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Dining • Lodging • Events T hings to Do & More in Concan, Camp Wood, Leakey, Rio Frio, Utopia, Uvalde & Vanderpool

Welcome to the

Hill Country River Region

Paradise & Adventure... closer than you think!

Rio Frio Lodging

LeAnn & Anthony Sharp


Hill Country Nature Center Nature/Hike/ Bike Trail, Birding & Big Tree Tours plus Campfire Storytelling


Host of April 15,16,17 & April 29,30 & May 1, 2016

Birding, Bats, Butterflies, Native Plants, Champion Trees, Natural History & Storytelling! Plus Fall Tours; watch for them on web site at

UVALDE COUNTY. In Uvalde County, the river is king…and queen and jack, if you’re counting all three. Pick whichever one you like, tie up your inner tubes, and get ready to float the day away under the bright blue Hill Country sky. Visiting in the off-season? As the most visited park in Texas, the chalk cliffs of Garner State Park and the downright beautiful trees of Lost Maples State Park are a destination all their own in autumn. Miles of hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, boating, and fishing make Uvalde County the perfect getaway any time of year. Just be careful—after a few nights kicking back in our neck of the woods, you might never want to leave.

Texas Hill Country River Region 21170 HWY127 | Concan, TX 78838 | 1.830.232.4310

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


H Hill Country River Region

Kenzie, Luke and Julie

John, Melissa and Sam

Julie Spell Harrington

Publisher/Advertising • 512-484-9716

Melissa Maxwell Ball

Editor/Design • 512-569-8212

Welcome to the 6th Annual

Hill Country River Region published by

The Hill Country Sun

Celebrating Our 26th Anniversary 1990-2016

Contents copyright ©2016. Reproduction of any portion of this publication in any form requires written permission of the publisher Front Cover Photo courtesy River Bluff Cabins. Like us on Facebook /HillCountrySun

Crawlinks Texas Cajun Sausage Co.................................................... 4 Doug Shoemaker Frio Canyon Real Estate............................................... 4 Frio Bat Flight See millions of bats emerge.............................................. 4 Garven Store Texas Jerky, Supplies & Much More................................... 7 Lockhart Real Estate Farm, Ranch, Hunting, Recreational...................... 7 Map of Hill Country River Region....................................................... 6 My Stompin’ Grounds Books by Lora B. Davis Garrison . ...................... 47 REMAX Real Properties AJ Harwood, Real Estate Broker, Atty............... 50 Uvalde County Texas . .......................................................................... 3

H Rio Frio

PAGE 5, 8-9

Bluebird Hill & Star Suite Secluded Getaway with Pool......................... 8 Hill Country Nature Center, Hill Country Nature Tours................ 2 Rio Bella Resort Cabins, Vacation Home on the Frio River....................... 9 Rio Frio Lodging Vacation Rentals........................................................... 2 Rio Run Villas Fully Furnished Townhomes.............................................. 8 River Bluff Cabins Cabins on the Frio River............................................. 5

H Leakey

PAGES 10-18

BBG Bakery Baked Goods...................................................................... 10 Bear’s Market & Specialty Meats Produce, Meats, Fuel..................... 11 Bent Rim Grill Burgers & More............................................................... 18 Buckhorn Bar & Grill Live entertainment, food, more........................... 17 Catahoula Woodworks Gifts & Home Decor........................................ 16 Cypress Frio Waters Cabins on Frio River.............................................. 18 Frio Canyon Real Estate Shawn Streib Gray, Broker/Owner................ 13 Frio Canyon Rentals Lodging............................................................... 15 High Places Realty Mary Kay Windham, Broker..................................... 15 Leakey Liquors Beer, Wine, Liquor........................................................ 18 Leakey Mercantile Groceries, Produce, Meats, Camping Supplies.......... 14 Leakey Springs Cabins Waterfront Cabins & Group Lodge................... 11 Oak Hill Cabins Cabins with Beautiful Views.......................................... 15 Panjo’s Pizza, Burger, Wings on the Banks of the Frio River...................... 14 Pioneer Real Estate Shirley Shandley, Broker/Owner............................ 12 River Haven Cabins on the Frio.............................................................. 13 Septic Systems Services Septic Systems, Backhoe Work........................ 14

