VIEWS OF THE HILL COUNTRY: The first in the
series is taken from White's Crossing. The next is an old spring house on the Old
Mill Road in Mason County. After that is the spot where the road ends at Ivy Falls and
last but certainly not least is a scene of an unnamed creek high above the James River.
THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Somewhere along the Llano River
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
Having surrendered the driver's seat and the navigator's seat
to women-folk I expect to be hearing from the Honorary Brotherhood of Bubbas any day now
lettin me know I have been stricken from their membership rolls and expected to relinquish
my duct tape, baleing wire, kooze, whittlin knife and gimme cap.
ou can't get to where we went after 700
Springs with any map. Denise the Guide kept asking if we wanted to see this low
water crossing or take that dirt road and without knowing the area in the least Ms.
Intrepid would say, "Sure." Then our guide would say, "Slow down, I
think the turn-off is just ahead." Sometimes she'd say, "No, it must be
the next one."
All along the trip Denise the Guide would point to
some distant ranch house she'd lived on or to another place where old friends once lived
and maybe still did. On those occasions I'd relax just a little more, and before
long I surrendered to her sense of direction. Which was a good thing cause I had
never been more lost in my entire life. We were somewhere inside the yellow outline on the
only map in the car.
Generally speaking we were headed east following the
Llano River and some of the detours would take us to a low water crossing on one of the
tributaries which emptied into the Llano.
There are a couple of facts worth remembering if
you're inclined to such adventures. As beautiful as the Hill Country is in the
Spring, during the Winter months when many of the trees have shed their leaves you can see
much more of the landscape. Add to that, if you avoid the main roads you'll discover
some of the most incredible scenes in the area and you're likely to have them all to
yourself. Remember, the more remote you are from anything the more unspoiled the
Sometime just after noon we were following an
unmarked dirt road (?) which seemed (to me) to lead deep into the middle of nowhere.
Then after a bend in the road we came upon the Llano River again. There was no low
water crossing and no road on the other side. I guess all roads end in the middle of
nowhere, otherwise how would you know you were there?.
We were at Ivy Falls where our guide thought we'd
like to do lunch. There is a community on the other side of but we couldn't
get there from where we were. Maybe Ivy Falls is actually the middle of nowhere.
If you're looking for privacy and isolation you might want to figure out how to get there
yourself. The truth be told, I didn't know where we were at anytime, or where
we'd been, or where we were going. If you don't care where you are you ain't lost.
I made meatloaf for supper the night before.
It was a huge success and everyone suffered from heartburn all night. It must
have been as good as they said it was otherwise they wouldn't have taken a second run at
it as sandwiches for a picnic lunch. As anyone "of a certain age" knows,
antiacids are a dietary supplement and essential to any first-aid kit.
I took a few photos then started looking for Indian
artifacts in the sea of river rocks. I came up with two river-worn "thumb
drills" which I gave to Denise, lit into the sandwich then treated myself to Rollaids
for dessert. After that we turned around in the rocky riverbed backtracked for a
couple of miles then turned onto another dirt road.
PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT / PAGE 2: FROM 700 SPRINGS
PAGE 3: MIDDLE OF NOWHERE / PAGE
4: THIS SIDE OF NOWHERE
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