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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pedernales S.P. (Johnson City)/ LBJ. Historic Site, TX ( March 28 - April 1st) 2012

Overlook View of Pedernales Falls
Pedernales Falls was our next destination.  Here more than 20 miles of meandering trails make this park a hiker's haven in the Texas Hill Country located 32 miles west of Austin, Texas.  The beautiful falls of the Pedernales River flow over tilted stairsteps of layered limestone.  Swimming and fishing in the river can be enjoyed by water enthusiasts and we spent one afternoon enjoying the river along with Buddy. In Johnson City, we enjoyed the National Park Visitor Center and the site of LB Johnson's boyhood home.                                                                           
Up Stream Pedernales Falls
Now for the touring part.  We headed to Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, but not without stopping in Hye, Texas where Garrison Brothers Distillery the makers of Texas's Only made Bourbon was located.  Dan (the owner) and Stephanie took us on a tour of this newer established distillery and we were even allowed two samples of the very fine bourbon.  After many educational trips to Kentucky and Tennessee Dan Garrison has perfected  his recipe for a good fine smooth bourbon using rain water, wheat (grown on his farm), barley and corn.  Since this bourbon was to age 3 years in brand new oak barrels, mass distribution will be taking place in the next couple of years.  However, the local party store did sell bottles of Garrison Brother Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey of which we acquired.
LBJ Boyhood Home
Now on to the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site in Stonewall.  This was a free tour except for the Texas White House.  Back in 1971, the Johnsons donated a portion of the LBJ Ranch to the National Park Service.  However, with the stipulation that the LBJ Ranch remain a working ranch.  Here Hereford Cattle still roam the ranch and the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm demonstrates the rural life in 1900-1918 where canning, butchering, gardening, butter is churned and even lye soap is made,  Here also lies his birthplace home, a small schoolhouse where he attended his first years, and the cemetery both President Johnson and Ladybird Johnson lie, there's even a runway, LBJ's Presidential Airplane and hangar are located here.  The ranch is sprawled along the Perdenales River and is known for its wildflowers and wildlife.  Their ranch became known as the Texas White House because many Cabinet and Legislature Meetings took place on the front lawn under the 300 year old Oak Tree.  Once the business was done, BBQ dinners were served alongside the river banks in a park-like surroundings.  A very natural and tranquil setting for sure.                                                                      
Texas White House
Enjoying Wildflower Farm

   Since we were not far away from Fredericksburg  [we discovered they have the Most Beautiful Town Square we have ever seen], we had to make a stop at the Wildseed Farms, the largest working wildflower farm in the United States.  Rows of Wildflowers were grown to be harvested for seed so we saw various stages of growth.  Now we know why Bluebonnets are the Texas Wildflower -- you see them not only here but throughout Texas.  There was also a self-guided walking trail to see the colorful blooms and a market center that sold everything from seeds to salsas to clothing to gifts.
Buddy Relaxing on Texas White House Lawn  

LBJ / Lady Bird Grave-site

Garrison Brothers Distillery 

Fredericksburg Town Square


            That concludes our Perdernales Falls Area visit.


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