March thru September 888-502-9387

Doug Shoemaker Sausage made from Crawfish & Pork

Specializing in

Purchase online at

Investment Properties Ranches • Homes • Tracts

or at The Mercantile in Leakey or for larger quantities, call the ranch! 1-877-GO-CAJUN • Ranch 830-232-4424

CELL 830-279-9946 4

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

In the Frio Canyon & Surrounding Areas • 830.279.4950

H Leakey

(cont.) PAGES 10-18

The Friends Grill Homemade Cooking, Daily Specials............................ 10 The Wash Barn Laundromat.................................................................. 18 Vinny’s Pizzeria Pizza, Calzones, Salads, Spaghetti & More..................... 17

H Concan

PAGES 4, 19-32, 51

Andy’s on River Road Tubing, Shuttle, Cabins, RV Sites, Gifts, Store.......... 19 Bec’s Store & RV Park RV Park, Cabins, Store........................................ 22 Bonnie’s Bakery Fresh baked goods...................................................... 29 Camp River View Cabins, RV Sites, Tent Sites on Frio............................. 23 Casa Rio River frontage home, near-river cottage..................................... 32 Concan General Store Fuel, Meats, Pizza, Firewood, Tubes, More......... 51 Concan Pies Baked Goods...................................................................... 30 Crider’s on the Frio Cabins on the Frio................................................. 29 Elm Creek Stables Trail Rides, Pony Rides, Gift Shop............................... 25 Frio Country Resort Riverfront Cabins, Homes, RV Spots....................... 21 Frio’s Dry 50 River Gear, Gifts, More ...................................................... 28 Frio Family Getaway Cabin Rentals...................................................... 23 Frio Fergie’s River Co. River Gear, T-Shirts, Flip Flops............................ 27 Frio Fried Chicken at Concan General Store.......................................... 51 Frio River Realty Larry Roberts, Owner/Broker, Homes, Ranches .......... 20 Frio River Vacation Rentals Cabins, Homes........................................ 20 Golf Club of Texas - Concan 18-Hole Championship Course............... 32 House Pasture Cattle Co. Dining, Live Texas Music.............................. 24 Loca on the Frio Boutique Gifts, Jewelry, Decor, Clothing.................. 29 Nana’s RV Park Frio Riverfront Park........................................................ 26 Neal’s Dining Room Home Cooking..................................................... 26 Parkview Riverside RV Park Frio Riverfront, Groceries, Gift Shop.............. 25 Rio Frio Fest Texas-style Spring Break Music Fest on the Frio River........... 32 River Oaks Resort Homes and Cabins................................................... 21 River Rim Resort Cabins, RV Sites on the Frio River................... Back Cover River Bluff Realty Real Estate................................................................ 31 Seven Bluff Cabins Cabins, RV Spaces................................................... 27

H Utopia/Vanderpool

PAGES 33-37

A Peace of Heaven Cabins & RV........................................................... 37 Four Sisters Ranch Cabin Secluded Vacation Cabin............................. 34 Foxfire Cabins Log Cabins on the Sabinal River...................................... 34 Lone Star Motorcycle Museum........................................................... 35 Lost Maples Cafe Home Cooking.......................................................... 36 Lost Maples Country Store Groceries, Gas, Grill, BBQ......................... 37 Main Street Utopia Antiques, Gifts........................................................ 33 Sabinal River Lodge Log cabin lodge................................................... 36 The Laurel Tree Fine dining................................................................... 33 The Lodges of Lost Maples Vacation Cabins ...................................... 35 Utopia Golf 9-Hole Golf Course.............................................................. 33 Utopia River Retreat Main house, 6 cabins with riverfront.................... 37 Utopia information online.......................................... 35

