The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Winding Down in Bandera Texas

We really enjoyed our Get Together in Bandera. Diana and Nikki were the first to leave but we are so glad they made the GTG for at least several days. Georgia and Darlene had to leave on Sunday as Darlene still has to W-O-R-K so we decided on lunch in Bandera so they could join us one last time. OST (Old Spanish Trail) was our first choice since it is a unique place but it was really busy on Sunday so we headed over to the Chickin' Coop just down the street. It wasn't as good but we can have a good time anyplace when we are all together.

Martha and Pat were off early on Sunday as they had to head back to Louisiana. Next Mary Jane headed east on her way to the coast. Vicki was on her way back to San Antonio. Claudia was headed as far as Houston on her way back to Louisiana.

Betty, Birdie, and I went off to a Quilt Shoppe in Medina and had lunch at the Apple Store at Love Creek Orchards. The sandwiches were good but they couldn't hold a candle to the apple turnovers and apple streudle coffee.

Tuesday Betty, Birdie, and I all had to go our separate ways. It's always sad when the GTG ends but then we start thinking of the next one down the road. As I pulled out, I saw Sage down by the river fishing. She has a few more days before she heads off down the road.

Until next time!

Bandera TX.....Cowboy Capital of the World

Saturday we headed up the hill to downtown Bandera.....lots of stuff going on Saturday in this town. First stop was Busbee's Barbeque. I managed to snag several tables we pulled together while everyone was in line for their food. You order at a window and then they deliver to the table. I think everyone was happy with their food.

Checking out the vintage Oldsmobile.

Next stop....the Bandera Cattle Company Shootout. This group puts on a Gunfight behind the Bandera Visitor's Center every Saturday unless they have a paying gig somewhere else. It's free....donations gratefully accepted.

There are bleachers to sit on and even shade which is very welcome when it's warm. The actor's have original or recreated period costumes and put on several different skits.

The haze in this picture is from the blanks they are shooting.


Only one woman in the group. See the guy with the skunk headdress?

We were walking back to Main Street when these javelinas went by....not quietly I might add.

Our afternoon in the old west was not done yet. We all loaded up on the Conestoga wagon for a tour of the town.

The driver is a very colorful character.

Bandera is the Cowboy Capital of the World you know.....a very fun place to visit. There is no place like Bandera. When you visit the 11th Street Cowboy Bar, you might find horses, motorcycles, pickups, and cars lined up along the street.

Friday....A Fossils and Pink FlaminGoes Kind of Day

Friday we went on a brand new adventure thanks to our hostesses, Georgia and Darlene. Georgia is a retired teacher and she took us fossil hunting. We set off with claw hammers, screw drivers, spoons, and baggies and a few less than convinced sisters. Not everyone was convinced this would be fun but it was a lot of fun and everyone got into it.
 
 
We didn't have far to go. Georgia knew of a great place with very easy access. She quickly found a couple fossils and before long, everyone else was finding them too. She had given us each a two page guide to all different kinds of fossils. Everyone found several and had a really good time. There were a number of different kinds of shells and snail-like fossils. This whole area was once under the ocean milleniums ago and new fossils wash out whenever it rains.

Friday evening was Pinkie Bingo. I am definitely not a bingo player kind of woman but everyone has a good time when we play because everyone wins. We each bring a prize to donate and go home with one. Pat is our Bingo Guru and here she is getting set-up.

And here she is winning the first game!  lol    In addition to calling the numbers, she played her three cards, and helped Claudia's sister stay on top of her three cards. She plays a lot of Bingo!

Darlene won a small tool set.
 
 
 Mary Jane won a fancy jar of specialty pickles.

Birdie won a stunner of a prize.....a set of notecards with Georgia's painting on them.

Georgia was happy with her specialty pickles from a local gift shop in Bandera.

Vicki walked away with some really neat kitchen items that will get added to her RV kitchen.

One of our new members, Nikki, was thrilled with her pink flamingo items.

Diana won several items one of which was a flashing flamingo wine glass.

Claudia also won some kitchen items and a neat bag.

