She would be at the checkpoint for two hours, so I decided to explore and take photos before we walked. That way, I wouldn't slow us down taking photos while we walked (although I did take a few on the walk).
The walk start point was on the north side of the Roy Inks Bridge by the Llano Visitor Center. What a pretty place Llano is, straddling the Llano River.
Right away it was evident that Llano is the "Deer Capital of Texas." The density of the deer in the Llano Basin is the highest in the nation (per Wikipedia). Interestingly enough, we didn't see one deer during our six-mile walk. (It was midday and rather hot which may have kept the deer in deep shade.)
But I digress, back to the beginning of our day...
The Volkssportverein Friedrichsburg Volksmarch Club hosted the walk. Thank you so much for all the work you put into organizing this event!
We had time to register for the walk before Susan's checkpoint duties, and we used the facilities at the Visitor Center. From there, we drove to the Gazebo in front of the Llano County Courthouse where the first walk checkpoint would be. Susan, as Regional Director, comes to the Volkssport events fully stocked with anything that might be needed: bottled water, brochures for upcoming events, display board, tables and chairs, and a display stand. We unloaded all the needed essentials from her van and added them to the oranges, candy, water, paper towels, cups, and napkins that were already there.
The Gazebo turned out to be a great place for a checkpoint because it was in the shade and had nice breezes blowing through it all day. That kept the temperatures cool undercover on this 91-degree March day.
|The "cool" checkpoint staffed by|
Susan Medlin and Jim Tree
|The first walker to the checkpoint|
|Llano County Courthouse - north and east sides|
|Metal art on the light poles|
This town's theme song could be "We will, we will rock you!" The reason I say this is not only due to the rockstacking competition but because Llano County is the only place on earth where you will find the Llano Uplift, a place where granite pushed its way to the surface exposing rocks all over the Llano area.
The most famous and impressive of the rocks is a pink granite batholith in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. You can climb the massive pink granite dome for views of the Texas Hill Country. But the dome isn't all there is of the granite. You see, the granite extends for 62 square miles, most of it is underground. If you have not been to Enchanted Rock, you must go there! The rock is amazing, and you can climb to the top of it. It's like climbing an 18-20-story building.
Also, if you go to Enchanted Rock in the next few weeks, you will be treated to masses of wildflowers: bluebonnets, red Indian paintbrush, Indian blankets, Pink Evening Primrose, White Prickly Poppy, and others. We were a little too early for the wildflower show. Looks like maybe 2-3 more weeks before they're at their prime.
|Historic marker for the granite industry|
|Samples of different types of local granite|
|A large rock art work|
|These may be judges|
|Roy Inks Bridge|
|Llano County Historical Museum|
|Beautiful, fragrant mountain laurel in bloom|
|1883 bell from the San Fernando Academy |
in Pontotoc, 20 miles west of Llano
The log cabin below is the oldest extant structure in Llano, built in 1860 on a land grant given in 1846. The logs are oak, with bark left on the upper and lower sides, and are fitted at the corners using the "V-notch," a method typical of German settlers of this region. Chinking consists of small stones, wood slats, mortar of lime, sand and deer hair.
|Roy Inks Bridge over the Llano River|
|Dam on the Llano River|
|Roy Inks Bridge|
|Caboose at the Visitor Center|
|Art in The Depot Garden|
|Outside Visitor's Center|
|Texas flag on deer's face, Roy Inks Bridge on|
deer's side, bluebonnets down deer's back leg
|Look closely...this deer is a barbecue!|
|A jail deer in front of the Old Jail|
|Chrissy's Homestyle Bakery|
Next door to Chrissy's Homestyle Bakery was an art gallery. The "trees" adorning the veranda have "leaves" made of fabric. The cloud in the background looks like a diving bald eagle. Speaking of bald eagles, there are bald eagles that make Llano County their winter home.
|Walkers heading into the park along the river|
|The Llano River behind the dam|
|Checkpoint at the Gazebo|
|Historic downtown Llano, Texas|
|Old Southern Hotel Building (see history below)|
|Stackable rock art in a small "park"|
|Want to know more about the|
Llano Uplift? Go to
Enchanted Rocks & Jewelry
|In memory of those who served in 1917-1918|
|Llano County WW II veteran's memorial|
|Martin in front of the courthouse|
They, too, were busy, but they acknowledged us and said to give them a minute. We did and they took our drink order and food order at the same time. We had excellent sliders for lunch. Two of their Angus Beef sliders equaled one very satisfying burger-sized lunch. Their potato salad was terrible, however. Then we were off on the walk.
|Artist working in front of a gallery|
|Murals in the alley (a band was playing at the other end)|
|Llano City Cemetery|
|Dramatic clouds put on a show for us|
|O'Henry School Building history|
|Llano Yellow Jackets water tower|
We headed back north across the Inks Bridge, walked through the park along the river, past the Visitor Center and Railroad Museum, and got our books stamped at the finish point.
|Solid line of traffic crossing the bridge in Llano|
|Overlooking the Llano Earth Art Festival (L.E.A.F.)|
|Booths at the Festival|
|Relief from 90-degree heat in the Llano River|
|Festival-goers cooling off|
|Looking over the entire festival venue|
|The historic Dabbs Hotel - last standing|
railroad hotel of the Victorian era
|Another pass past the caboose|
|Looks like pink granite|
|Two teen-age girls kayaking the Llano River|
|The path we took along the river|
|"RV Parking" (a small campground maybe?)|
|Susan with the prettiest painted deer|
we saw today
The temperature was 91 degrees and we were hot! However, the festival looked so interesting we had to explore and check out the rockstacking and rock art. Here are our photos from the festival...
|Perfect rock balancing|
|A master at sandsculpting!|
|How do they get those rocks to stay like that??|
Somehow they're all balanced just so!
|This grouping looked like birds or people|
sitting by the river
|Another fascinating balancing act|
|Being in the water is popular today!|
|So interesting how they don't fall down|
|Elaborate rock art|
|Turtle made of rocks and shells|
|Why is this not falling down?|
|2018 rockstacking champions|
|The winners - 3 guys but you can only see 2.|
|Another stack with a window|
|The one small pedestrian bridge at river level|
|More in the river|
|An elaborate array with Captain America|
We got in the car and headed for home. Dairy Queen in Comfort, Texas, was on the way and we each had a Blizzard.
My total miles for today: 10.25. "Ouch!" say my feet.
At one point, Bob thought we might go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas tonight. Nope, I could not do any more walking. We'll have to save it for another day.
When we returned to Susan's house, we watched two episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that she had recorded. We sat in recliners with our feet up! Then I headed home.
I certainly hope they make this walk a yearly event! Good job on choosing and routing this walk.