Visiting Texas - Part 3

Here is one more post from my short Texas visit. The previous post was here.

My daughter is a federal employee and isn’t working right now. She has to pay for daycare and Pre-K school whether she is working or not so we decided to do something together without kids. She and I played tourist and went to Fredericksburg.


The first stop was Fort Martin Scott, one of seven forts established in the Texas Hill Country in the late 1840’s to protect travelers and settlers.


There was a volunteer at the Fort waiting for a partner who was to train him. That person never showed up so we couldn’t go in any of the buildings but we had a personal tour by the volunteer, dressed in his official military costume. He told us that of the 21 buildings on this site and of all the other forts this guardhouse is the only original building left. It is made of limestone and has been restored to its original design.


Our next stop was the Pioneer Museum, a collection of ten building on 3.5 acres in Fredericksburg, one of the original German settlements in Texas. It is fascinating to see these original buildings, read the stories about them, and see some of this magnificent furniture. There are also audio tapes triggered by movement as you enter the buildings. That is fun until you unintentionally continue to trigger the audio. We learned to move in quickly and then try to avoid the area. I can’t read the signs while the unseen voices are talking.


I thought the barbed wire collection was interesting.


I noticed the relationship to spinning here. The labels say that the first wire below the net fence has a left twist and the next one has a right twist. The second one from the bottom says “large line straight, small line twisted around large line” and the one below that has a right twist.


I also noticed this sheep hook. This would have been used to grab a leg.


This is an original “tiny house”. It is actually called a Sunday House. Sunday Houses were ”small townhouses built by German settlers who lived in distant rural areas. Used over the weekends by families while they traded or attended church. A typical early Sunday house had one room with a lean-to kitchen and a half story above which was reached by outside stairway or ladder. Built during the 1890’s - 1920’s…Some of the larger ones made comfortable retirement homes for elderly German farmers.”

After our tour of the fort and museum we found a place for lunch in Fredericksburg and then found Artisans, a gallery of Texas artists.


Of the many gorgeous art pieces there I think I was struck most by the unique art work by Carlos Moseley of Fredericksburg.


He uses “slate, flint, riverstone and more” to create these pieces.


“Back at the ranch” as they say…Kirby takes the bus after school and is dropped off at the ranch, the property where her dad’s well-drilling business is located. We met the bus to pick her up. That is also where the horses live. This is Libby, the horse Katie got about 16 (17?) years ago. Libby followed Katie to Cal Poly, then to Texas, spent a few years in Vermont, and back to Texas.

This was the first day I was visiting and now I’m skipping to the last day. My flight was late in the day, Kirby had school but we took Kasen to the zoo in Austin on the way to the airport.


He didn’t seem to care about the peacocks that were strutting all around us.


At first he was intimidated by the snakes, but it was warm in the reptile house and cold outside, so we persevered.


The Austin zoo’s site says: “We currently have over 300 animals, representing more than 100 different species. Our animal collection includes animals from other facilities that are being retired due to age, health or other issues; animals that were seized in animal cruelty cases; retired laboratory research animals; and individuals’ exotic pets they needed to rehome due to changes in the owner’s lifestyle or the inability to provide appropriate care for these pets.” There are the animals’ stories posted in front of each enclosure. What are people thinking when they buy baby alligators, etc?


Kasen would have been happy to spend the day at a construction site. He found every tractor on the site and we walked past lions and tigers to see men working with power tools while building a new enclosure.

We ate a late lunch, got the airport and I landed in California about 10 p.m.