RED CREEK AND ALONG THE JAMES RIVER: Sometime after Red Creek (first
photo) we headed for the Bat Cave along the James River, a piece of Texas that is a must
see on any backroad adventure.
THIS SIDE OF NOWHERE
When lost ain't really lost.
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
If anyone ever tells you to "get lost" don't get
upset. It could be a novel experience. How else are you going to see anything
unexpectedly new? And if you can't get lost just surrender control to someone like
Denise the Guide. You can feel lost without actually being there.
ost took on a whole new meaning after we left
nowhere. On mostly unpaved county roads that generally come out someplace, we passed
through some spectacular country. As anyone who has been relegated to the back seat
knows, you may miss out on a little conversation but you have the luxury of
irresponsiblity. A mode of behavior I have never been accused of shirking.
in all, I was in Photo Heaven. I'd have Ms. Intrepid pull over every now and again, jump
out, take a few pictures, chase down my hat, hop back in Nigel the Land Rover and then
start the process all over again somewhere just down the road.
Along the way we stopped at Red Creek with its little
waterfall -- most likely a major gathering place back when the Indians held the land.
Then there was The Old Mill Road with its limestone spring house, the open cement
block spring house on the James River with some of the sweetest water on Earth (photo left), the James River
Bat Cave which was closed and the stretch of road that ran parallel to the James. All
places of beauty and wonder.
I've been a guide a time or two myself and had the
privelege of showing off places rich with memories which you can't point to and are beyond
expression. But there's something about process of sharing that lends an extra
dimension to the moment. Those folks who've entrusted themselves to your care know
deep down that you've sifted through all of the possible landmarks and brought them to the
best of the best. You may never find your way back there again and you may be the
last person to be hauled on the adventure. But, likely as not it's an experience you
will long remember. And if you can share the experience later on you're double
So, the credit for this tour is dedicated to the
women-folk of Texas who are generally navigating behind the scenes anyway; and in
particular to the Sue Baugh at the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in Junction who kept
their promise after a whole year, Ms. Intrepid who conspired to make it possible, and most
of all to Denise the Guide who really knows her way around the Northwest Hill Country of
PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT / PAGE 2: FROM 700 SPRINGS
PAGE 3: MIDDLE OF NOWHERE / PAGE 4: THIS SIDE OF NOWHERE
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