Obviously, I didn't get shots of everyone and their prizes but everyone had fun. On the right is Sage, one of our new members. She was at the park when we arrived and we included her in our fun. She went into town and came back with two cute little antique flamingos that she presented to the oldest and youngest members of the group. Before the GTG ended, she asked to join us. Our third new member is Betty seated between Sage and Claudia. She is a friend of Mary Jane and Birdie's.

A Trip to the Past....Camp Verde, Texas

Thursday we headed for Camp Verde.  It's a unique place. The store was first established in 1857. A flood swept away the original building around 1900. The present building is a two story stone Southern Colonial design structure. It was originally established to offer goods and services to soldiers stationed at Fort Verde a mile to the west. By the time the Army deactivated the Fort, the General Store and Post Office was an important part of the community serving pioneer ranchers in the area.

You feel like you stepped back in time when you come to Camp Verde.....it's a link to the past as well as a place for today. It has been a few years since I visited and there have been a few changes. Since 2003, changes have been happening. There is a great new patio and a new front porch. There are also outdoor tables for lunch.


Our timing was perfect as they were able to pull tables together to seat all of us. It wasn't long before the place was full. Lunch was great. Almost everyone had a take home box as the portions were huge.

After lunch, we visited the store. They have a lot to see.

The post office is along one wall under a row of cowboy hats.

Lots of cute little kitschy signs and dodads to check out as well. The smell of cookies was overwhelming in a very good way. They were baking in the back room.........mmmmmmm. 

The patio is a great place to sit around and visit in the shade. And a roaring fire would be great if it was chilly.

We'll get to the camels in a few minutes.


Remember the pioneer ranchers I mentioned. Well, there were also Indians in the area....the Penateka Comanches. That is why there was an army fort.

Camp Verde is also famous for the "Camel Experiment". In 1854, Jefferson Davis who was the Secretary of War and later became the President of the Confederacy, petitioned Congress for $30,000 for the Army to experiment with using camels for supply transport and other military purposes.  President Pierce supported him and Major Henry Wayne and Lieutenant David Porter were put in command of securing the camels from the Middle East. Thirty-three camels arrived from Egypt along with four native drivers in 1856. Forty more arrived the next year. In 1861, the Civil War was ongoing and the Fort was captured by the Confederacy. Four years later, it was recaptured by the U.S. Government and there were over 100 camels. The camels passed all their tests doing better than either mules or horses; however, the Government needed money for Reconstruction after the Civil War and the Fort was deactivated in 1869 ending the unique experiment.

A fire destroyed the buildings of Fort Camp Verde in 1910 but the courage and spirit of the Great Camel Experiment is alive and well today.

It's a beautiful area and we had a great time.



 

Let the Get Together Begin in Bandera

I pulled the 5th wheel out of storage on Friday morning because it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and Sunday. Seems like plenty of time to get ready to leave on Tuesday but then, that is only if you have no other plans in between. I had Grandkids coming for the weekend and a birthday party for Willy (see previous post). I was organized ready to roll by Monday night except for food. It just seemed easier to stop at the grocery store on the way out of town Tuesday morning so that it what I did. Then it was on to Pioneer RV Resort in Bandera, Texas. The drive was only about an hour and a half without the grocery stops.

We weren't sure exactly who was going to make it as there were a number of cancellations due to rain and flooding in other parts of Texas. The RV resort has one rental unit and it is pretty unique.

Birdie and I arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Another lady new to the group was already there. So we had dinner together in my RV. Rotisserie chicken from Costco always comes in handy. The RV park has a nice large recreation room with a kitchen which was set aside for our group beginning on Wednesday. There is a pool and a hot tub off to the left. They also have a laundry for guests.

I wasn't real thrilled when I saw the side by side utility hookups as it meant that your driver's side was right next to your neighbors driver's side but it wasn't bad at all because everyone in the park was pretty considerate and quiet. Due to concerns about the river rising, the park had moved some people on the lowest tier up to our reserved spots but they were all moved back by Wednesday afternoon.

