Wednesday, January 14, 2015

LBJ - We Hardly Knew Ya

Woke up to anther drizzly, cold day. The kind of day where the cold just sort of seeps into your bones. It was also the type of day that makes your hair curl cause of all of the moisture in the air. You know – one of those days when you are glad you have curly hair.

Took the dog to the little dog run, but she just didn't have her normal joie de vivre that she normally does. I think she misses the sun also. I then put her in the RV, put some classical music on the radio to keep her company and headed over to the LBJ Ranch.

The LBJ Ranch is part of a National Historical Site and a State Park. You have to first go to the State Park to get a permit to drive around the ranch. They have a 25 minute movie which was interesting because it was a film shot in the sixties and it was LBJ giving a tour of his ranch and explaining what it meant to him. His love and pride of the land really came through. The state park also has a few exhibits telling about the history of the land and the people who have lived on it.

The tour goes past the house LBJ was born in, then past his grandfather's house and on through the cow pastures. LBJ raised prize Hereford cows and the descendants of the herd are still on the land. Right next to the cow pasture/airport – runway was somebody else's property which looked like something Out of Africa. There were several herds of exotic deer/antelope plus a couple of ostriches (perhaps emus?)


I suppose if you have the land, it would be fun to populate it with animals other than your normal livestock.

After driving through the property you get to the Texas White House as they called it back in the day. The Johnsons did a lot of entertaining – evidently if you got invited to the house, it was because LBJ wanted something from you. There was a big building that they called the hanger wher they would host big indoor parties. They were redoing all the electricity so the place was pretty dark. They had lanterns hanging in the restrooms so you could see what you needed to see. In the hanger there were a ot of exhibits and even though it was dark you could see enough to enjoy them. One exhibit I really liked was a series of six old fashioned dial phones (like I have at home) where you could listen to recorded conversations of Johnson. Everything from Vietnam body count updates to talking to his brother-in-law about getting together.

When it was time to tour the actual house (Lady Bird donated the house after her death to the NPS), we had a really good guide named Jennifer. She told us many little stories about the Johnsons and their life at the house. LBJ was a news fanatic and many of the rooms had three televisions in them so he could watch all three networks simultaneously. There was only one TV in the house among the multitude of TVs that Lady Bird had sole control of. She evidently was a big Gunsmoke fan. The house was very sixties sort of reminded me of Graceland except it was much more tasteful. It was a very interesting visit – it is a nice companion to the LBJ presidential library. It was nice to get a more personal view of the family.

Back to the RV, packed up and headed off to Boerne (pronounced Bernie). Boerne is located about a half hour north of San Antonio. Again I had the two GPS programmed to take me to Boerne. Both of them agreed that I should take a left on to Lubbock road. I looked at the road and it was about twenty feet of asphalt and then nothing but a gravel road. I decided to be prudent and not take that road. That said, I continue on, see a sign that says Boerne with an arrow and turn on that road, even though both GPS units want me to go straight.

Oh my – what a road this turns out to be. For thirty six miles I'm traveling a narrow, two lane road that is up and down, curvy. Speed limit is 65 which tells you how bad it was (see the earlier post about Texas speed limits). I feel comfortable doing fifty and there were a few curves where I thought that might be a little fast. Thankfully there were not many cars on the road, either behind me or coming at me. I just put my flashers on and cruised along at my own pace. For the whole way, the lanes were marked no passing, so I felt bad for the cars behind me, but there was actually no where to turn out to let them pass. The scenery was incredible – big huge hills and valleys. I guess I am really in hill country.

I get to Boerne and check into the Alamo Fiesta RV Park. Another RV park (yuk) but I have full hookups. I paid for a week. There is a lot to see and do in the area.

I drove over to the local Walmart to pick up a space heater. Thought it would be a good idea to add another one into the coach so on the cold nights I don't have to use my propane. I'm telling you – it has been cold down here. Here is the space heater section of the store:

Maintenance – now my steps into the RV are not coming out. It is a long step down to the ground. I guess it is good exercise, climbing up into the RV. I looked online for solutions to my problem and the number one solution seems to be taking a hammer to the motor. Maybe I will try that tomorrow.


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