Tag Archives: Texas

Visiting Luckenbach Texas

We left our campsite at Pedernales State Park at about 10am and had about an hour to drive to our next stop, which was Luckenbach, Texas. On our way we ended up coming across the quaint little town of Johnson City so we decided to make a pit stop. We grabbed some coffee at the Black Spur Coffee Shop and chatted a bit with the friendly owner who ended up being a California transplant.

Johnson City

We got back on the road and headed west through the beautiful Texas Hill Country.  On our way we passed many wineries and vineyards (I never knew they were so abundant in Texas).  Heading west on Highway 290 we finally came across the small, easily passable sign that read “Luckenbach Road.”  Well, we actually did pass it so we had to make a u-turn on Highway 290 and then we headed down the little two-laned road which finally led us into Luckenbach.

Luckenbach Road

For those who don’t know, Luckenbach is a small town in Texas which primarily consists of just a gift shop, a bar, and a dance hall.  There is also an outdoor stage for live music as well as various sitting areas.  What really put Luckenbach on the map was when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded an album there called “Viva Terlingua,” and later when Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson recorded a song simply called “Luckenbach, Texas.”  The town sports a rustic ghost town feel where people gather to play music, listen to music, and drink beer.

Luckenbach

Of course all of this sounded amazing to me so while we drove into this small little town in the dirt road under the old towering trees I felt like I was entering a dream.  We could see cowboys handling a longhorn, people were walking around with beers, the chickens were roaming around and the roosters were crowing.  We rolled in only a little past noon and there was already a handful of people there; probably an equal mix of bikers, locals, and tourists. We meandered into the gift shop and looked around and found one of the local cats sleeping in a bucket of souvenir shirts.

Luckenbach Cat

It didn’t take long to check out the area, so I finally grabbed a beer at the bar and took a seat outside to enjoy the surrounding.

Luckenbach Outdoor Stage

Not long after sitting down a man walked out with a guitar, sat down outside the bar, and started playing some old country songs.  Some songs were originals but most were covers which I enjoyed, especially while hanging out in Luckenback with a cold one in my hand. Since the songs were good I decided to record one and ended up catching this rendition of “Coyotes” which was made popular by Don Edwards (not sure who the guy in the video is):

After having my fill of beer, music, and a little cowboy poetry, we were about to leave when I realized you could get a picture on the longhorn we had seen when were first driving in. Of course this was happening.

Longhorn in Luckenbach

I must say I was saddened to have to leave the little town, but it was Friday, and we wanted to get back into Austin and check into our hotel, get dinner, and experience the nightlife there. If you ask me though, I’d bet a night in Luckenback would beat a night out in downtown Austin any time.

Camping at Pedernales Falls State Park

After flying into Austin-Bergstrom and picking up our trusty rental car we made our way into the city for lunch at Mr. Natural which is a vegetarian store and restaurant on E. Cesar Chavez Street.  We ordered a couple of their sandwiches which were good, but it seemed that most people were there for the lunch buffet.  We finished lunch and made our way more into downtown Austin to stop at REI for some camping fuel and Whole Foods for some dinner and breakfast items.

Austin

I also had to check out the walk-in beer fridge where you could build your own 6-pack, so I created my very own “local roundup” of Texas brews. Among them were a Shiner Black Lager, Shiner Farmhouse Ale, Austin Amber, Independence Pale Ale, Alamo Golden Ale, and Real Ale Brewhouse Brown.

Local Texas Beer Roundup

Whole Foods was even kind enough to supply some free ice to keep them cold!  With supplies all loaded up we headed out to Pedernales Falls State Park, which was about a 45 minute drive out of the city.

Pedernales Falls

The drive through the green Texas countryside was beautiful despite the weather being totally overcast. When we arrived at the ranger station to check in they let us pick out our own camp spot, rather than just assigning us one, which I thought was nice.  With a recommendation from one of the rangers, we chose camp #36 which was near one of the trails that led down to the river.

Pedernales Falls Site 36

Before setting up camp we decided to drive down to where the falls were and check out that area.  From the parking area there is a short hike to an outlook over Pedernales Falls and the river.

Pedernales Falls Pano

Pedernales Falls

The river seemed to be a little low, but it was still a very scenic area. We explored down in the rocks and near the water for a while and then headed back to camp.

Pedernales

Pedernales River

Back at our campsite, we got everything set up and then decided to go down the trail that was right next to us before it got too late.  At the time, we weren’t even really sure where the trail led to but it seemed worth checking out since I had overheard some other campers talking about something they saw down there. 

Trail

We followed it down to a part of the river which was further downstream from the falls we had just visited.  The trail followed the river downstream for a little bit and then came to an area called “Trammel Crossing” where it was shallow enough to wade across to the other side, however we did not feel in the mood for wading so we headed back to camp.  On our way back we came across a family of deer that were out for their evening snacks in the foliage and I realized that this was what I had heard the other campers talking about.

Deer

Back at camp we made our dinner which consisted of the soup and biscuits we had bought at Whole Foods earlier.  Not very extravagant, but it was a quick and simple meal to prepare and eat.

Soup

Somehow we were able to stay up somewhat late despite running on only 3 hours of sleep from the night before, but this made it easy for us to fall asleep. In the morning we awoke to the sound of raindrops on our tent, but luckily it was not a heavy rain, and it let up eventually so we were able to get out, make breakfast, dry the tent out, and pack up.  Then we were off to Luckenbach!

More pictures from this trip can be found here.