H Camp Wood

PAGES 38-42, 51

Bear Creek Fudge & Chocolate Ice Cream, Soda Fountain, Jukebox................ 40 Corner Store Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor Burgers, More........... 39 Madame Butterfly Ristorante Italiano Italian Dining........................ 39 Marilyn’s Jewelry, Quilts, Knives, Cowhides & Western Decor.................. 41 Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce Annual Events.................... 42 Rushin’ Tea Room & Coffee Bar Coffee, Tea, Sandwiches, Pastries..... 39 Rushin’ Tea Rummage Antiques & Vintage Items.................................. 39 Suzie Q’s Quilting Supplies....................................................................... 51 Valley Ranch Retreat, Woodbine Inn & Mill Wheel on the Nueces Guest Cottages Lodging.................... 51

H Bandera

PAGES 43-44

Bandera Riverfest June 25.................................................................... 43 Celebrate Bandera Labor Day Weekend................................................ 44 Mayhem on the Medina April 9-10...................................................... 43

H Uvalde

PAGES 45-49

Amy’s Attic Gifts, Home Decor, Jewelry.................................................. 45 First State Bank of Uvalde 24/7 ATMS in Camp Wood, Leakey, Sabinal and Utopia............................ 49 My Sister’s House Repurposed, Vintage, Retro, Antique Shopping......... 49 The Local Fix Coffee Shop & Cafe Daily Specials, WiFi....................... 49 Uvalde County Fairplex Event Venue & Indoor Arena.......................... 46 Uvalde Memorial Hospital ................................................................. 48

389 Cooper Mountain Rd. Rio Frio, TX 78879 830-232-5775

River Bluff Cabins Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

The Three Sisters, ride not to be missed


By Tom Wiley

lthough the list of Hill Country roads is long, many motorcyclists claim The Three Sisters as their favorite ride.

This trio of Ranch Roads—337, 336, and 335— is located in the southern portion of the Edwards Plateau. Whether you travel on two wheels or four, you

should make it a point to get out and experience this amazing drive. As Ranch Road 337 departs Medina, it becomes a roller coaster ride. Shallow creeks tell long-forgotten tales of times when they carved through nowexposed limestone bluffs. Stately ranch houses

cling to mountain tops, commanding some of the best views in Texas. The hills become dotted with maple trees as the road approaches Vanderpool. These and other deciduous trees make nearby Lost Maples State Natural Area a “must see” destination in the fall. See RIDE, page 9

At the intersection of Highways 83 & 41

Beautiful views such as this, above, make The Three Sisters a beloved Hill Country ride. Photo by Tom Wiley.

Buck Home of Billy and the 830-640-3235 •

3 MILE RANCH 3,525 Acres

This super, turn-key South Texas hunting ranch is bordered by three miles of the beautiful, clear Nueces River.

The gate is open - come take a look. • Two-story lodge • Imported whitetail genetics • 12 ponds & 6 water wells • Owned minerals convey • Game fenced • Barns, pens, feeders & blinds • Ag use tax value • $10,000,000.00

Poquito Grande Ranch Kinney County 874 Acs • $1,487/ac

Flat Rock Ranch Edwards County 2000 acs • $10,000,000 Live Water

Tom Williams Ranch Edwards County 48 acs • $563,000 Live Water

Shoe Peg Mountain Ranch Uvalde County 191 acs • $2,252/ac

Morgan Ranch Edwards County 1,239 acs • $1,450/ac

Nueces River Ranch Edwards County 1,285 acs • $2,719/ac Live Water

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



River Run Villas Fully furnished townhomes Pool • WiFi • TV/VCR/DVD


6641 RR 1120 • Rio Frio, Texas

Perched off the Frio River and located conveniently between Garner State Park & Leakey

210-288-1971 • Find Us on

/River Run Villas

Bluebird Hill

Right, Top/Bottom: Photos by LeAnn Sharp; Left: Photo by Julie Harrington.

