Before we made our way to Jordan Ranch (the most looked forward to part of my trip), we made a few stops for some sight seeing.
Besides rolling through the country hillside, the highlights were visiting a small town called Gruene (pronounced “green”) and going on a nature walk/hike up “Enchanted Rock”.
Dusty, small, and rickety…Gruene carries some great Texas charm. It’s most well known these days for one of Texas’s oldest dance halls “Gruene Hall“, which was built in 1878.
A little more than a decade before that, German American cotton farmer Henry Gruene, established himself and the town, which, over the next hundred years developed into a small historical vacation getaway destination for some Texans. I loved Gruene because it was what I always imagined a small hill country town to be. Full of classic vintage architecture, antiques, a sweet shop, and general store. The German influence doesn’t seem to be around except in the town name and few old buildings, but it’s charming nonetheless.
I was hoping for a night of dancing at Gruene, but Bill’s leg was acting up, and it just wasn’t in the cards that night. So we enjoyed a quiet night in watching Austin on The Voice, and set out for the sights the next day.
As soon as I stepped into Gruene Hall I fell in love with the place. It was dusty, empty, and the creaky wooden floors were slanted and patched up with hold license plates. It was the perfect kind of qwirk for me. 🙂
After more antique shopping than I cared to shop for, we finally hit the road for Enchanted Rock.
Of course, anything with the word “enchanted” has me all over it to begin with. Combine that with any kind of hiking out outdoor activity and you have me sold. Enchanted Rock was one of the main attractions that was recommended to me by several people. Just 15 miles north of Fredericksberg, TX, Enchanted Rock was part of a state park, featuring the largest formation of pink granite in the United States. The dome of the rock stretches 640 acres. It’s literally a very round and very large mound of granite. Everything is Texas is bigger right?
So on any given day, you’ll see tons of hikers and climbers all over the area. It’s a short hike, being less than a mile and you only gain 800 feet. So doing it in a dress and flats didn’t seem way out of line for me. I ended putting on some pants just because it was a bit windy and cool out there.
I loved the flower and vegetation along the trail though. It was so dry it felt like a dessert.
You could also see quite a few groups of climbers throughout the park as well. I would love to have a chance that one day. It looked beautiful!
After we got some “exercise”, we were ready to get a REAL Texas meal in us! Real Texas BBQ from The Salt Lick had me giddy the whole trip. Read all about it in my Texas food blog (coming soon).