova Scotia friends.  It looks like we will not be makiing our Newfoundland trip this year.  There is still a chance we can get together later in the summer for a trip to Quebec  and Labrador.  Tomorrow we have a fairly long driving day where we will meet up with some traveling companions from Retama Village.  We will stay at this campground 2 nights, so it will be a chance to get cleaned up and to get Joy back in shape – battery, water, sewer. 

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