Rio Frio’s Landmark Oak

& Star Suite

Secluded Getaway on 250-acre Ranch

Private Pool • Hot Tub • Star Gazing Birdwatching • Nature Trails Hiking & Mountain Biking Fireplace • Campfire Wi-Fi • TV Volleyball • Play Area for Kids A Ranch Wedding Destination Sleeps Up to 17!

Rio Frio Lodging

5 minutes to Garner State Park • 25 minutes to Lost Maples SNA



Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Rio Frio’s Landmark Oak. Photo by Melissa Maxwell Ball. RIO FRIO H The Rio Frio Landmark Oak, State Champion (Texas Escarpment Live Oak Tree 1988) stands on the east side of the Frio River on Farm Road 1120. According to the marker at the site, the “mighty oak served the early settlers as a social, religious, educational and political gathering place. During the early 1870’s, a school house was built just west of the tree. It was constructed of native Cypress lumber and its walls were filled with caliche. Between 1880-1891, N.M.C. Patterson laid out the town of Rio Frio using the tree and schoolhouse mountain to the east as bearing points.”

RIDE, from page 7 The highway makes a long, steep climb out of Vanderpool. For the next few miles, the road narrows and weaves through sheer canyon cuts, offering slow curves with dramatic drop-offs to the valleys below.This is the “real” Texas Hill Country. The approach to Leakey crosses the Frio River. Motorcyclists congregate at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop and Bent Rim Grill, but the hangout is open to all visitors. Some travelers may turn south in Leakey on US Highway 83, toward Garner State Park and Concan. North of the courthouse in Leakey, Ranch Road 336 splits off and parallels the upper Frio River. This

beautiful road makes sharp curves and steep mountain climbs before breaking onto a dry plateau near its terminus with Texas Highway 41. A favorite stop in the area is the Garven Store,

just north of Highway 41 on US 83. There, you can load up on several varieties of jerky; sample one of their homerecipe sausage wraps; or sit out on the deck with a cold beverage. You can continue on Ranch Road 337 west from Leakey towards the small communities of Camp Wood and Barksdale. From Barksdale, Ranch Road 335 travels 30 miles north, tracing an upper arm of the Nueces River. This

route sees little traffic and, yet, offers some incredible views before also “T-ing” into Highway 41. Hill Country travelers who have never visited this part of the state are always amazed at the scenery they have been missing. The remoteness of this area makes the winding roads and distant vistas even more special. Other highways tap into The Three Sisters and provide access to Bandera, Utopia, Concan, Rocksprings, and other popular tourist destinations. B&Bs, country cabins, and quaint inns provide opportunities to escape the work week and dangle toes in chilled s t re a m s o r h i k e h i l l s

The Frio River at Magers Crossing. Photo by Julie Harrington. teeming with wildlife. And if the question comes up about where to eat, just follow the motorcycles.


A family-owned resort on the beautiful Frio River • Opened June 2015 • Newly renovated home • Brand new cabins

Tubing • Kayaking • Swimming 3 miles from Leakey 6 miles from Garner State Park 13 miles from The Club at Concan All rentals overlook the Frio river

• 1,200+ feet of private river frontage including shallow water, rapids and waterfall


3088 Ranch Rd 1120 Rio Frio, TX 78879 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Get out, enjoy nature in River Region


hen you’re out and about, be sure the Hill Country Nature Center (located on Farm Market 1050, 10 miles west of Utopia, 5 miles east of Garner State Park) is on your go-to list.

Here, you’ll find animal, bird, bat, butterfly and insect displays highlighting the natural attractions of the Hill Country River Region. You can even see the happenings inside a bluebird nestbox, thanks to


BBG’s Bakery a’s

Baked G




r ba


Banana Nut Bread Kolaches • Turnovers


Cakes • Pies

Call for special orders You’ll also find our goodies at

The Leakey MercanTiLe!

