Texas: Hill Country

Text: Joseph E. Trey • Photography: Joseph E. Trey

Few would deny that digging into the ground of the 28th state would yield anything less than red, white, and blue dirt, so rolling into this part of the country on anything other than a Harley can feel a little like going to a cross-stitch party without any needles. That is until you approach a town whose welcome sign says, “Willkommen.” 
You immediately know you are not in Kansas anymore . . . 
and perhaps not even in Texas!

Fredericksburg silences the sights and sounds of cowboys and country music, and it replaces them with oompah bands and gingerbread-style architecture. Suddenly, our Bavarian Motor Works machines perk up as if they are returning to the fatherland.

Things get even stranger, in a good way, as we travel through time to a 1940’s style hotel built to duplicate an airplane shelter. The Hangar Hotel is complete with parking for the flying machines and has big band music playing 24 hours a day. We ride back to East Main Street for a traditional “Abendessen” (dinner) of purple pickled cabbage, German potato salad, and Jaegerschnitzel at Der Lindenbaum restaurant.

Many visitors come to Texas Hill Country in the spring when deep blue (almost purple) tulip-shaped Bluebell flowers drape the landscape like a blanket. Arriving in August, accompanied by 100 degree days, makes any type of blanket seem most impractical! The trade-off is minimal traffic, which makes the terrain of Texas Hill Country much more enjoyable ... as we are about to find out.

Ain’t Nobody Feelin’ no Pain

Coffee and homemade blueberry scones, compliments of the hotel, are enough to get us started on our day. We depart early to the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site where American Bison, Texas Long Horns, and white-tailed deer are abundant. We arrive at the working ranch before the farmers (around 8 a.m.), which is a tip off that it is only a replica. After admiring the animals and the construction of the old barns, we take off. As we pass through Grapetown and several wineries, we learn that this area of Texas is well known for its varietals.

However, a wine excursion on two wheels is not my idea of a good time, and is best left to the many tour companies around Fredericksburg.

Down a ways, we turn onto Ranch Road 1376 and enjoy the light hills and soft curves that bring us to Luckenbach, TX. Once a struggling trading post, this tiny settlement is often credited with driving much of the modern tourist traffic that passes through Fredericksburg each year. In the 1970’s it was put up for sale in the local papers where ads read, “TOWN FOR SALE, dancehall and barbeque pit included.”

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the March/April 2013 back issue.