Natural Bridge Caverns were discovered by four college students in 1960. The Discovery Cavern is owned and operated by a private family. What makes this cavern different is that it is warm. We were told it stays about 70 degrees with 99% humidity. I was glad that I dressed accordingly. While cool outside, once we stepped inside I took off all my outwear.
We walked down a hill into our first room. It was an amazing experience. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Particulars: Cost $22 per person for Discovery Cavern; you can bundle an experience if you wish. This is walking tour where you must be able to walk down then up a fairly significant climb. Dre was our guide. He did not move very fast but you have to be able to keep up. The paths are lit.
We have two ways of finding a campsite. The method depends on whether we are in travel mode or if we plan on staying in a location for a while. I always make reservations if we plan on staying anywhere longer than a week or if we are planning on staying in a location during its ‘peak’ season.
I belong to a few clubs that give discounts – Escapees, Good Sams and Passport America. When in travel mode, I normally start looking for a place to stay about two hours into driving. We drive 200 miles per day or 4 hours, whichever comes first. I start with the Ultimate Military Campground app to see if there are any FamCamps near our intended route. If no, I switch RV Parky and look for National Forest, COE or state parks. If none, I go to Passport America and then Good Sam to see if there are any parks close to the highway with a good rate.
I start reading the reviews on RV Parky and ParkAdvisor as well as goggle the park name. I want to make sure that the reviews are consistent. If we are staying the night all that I care about is that the park has level spots and is not a drug haven.
I have taken a screen shot of the apps that I use frequently for traveling. Waze is my back up GPS. We have a Garmin RV 660LMT for our primary navigation. I am kind of old school. I like using the GPS but checking it against the map before we go. Life360 is for my family. This way they know where we are even if we cannot talk due to poor cell reception. myPilot let’s us know where we can get gas at stations with RV lanes. That is so helpful because not all gas stations are RV friendly. I love the myPilot app because you can receive $.05 off per gallon of gas when you link it with your Good Sam membership. That is super helpful when need to fill up the tank.
I have not received any funds to discuss the above products. These are my own opinions.
We decided to take a road trip deeper into the Texas Hill Country because the weather was so beautiful. We kept hearing about the beauty of the region. This area was settled by German migrants. You can see the influence in the churches, buildings and food. We started at the Visitors Center which is located at 302 E. Austin. We started there because the town is so busy. Locals know where the good stuff is located and that is where you can get a map of town. The volunteer staff there was wonderful. We remarked on how fast the speed limits are around town. The woman, who was very much my elder, stated you must drive fast in Texas otherwise you will never get anywhere. She had me in tears telling me tales of her driving adventures around the state. She was quite helpful in pointing out areas of interest around town. We had our map so we set off.
Downtown Fredericksburg is a brewery and wine tasting haven. There are numerous wineries and a few breweries that surround the town. You are allowed to walk the streets with your open containers as long as they are in plastic. You also don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. There is a shuttle that goes to some of the wineries that pick up and drop off in front of the visitor center.
While walking, make sure you see the plaques on the buildings. It will give you original history of the building. I am a history geeks so read every building that had its history outside. We walked over to the Marketplatz to see the Christmas displays.
We then made our way over to St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The original structure was built in 1846.
The Museum of the Pacific War is also in Fredericksburg. I wondered why this museum was deep in central Texas. I soon learned that Chester Nimitz was born and raised in this town. The location where he was born is still standing. While we did not visit the museum because we had other plans, it sure would have been on our list if we had planned better.
We choose instead to head out to Enchanted Rock. We used to live in Stone Mountain, GA which is home to the largest exposed granite in the United States. Enchanted Rock is the second largest so we could not miss this. It is about a 14 mile drive from downtown Fredericksburg. You cannot see it until you are almost upon it due to the hills. This is a huge difference between Enchanted Rock and Stone Mountain. Georgia is much more flat. I could see Stone Mountain from my office building in downtown Atlanta on a clear day. The color is quite pink. I apologize for the poor picture. Enchanted Rock is in rural area. The cost to enter the park is $7 per person. We only wanted to eat lunch there and move on. We did not want to pay $14 to eat our picnic lunch. So we continued on.
Next we headed for the LBJ Ranch. I did not realize that we were so close. Part of this is a state park and part is a national park. Neither park has a cost. LBJ deeded 600 acres before his death as a national park. It is still a working ranch. You have to drive slow because there are cattle and deer roaming freely around the ranch. There is a replica of home where his was born, the family cemetery and most importantly the Texas White House.
All in all it was a fun day. Have you been to this area? If so, what was your favorite part?
I want to end this year by thanking you, our readers. I am thankful for the time you take out of your busy day to drop by to keep up with our travels. Writing a blog is a labor of love. It looks easy but it takes work to come up with topics every week.
I am also thankful for my wife who came up with this crazy plan to sell our house and travel the country via RV. I would have never come up with this plan on my own. I thought I would work until I was 55. That was my goal retirement age. I was glad we could put together a sustainable plan to do this now.
I am thankful for all the people we have met on the road. We have encountered camp hosts who did more than just check us in and go back to there own home. They made us feel welcomed to the park. That made a huge difference when we first started out. We encountered folks on the road who helped us find our next campground. Meeting folks from the location you are traveling can be helpful when you never have been to that place.
I am thankful for the send off that I received from my previous employers. Those gift cards came in handy. I have just used up the last of them in December. You gave us the opportunity to eat junk food on the road.
I am also thankful to share this experience. Not everyone can leave their job and travel. I hope you enjoy our journey. I encourage you to take a journey even if it is in your own state in 2019.