830-232-5703 830-261-0104

279 Mountain Street in Leakey

Baby bluebirds in the nestbox at Hill Country Nature Center. Photo by LeAnn Sharp. some nifty technology. And perhaps best of all, you’ll find the knowledgeable and friendly LeAnn Sharp, founder of the Hill Country Nature Center,

who makes it her mission to expose the natural wonders of the area to guests and locals alike. Hill Country Nature See NATURE, page 11

Find Us on

The Friend’s Grill


Great Food H Great Atmosphere Daily Specials H Catering Outside Dining Available Join Us On Our New Patio! Steaks • Chicken Fried Steak • Catfish • Salads Meatloaf • Burgers • Homemade Desserts • Wi-Fi Pre-Made Casseroles • Custom Orders We Serve Tootie Pies! Apple, Lemon Velvet, Key Lime, Pecan, Chocolate, Chocolate Pecan, Coconut and Buttermilk Call ahead for hours as times may vary by season. 153 Hwy. 83 South (across from Real County Courthouse) • Leakey, TX • 830-232-6301 10 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

NATURE, from page 10

looking for a laundromat? Nueces Co Washateria in Camp Wood • Hwy 55 South of Downtown

The Wash Barn

1256 S. US Hwy 83 • 830-232-5690

Neal’s Laundromat

in Concan • 20970 Hwy 127 • 830-232-6118 LEAKEY

Leakey SpringS CabinS

LeAnn Sharp at Hill Country Nature Center. Photo courtesy LeAnn Sharp. Center serves as the headquarters for the annual Nature Quest event, this year the weekends of April 15-17 and April 29 - May 1. A unique learning oppor-

tunity, Nature Quest allows participants to choose from a host of hands-on field trips, workshops, Nature by Kayak adventures and See NATURE, page 13

Waterfront Cabins Family Cabins Waterfront Group Lodge

Margie Sutherland, Manager


EAT Well!

Grill Big!

BBQ, Specialty Meats, Prepared Foods, Fresh Produce, Beer/Wine, Picnic, Gifts, Fuel, Deer Corn/Feed, Hunting/Fishing License, Cold Storage

830-232-5559 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


RIVER DELIGHTS Two ways to spell the word “ F R I O . ” Top: Photo by Nancy Feely, River Rim Resort. Bottom: Photo by Mark Lord.

Step back in time at Real County museum LEAKEY H Get a glimpse of pioneer life at the Real County Historical Museum. You’ll find a replicated log-cabin parlor, kitchen and bedroom, furnished with pieces donated by locals. See an ornate 1880s horse-drawn hearse pulled in local parades and local stone dartpoints from prehistoric Native Americans. A former blacksmith shop (adjacent to the museum) houses ranch relics and there are outdoor exhibits of farm implements, a log corn crib and jail cells from the 1910s.

An 1880s horse drawn hearse is among displays at the Real County Museum. Photo courtesy Real County Museum. FYI • The Historical Museum is located 1/2 block north of the Real County Courthouse on Evergreen Street in Downtown Leakey, open Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm (March through the first two weekends in December). The museum is closed during January and February. For more information, visit the web site at www.


Pioneer Real Estate “We hit the trail for you.”

Shirley Shandley, Owner/Broker 698 S. Highway 83 • Leakey, Texas

830-232-6422 12 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


NATURE, from page 11

Frio Canyon Real Estate

Shawn Streib Gray, Owner/Broker 102 West Ranch Rd. 337 • Leakey, Texas

830.232.4500 EscapE to LEakEy

Enjoy Rest & Relaxation at

In addition to swimming, tubing and fishing, the Hill Country River Region is a perfect setting for hiking, biking and more. Here, a trail at Indian Blanket Ranch. Photo courtesy LeAnn Sharp.

RiveR Haven

on 6.5 acres overlooking the Frio River (Rio Frio) Log Cabins with River Views Lodge Available for

Reunions • Weddings • Meetings

other programs presented by the experts. Fall workshops are also planned, so check the web site for details. LeAnn and her husband, Anthony, also own and operate Rio Frio Lodging and Hill Country Adventures, providing plenty for visitors to see and do. Nature trails at Indian Blanket Ranch (adjacent to the Nature Center) cut through the valleys and hills providing a beautiful path for hiking, jogging and mountain biking.  Explore the Bluebird Trail — 30 nestboxes and six viewing stations with benches where you can see small cavity nesters including Eastern Bluebirds, Black-crested Titmouse, Bewick’s Wren, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Carolina Chickadee with nests, eggs or baby birds.

