Texas Backroads

We spent the day driving back roads and slowly getting away from everything. It was great.

We made our way to Shiner, Texas and set up camp at a city park.  A sign instructed us to call the city police department and an officer would come collect a camping fee, but the town’s only officer on duty was busy. We fully expected an officer to tap on our window with a  flashlight at some point during the night, but no one showed. Free camping!

The park still had their Christmas lights up and we had the displays all to ourselves. It was a little eerie, but we had a stroll around the park and enjoyed the small town festive light display. The temperature dropped rapidly as soon as it got dark, the wind picked up and the rain started. Good camping weather. We could even hear cows mooing.

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Our friend Mear donated some travel games from his childhood when we visited in Austin – some of my old favorites – and it was time to introduce Bode to Othello. “A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.”

The next morning we headed to the Spoetzl Brewery for the Shiner beer tour. After 100 years, they still make the best bock beer in the U.S.  Shiner Bock is pretty much a staple in Texas –  everyone drinks it, but the locals in Shiner prefer the Blonde Ale.  It’s always been brewed right here in Shiner, and you can get it in 41 US states (and Mexico), so pick some up and give it a taste.  It’s good.

It’s a big factory, so Bode was impressed. They also gave him lemonade during our tasting, so he gave the tour a thumbs up.

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2 thoughts on “Texas Backroads

  • January 5, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Hi, I’ve been a lurker since your article in the Alameda Sun (or was it the Journal?) and love following your travels. My husband and I were driving up Baja on the 2nd and having not seen your blog since before xmas, I kept looking for Red Beard going in the other direction. Now that we’re home I see you have not hit Baja yet. But thanks, you kept me a little more alert and awake checking out all the cars we passed. 🙂 Happy travels and thanks for keeping me day dreaming a little while at work!

    Oh and a little info on driving into Mexico:
    Buy your insurance before you get there (AAA can do it online instantly)

    When entering, go through the “declarations” line and park. Find the little office that sells tourist cards and fill out the paperwork. They then send you a few offices down to the bank to pay the fee – $23 per person cash only. Then go back and get your paperwork and passports stamped. The military checkpoints will ask four your tourist card at times.

    Register your car – we didn’t have to do this one since we were not leaving Baja. But from what I know, you need to register your car with the government and give them a credit card. They then charge approximately $200 to your card. When you leave Mexico you un-register your car at a government office and they refund the $200. (Sorry I don’t know more about this one….)

    Have fun and don’t drive at night! (Cows on the road.)

  • January 7, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Thanks for the advice! We thought we’d be in Baja by now, too! We just drove through the “Arctic Blast” in Texas, and I wish I was in Mexico now! Hope you had fun.

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