Texas Road Trip Tours & Travel

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THE HEADWATERS: This series of photos start at the headwaters and work their way down to the dam near Ingram.

If you leave out the half dozen traffic lights holding us back, we breezed through Kerrville just like it wasn't there.  By this time hunger had its hold on us and, having foresworn fast food, we were on the lookout for a quaint little family restaurant.
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

I just knew we'd spot something just up the road in Ingram.   No such luck.  Then I remembered I forgot to remember to buy my very own Lucky Pig.  Not to worry, cause just up the road a piece was Hunt.  I'd heard tell it was quite the tourist destination in the summer so we kept up the pace certain there was a quaint cafe in our future.


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T.jpg (6972 bytes)here it was. "Elaines Table".  It looked a little pricey but we were in no position to pick and choose. While stumbling out of Nigel the Land Rover I surmised Ms. Intrepid left the engine running. Then it came to me.  That was my stomach growling like a cornered coyote.  I held the door for Ms. Intrepid, then for three ladies on their way out.
       "We're closed," the owner stated flatly. "We close at three. (It was 2:55) I mean two."
       "Can you recommend a place nearby?" I said to her back as she disappeared into the kitchen.  Just about then a young woman stepped out.
       "You might try the Hunt Store. It's just up the road."
       We tried the Hunt Store. Seems it catered more to swimmers, campers and such.  Un-air conditioned, the place was as humid and damp as a Louisana swamp what with all the soggy swimmers tracking in and out.
       Sure, they had a restaurant but it was closed. Now, I was past confused.  Here you have a tourist town along the river in the middle of the summer with crowds of people milling about, at least five good hours of daylight left and no place to eat. Hunt didn't even have a fast food joint so we headed for the refrigerated cases with those plastic wrapped white bread sandwiches.  Clutching our chicken salad sandwiches and a bag of chips we returned to Nigel the Land Rover (being British and all I feel obliged to use his full title at every turn) for a place to sit with some air conditioning.
       The bread was soggy and the salad, lumped in the middle, never came near the crust-colored part.  Yummy!  Then Ms. Intrepid noticed the expiration date. Seems our meal would expire in a month.
     I don't know when that thing was created, but I ask you: Would you eat a chicken salad sandwich that you knew was a month old? If you ask me -- and for some reason no one ever has -- they oughta put the birth date right alongside the expiration date so a feller can make an educated decision. 
       We ate the sandwiches anyway and lived to tell about it so I reckon they know what they're doing on the preservation side. 
       Despite the dismal food (?) we were near the headwaters and the road ran parallel and close to the Guadalupe.  Practically the entire stretch of land between the road and the river was mowed and carefully manicured real pretty like. You'd never know the river had risen past its banks recently.   Seems we'd just get past one high-toned Inn when we'd come across another. (Where do these people eat?)
       Every now and again I'd have Ms. Intrepid pull over so I could shoot some pictures then we'd move on till we were satisfied I had reached imaginary my starting point.  Needless to say, by this time I had abandoned the neat little linear story I had intended.  I can testify that this stretch of pavement is about as pretty a river road as you'll come across.
shoefence.jpg (18419 bytes)       Along the way we came upon what only be described as a shoe fence. Every post had anything from a tennis shoe to a boot stuck on top like a mounted critter. It was really a remarkable sight, and you can't help but wonder who thought this up. And do they just sit around waiting for the next shoe to drop from some poor souls foot so they can snatch it up and add to this magnum opus?
       Further on, just outside of  Ingram we stopped at The Dam Store located in the same shopping center as the Dam Laundry , the Dam Shop and the Dam Cafe. As seems standard in these parts, the Dam Cafe was closed. Just across the road was, you guessed it, the dam.
       While I crossed the road to get some dam pictures of the youngsters sliding down the backside of the dam -- one of them did the dam thing standing up -- Ms. Intrepid headed for the Dam Store.  Although we kinda swore off food for a spell we were delighted to find the place offered real iced tea with fresh mint.
       Ms. Intrepid engaged the Dam Store manager, Brenda Harrison, in conversation.  They got to talking like they had known each other all of this life and part of another.  Women can do that.  Men, as we all know aren't all sweet on each other from the get go. Ever.
       I stood off to the side and watched in wonder.   About all I heard was Brenda saying how the mint came straight from her garden that morning.  And that the tea, no matter what size, was all the same price and worth every penny.  Naturally, we chose the super-duper version which held out nearly all the way home.TurnA.jpg (4971 bytes)
       From Ingram we headed straight for I-10 and hotfooted it down to the Waring exit for more backroad adventure.


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