This house was across the road from the park. Can you see the little flood gauge sign near the backdoor? Would have been a little concerning as the house sat about 10 feet higher than where my RV was parked but I think it must have come from somewhere else and was a joke. In any case, the river never rose all that much.

Pink FlaminGoes began arriving on Wednesday. Martha and Pat arrived from Louisiana having detoured north of Houston to avoid flooding. Hostess Georgia arrived along with Vicki and Mary Jane. Wednesday we were off to the 11th Street Cowboy Bar. There was some concern that we wouldn't be able to get in because there was another rally in Bandera of 140 fiberglass RVs so we planned ahead and went early. The last time we had a GTG here, we also had dinner at this place but it was really cold. It was beautiful on Wednesday. You bring your own meat and purchase a potato, salad, and roll setup when you arrive. They have three huge grills all fired up along with seasonings and utensils and you cook your own.
All lined up to get set-up and ready to have fun.

We found a table and some shade and we were ready to party.

It doesn't look crowded but the place was hopping. They had a great band, great food, and good company. What more can you ask for? 

It was a great way to kick start our GTG.

A Happy, Bittersweet Birthday

We had a birthday celebration on April 16th. Our little Willy was 13 years old. Willy was about 1 1/2 years old when we found him at the Bowie Flea Market. We were just about to leave when we noticed this little ropey weenie dog tail wagging in the back of a dog crate. There was a foofoo fluffy dog looking out the front of the small dog crate. We asked if we could see the dachsie and out came Willy. He was rather stinky but he definitely needed to be rescued. About three weeks before, the Wichita Falls newspaper had an article warning people to keep an eye on their small dogs when they were outside as there was a rash of small dog theft going on. They were being stolen to be bait dogs. The guy that had Willy claimed he was selling him for his neighbor who had two big dogs. Supposedly the neighbor said Willy was knocking over her lamps when she wasn't home.....hmmmm, little dog or big dog knocking over lamps. Anyway, we told the guy we only had $20 left and we wanted the stinky little red dog. He said okay and the rescue was on. We wrapped the little guy up and took him home. We already had three female dachsies at home but we knew that if the new little guy didn't get along, we had other friends who would be thrilled to have him. He got a bath as soon as we got home, the girls (Ginger, Heidi, and Gretchen) looked him over, Ginger told him she was the pack leader, he said fine with me and he had himself a new home.


The reason this birthday is bittersweet is that April 16th was really Gretchen's birthday but she decided to share it with Willy when the vet said he was about the same age as Gretchen. You may remember that we lost our beautiful Gretchen in January but I'm sure she was looking on during the birthday celebration and I know we were all thinking of her too.

Willy was named after Willy Davidson......we have a Harley Davidson too.

Happy Birthday Willy and Gretchen. We love you both.

Wild About Wildflowers

The wildflowers are beautiful this year....and I decided that I needed to get out and look for some more. It was drizzling a bit but the weatherman said it was supposed to clear up so I decided to take a chance. I packed up the Traveling Longdogs and off we went. The medians along Hwy 281 have some beautiful color.

This lovely dog trot cabin is right by the LBJ State and National Park o Hwy 290.


My next stop was the Wildseed Farms just outside Fredericksburg.


You can shop for gardening items, views all kinds of wildflowers, find gifts, try and buy wine, visit a butterfly garden....all right here.

The poppies were stunning this year.

In addition to the fields of wildflowers, there are beds of flowers on the grounds.





The bluebonnets and poppies seem to get along well.

Red and yellow poppies are bright and beautiful.



It's impossible to be unhappy or sad around such beauty.





 

We walked all over the Wildflower Farms (dogs are welcome). Then we headed on towards Fredericksburg. Even Willy was admiring the view.

I didn't take many pictures in town but got one shot of this well known restaurant.

This lovely field of flowers is on the south end of Johnson City on Hwy 281.




The Bluebonnet House is on Hwy 281 just north of Marble Falls. It's been vacant for years but is such a beautiful site.

Last shot is a beautiful field of Indian Paintbrush along Hwy 46 between Hwy 3009 and Hwy 311.

Wonderful wildflowers and springtime in Texas....a heady combination!