It is never fun when the grandkids have to leave but we decided to make a fun day out of it by leaving earlier than usual and heading to Johnson City to take in the part of the LBJ National Park that is located there. The kids were excited about another chance to do the Junior Rangers Program. We started at the Visitor's Center in town and quickly realized that we should have allowed a lot more time. It took us quite a while to go through all the displays covering LBJ's political career. A lot of it was over a 5 and 8 year old's level. We worked on the ranger book and completed the required 6 items to earn a badge but were disappointed that we ran out of time to see the inside of Johnson's boyhood home which was just down the street. We will have to stop there another time.
The Visitor's Center closed at 5:00PM but the Johnson Settlement is open until dark so we decided that we would do that next. You can walk from the Visitor's Center or you can go a very short distance down Highway 290 and park there. This settlement was established by Lyndon Johnson's grandfather and great-uncle. They established a cattle drive headquarters in the 1860s. Their log cabin, barns, cooler house, and windmill still stand. It is a little hard to see with the shadows but this is a dog-trot cabin with an open space between the two closed areas.
We started with a look at the Texas longhorns in the corral up front.
They were interested in us too. Those horns are bigger than they look.
There is a more modern building with restrooms and more information but it was closed.
Morgan is five but she could easily read this sign.
Once we got to the main cabin, there was a button to push for an onsite history lesson which was given by none other than Lady Bird Johnson herself. There is glass across the openings in the two sides of the building so that you can see inside where it is set up just as it would have been when the original inhabitants lived there.
The kids even got to see what it would have been like to ride in a covered wagon.
We all really enjoyed the tour of Johnson Settlement so be sure to stop there if you go through Johnson City.