Landrover was pointed south on Hwy 16 toward Fredericksburg. But we didn't go to Fredericksburg cause it's too
crowded, and prime Bluebonnet country stops some fifteen miles before you get there
anyway. Just outside Llano we took the
Prairie Mountain Road toward our old homeplace on the Triple Creek Ranch.
out of town we crossed Six Mile Creek, the site of the mysterious Six Mile Lights. Some folks think it's some kind of ball lightning
and others don't say much. They just point to
the nearby Six Mile Cemetery kinda jittery like. (
Six, six, six -- maybe you don't want to stop. Besides the rare phenomena only happens at night.)
One county road shy
of the unpaved CR112 that leads to Triple Creek, we hung a left on the paved CR113. Okay, so the pavement kinda dissolves into the
ground here and there but Nigel the Land Rover was headed for some truly rugged country so
a little consideration was extended.
Along the way we
passed Bullhead Mountain
where, from 1994-99, some hush-hush research was conducted.
Rumor held that the property, fenced in like a top security military establishment,
was trying to capture energy from lightning. Well
the rumor was pretty close considering the complexity of the truth.
Church -- better known for his relationship to Church's Fried Chicken is an amateur
scientist whose chickens didn't run off on him -- funded the operation's research in
"free energy" up on Bullhead.
He hired Hal Puthoff formerly
director of the CIA-initiated Remote
Viewing Program (read psychic spies) for over two-decades. Puthoff currently resides in Austin, Texas where
he works for Jupiter Technologies researching Zero Point Energy, a potentially unlimited pollution-free energy source that
could enhance life on earth and be the long-awaited source of
propulsion into deep space.
The other hired
hand on Bullhead was Kenneth
Shoulders who lived up there for a couple of years.
Then he came down from the mountain top and filed U.S. Patent 5,018,180 for
the "...apparatus and method for obtaining energy from high electrical charge density
there's at least one scientist looking into the Chasmir Effect who believes that ball lightning (remember Six Mile?) extracts Zero Point Energy from
free space. According to the theory,
empty space is full of energy in a form that cannot be used or seen. Kinda like the
Granite-O-Bar after closing time.
Meanwhile, back in
the real world, Ms. Intrepid and I crossed Silver Mine Creek, Gold Mine Creek on our way
to Oxford. This is Legion Valley; at its
center is Enchanted Rock the sacred mountain of Central Texas. I lived in these parts for years and every
landmark holds a story. Fact is, I've written
or published most of those stories in Enchanted Rock Magazine (reincarnated on-line as Enchanted Rock Archives).
I had Ms. Intrepid apply the whoa reins to Nigel the Land Rover. There was an old wore-out, rickety building just
ahead I always admired. For me, old buildings
are like old friends you visit every now and again to see how they are fairing. All that remained was its stone chimney. Seems, in my later years, things have started
disappearing all around me. Like most folks
the first thing every morning is check the mirror to see if I'm still on a
Route just ahead is my favorite Hill Country drive, hands down. When you come out on Hwy 16 at Oxford turn left
then take the next right. You won't find it
in your travel books. There are no motels, restaurants, or gas stations along the way.
Fact is, there's no pavement and the dirt road crosses Sandy Creek twice. More to the point, the road stops on one side and
begins again on the opposite. There is only one low
water crossing on the route and you'd best take it slow.
If you don't
have a four-wheel drive, or at least a pretty high center, don't try this route at all. If
there has been a good rain recently, proceed with caution.
If you get in trouble it will be hours or even days before another vehicle
to passes by. And your cell phone might not
get a signal.
the way you'll pass by Ollie Gravis' old hideout, through Click Pass and down into Sandy
Valley where, back in 1756, a
Spanish expedition led by Bernardo de
Miranda y Flores discovered silver along
Honey Creek. I might as well let y'all
in on another little secret -- silver and gold mines have been in virtual continuous operation in Llano County
following the Miranda expedition. Back in the
late 1800s Gail Borden, of Borden Milk fame, operated a placer mine for gold along Sandy
finally come to an intersection hang a right. Just
a few miles west you'll come up on Click. Still
found on many maps you'll wonder why. There
are only two structures there, a old home and, next door, another building that served as
a general store and postoffice. It's not that
the other buildings in town have gone the way of all things. Click is as big today as it ever was.
If you take a
look at the old store you'll notice that the front doors are kinda high. That was to allow
customers to pull their wagons alongside for easy loading and unloading. Another less visible feature is a small slot in
the wall with the word "LETTERS" carved there.
Seems drive-by mailboxes are nothing new.
daylight remaining, we headed for another almost gone town called Sandy. A few years back
this drive was thick with Bluebonnets and promises to be even better this year. All in all the upcoming wildflower season should
be a whopper. In fact there was a little snow
that fell in the area while I was writing this article.
I might as
well fess up and say that this was the most difficult issue to wrap my brain around. Simply put, this is my homeland and I have more facts and stories than I could
possibly entertain. Such details had the
annoying propensity of distracting me from the task at hand.
Okay, I know
that I'm way behind on my publication schedule by some six weeks; but I'll be playing
catching up by publishing a quick turnaround on the February issue on the Bluebonnet Trail
complete with maps and plenty of photos from my archives.
PAGE 1: WIMBERLEY / PAGE 2: PACKSADDLE COUNTRY
PAGE 3: LLANO / PAGE 4: CLICK
ROUTE / MAP & ROAD RULES
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