Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Overwhelming -- Tues., Apr. 17

Ingram & Fredericksburg, Texas:
Monday noon, April 16, we left Marathon, Texas and headed north to I-10, then east toward Sonora, Texas. We planned an easy day, had lunch at a freeway picnic area (peanut butter sandwiches and green salad).
Our overnight camp was a rest area on I-10 just west of the town of Sonora. Very peaceful. We camped in the back part of the rest area, not the side by the freeway.

Tuesday, heading east on I-10 we entered Texas Hill Country. Beautiful. Yellow wildflowers filled the center divider of the freeway. When I crossed North Llano River, two great blue herons flew up off the river. That's when I decided to take a side trip to see what all the brouhaha was about regarding South Llano River State Park. I took a six-mile side trip to the park, kitties in tow. 
Driving in, I noticed signs saying wild turkey nesting area. Bird blinds were plentiful in the park for bird-watching. At the visitor center, I checked in and asked if I needed to pay because I only wanted to drive through. (I needed to catch up to Bob.) They gave me a "Promo" pass to tour through the park. The lady who helped me was very excited because she had spotted a painted bunting that morning. There is a paddling trail on the South Llano River, a day use area and a lovely campground. I noticed most of the people in the campground were walking around with binoculars looking for or at birds.

In the short time I was there, I saw a vermilion flycatcher, a very chunky squirrel (much bigger than Oregon squirrels--it looked more like a woodchuck), and a light yellow, medium-sized bird with a long, curved beak. No one in the visitor center could figure out what kind of bird I saw. Two people with two different books were helping me. (Note: about the bird I saw earlier today at South Llano River State Park--the closest I could find to it in my Audubon Society Field Guide was a curve-billed thrasher.)

After driving the remaining miles on I-10, I took exit 488, US 27 to Ingram. Bob had called to tell me to look on the right side after the picnic area to see some oryx (or other African deer-like animals). I saw a whole herd of them lying in the lush green grass of the YO Ranch.

A bit farther along the road, I saw my first real, honest-to-goodness Texas longhorns.
How do you like them horns?

We made our way to Armadillo Junction RV park in Ingram on TX Hwy 27. It's an older park, but quiet and in the trees. The campground hostess, Maurice, is very nice and accommodating. She let us check in early so we could get the kitties settled before we headed off to Fredericksburg to see the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Admiral Nimitz Museum. Bob was about to be in history heaven. Who knew there were museums dedicated to the Pacific War and Admiral Nimitz in Texas? Well,it turns out Admiral Nimitz was from Fredericksburg, Texas. They have done his name proud with their museums.

We paid for our entrance which covers entry to three or four related museums. The entrance fee is good for 48 hours! So, into the National Museum of the Pacific War we went. Two hours later, after learning so much history about China, the Rape of Nanking, Japan, the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Guam, the Bataan Death March, we found ourselves hungry (not having had lunch) and overwhelmed. We had only covered 1/3 of one museum.

We took a break and headed out to walk the streets of Fredericksburg in search of food. The shops were cute with interesting names. Lots of food to be indulged in...especially German food as this town was settled by German immigrants. We opted for Clear River Bakery/deli.

The "Critter Cakes" top left were adorable and edible.
Bob had a Turkey Reuben sandwich, while I went for a Turkey Zinger sandwich. Bob's Turkey Reuben had a very spicy brown mustard slathered on it which was too much for him. He ended up taking a napkin and removing most of it. My Turkey Zinger was a winner. The fun ingredient was a pecan pepper jelly which gave the sandwich a sweet/tangy bite, but just the right amount. For dessert, we shared a turtle brownie.

After our late lunch, we had just enough time (1/2 hour) to go though the Admiral Nimitz Museum.
Admiral Nimitz Museum

When we finished with this museum, we took a drive around Fredericksburg to see what else we might want to do tomorrow when we come back to finish the National Museum of the Pacific War.

Last on my list for the day was a stop at the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park to walk the one-mile Nature Trail. Good stop for a quick leg stretch. My birding find of the day was a scissor-tailed flycatcher. We also drove around the municipal park campground ($30/night).
Nature trail

On the way back to Armadillo Junction RV Park it was deer o'clock, as we like to call it. We saw two herds of deer.

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