I’m getting behind on these posts. We’re seeing so much country and driving so much that I’m starting to get confused.
At the end of the last post we found a motel in San Angelo which, by the way, is where I send my wool samples for micron testing. When driving into town late that night we passed the Texas Agrilife Research Center and that’s when I realized why the name San Angelo seemed familiar. Had we had a plan I might have called ahead to see if I could come see their facility.
The map showed that it was only about 3-1/2 hours to our destination between Wimberly and Blanco. The landscape changed from the oil fields of West Texas to ag land. We drove through a lot of small towns, some of which were essentially ghost towns and some of which seemed to be keeping up. There are lots of beautiful old buildings in the downtown areas. In many of those towns that are thriving the downtowns center squares are more touristy than they would have been originally, But the cute shops and diners entice one to stop and spend some money…however we didn’t. We’re usually not that kind of tourists.I don’t have many photos. I snapped several from the moving truck, but although some of the scenery ones are passable, it was hard to get much in town when driving through.I must say that the iPhone has given me a new way to travel. We like our big map books with one book for each state. I kept that open on my lap but I continued to look up towns we passed or things listed on the map that weren’t there anymore. We garnered a lot of history that way. Here is one place at which we stopped. It turned out to be a small supply and feed store that has some wool items (sheepskins, blankets, socks), but they are not locally grown with the exception of some socks–sort of. The mohair in the socks is from Texas but the manufacturing is done in South Africa. The business also serve as a depot for area ranchers to drop off wool to be picked up by a commercial buyer.
We got to Fredericksburg, about an hour from my daughter and son-in-law’s house and planned to spend a couple of hours there so that she could finish her work day. We stopped at the National Museum of the Pacific War, a place I was aware of from a visit to the area a year ago . Why a museum about World War II and the Pacific in Texas? Fredericksburg is the birthplace of Admiral Nimitz who played a major role in the naval history of World War II. If you find yourself in this part of Texas I highly recommend this museum but you really need to allow a whole day to see it. Let me tell you up front that I am not a war buff and I am not a history buff. My eyes glaze over when I hear too many dates and places and although I get the general idea I am sorely lacking in detailed knowledge about World War II. I was fascinated and very moved by this exhibit. It is incredibly thorough, beginning with the Chinese/Japanese tensions in the 1930’s and ending with, well the end of the war and the aftermath. You go through a maze of displays that include not just artifacts, but lots of interactive exhibits, film, first-hand accounts, and photos in order of the action in the Pacific. I can do it justice in this brief description. It is very moving and a powerful presentation. We were totally immersed for over three hours and barely got through this one museum. There are five others as well as the outside area in the complex. Part way through I saw a sign above that showed concurrent events in Europe and I realized that we were seeing only the action in the Pacific and of course there was just as much going on in Europe. The depth of the horror and misery on both fronts is unimaginable. This is just another reminder (as if just driving through our fabulous country isn’t enough) of how lucky we are to live where we do and with the freedom we have. Although World War II ended long ago and most of us aren’t directly affected by war the horror is still going on for so many people in this world.
We had planned to get to Katie’s house earlier in the afternoon but were so overwhelmed by this exhibit that we were there until it closed. We were in Texas Hill Country at this point and, as we’ve seen on our whole trip, the land was lush and green from the unusual amount of rain this summer.This photo doesn’t look especially green because the field has just been baled but there is a bumper crop of hay.