Excitedly, dh decided to get an early start on the trip…everyone up at 530am! What???? There is no way the kids would eat that early…the jaws aren’t awake yet! So this was one of the new additions to this year’s trip. We left the house without breakfast and went to an old German bakery in the quaint German town of Fredericksburg in the hill country, which was on our route. I love to visit Fredericksburg but this bakery is always closed by the time we get there because they are sold out. At 8am we parked in front of Dietz Bakery on Main Street. The doors were open and the delicious aroma of homemade pastries filled the air. Customers agonized over delectable choices. I chose a sausage kolache. While the rest of the family chose from the tantalizing array, I looked around at the old fashioned interior. The building is an original building, dating back to the 1800’s with 3 generations of bakers. Built with stone walls and original wooden countertops, it was sparkling clean. I sneaked a peak through the open doors into a large room where it looked like the rising took place, then through another door into a huge space where the kneading, baking and finishing seemed to occur. The people were delightfully cheerful and smatterings of German could be heard. We took our yummies to the lovely city park and ate al fresco on a sunny morning under large oak trees amongst crepe myrtles and rose bushes. That was the most lovely spot of the entire day.
Throughout the drive, the scenery changed from hill country to brush country to rolling plains with long buttes and finally to the panhandle plains. Last year when we drove into the plains, we saw lots of dust devils. Those are like mini tornados of dust that suddenly rise from the ground and quickly swirl and vaporize into the sky. They twirl hodge podge over the terrain, 2 here and 1 there. They are fascinating to watch, but there were none this year. I suppose it’s because of all the rain. I’m not sure how much rain the rest of the state has received, but this year there were many ponds and creek beds actually full of water. After we checked into the hotel for the day, it started storming.
Last year we spent an extra day in the area to explore the nearby geological feature, Palo Duro Canyon. I had always wanted to see it and I couldn’t imagine a canyon in this flat land. But when you drive to it, the ground suddenly opens up into the second largest canyon in the US. We tried hiking, but it was so hot last year, we called it quits. It was really hot! No wonder there were so many Indian uprisings in this area. I bet they were just hot and cranky…like we were getting.
So we headed to air conditioning until that evening to enjoy a barbeque and then a musical drama called "Texas". It was great. They use the story of a romance between a guy and a girl in the area to tell the history of the area. They staged a lightening strike in the canyon and a prairie grass fire. Concluding the program is a fireworks show. There was a program in the hotel room explaining how they want to create a tornado for the show. We were glad we didn’t plan on going, since we would have been rained out.
***News flash….I don’t have any pictures of these places. I couldn’t even find a picture of the park on line. I’ll be back to Fredericksburg eventually (I always do) and will do a blog just on that wonderful town. Actually, I will probably do many blogs because there is so much there. It’s my favorite place in Texas. Well, one of them. Hope you enjoy the link to the canyon. I think it’s the best thing to do if you are in the area.