Tours are available March through June — make arrangements with LeAnn. And there’s plenty more spectacular birdwatching on the ranch — you just might see a Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Vermillion Flycatcher, Zonetailed Hawk, Hummer and more. Bring your camera— photo opportunities abound. FYI • Find complete details about Nature Quest on the web site at For more information about the Hill Country Nature Center and nature tours—including Bluebird Nestbox Trail, Hiking and Biking, Big Tree Tours and the Frio Bat Flight— offered through Hill Country Adventures, visit the web site at LeAnn and Anthony Sharp also provide lodging services through Rio Frio Lodging (www.friolodging. com). For more information, visit the web sites or call 830-966-2320.

Managers: Sandy & Margie Sutherland • 830-232-5400 • 866-232-5400 (toll free)



Top Left & Right: Photos courtesy River Bluff Cabins. Bottom Left & Right Photos by Doug Shearer.

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016





Burgers & Wings with an ice cold beer on the banks of the beautiful Frio River.

(830) 232-5022 at the Frio Pecan Farm Pavilion

144 Red Wright Rd Hwy 337 E in Leakey


Groceries • Fresh Produce • Camping Supplies • Beer/Wine Meat Market We make fresh ground beef daily!

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK ‘TIL 8PM Highway 83 & 337 in Leakey, Texas

830-232-6299 •

(830) 275-3864 John Hutchings Septic Systems Services Leakey, Texas

All phases of Septic Systems and Backhoe Work

HUB Certified 14 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Grannie’s Old Pickup By Lora B. Davis Garrison


rannie’s pickup truck was a genuine ranch vehicle, purchased new in 1956 by my Daddy who was at that time serving as Uvalde County Judge. Daddy always drove the pickup around the ranch on weekends while tending to his registered goats. He hauled feed to the ranch and Angoras to goat shows at Rocksprings, Uvalde and Kerrville. Oh, this 1956 Ford pickup had a glorious past. After Daddy was gone, the pickup became Grannie’s — exclusively. Some folks at Utopia will remember the years Grannie Davis drove this same ol’ blue pickup to church every Sunday, arriving perhaps two hours early so she could fold the bulletins and mow the lawn (she brought her own push mower in the bed of the truck) before other worshippers arrived. The last few years Grannie drove “Ol’ Blue” (as we once called the pickup), local people learned to recognize her from a distance and give a wide berth, so Grannie had plenty of room in that imaginary lane. And, no one contested her at stop signs which were not seen by those eyes that had grown dim. On the Fourth of July, 1965, when Grannie was 80 years old, she and “Ol’ Blue” were on their way to a church meeting at Alto Frio Encampment near Leakey. She hadn’t missed a meeting since the en-

Lora B. Davis Garrison. Photo by LeAnn Sharp. campment opened in 1920. When Grannie arrived at the FM 1050 Frio River crossing, a holiday party was in full swing. When we had the low-water crossing on the Frio River, it was a favorite gathering place for the teenagers who came out from the cities each summer (local youngsters had better sense). Area residents had many confrontations with bad boys at that crossing. It was a real blessing when the high-water bridge was finally built. I have been told of many incidents of teens trying to stop cars from crossing the bridge. Of course, the drivers were always concerned that someone would get hurt. When Grannie and “Ol’ Blue” reached the middle of the bridge that July day, those bad boys began to climb all over “Ol’ Blue” and block the road in front of Grannie, so it was See TRUCK, page 15


TRUCK, from page 14

Grannie’s old pickup, Ol’ Blue.Photo courtesy LeAnn Sharp. impossible to move. Those boys forced Grannie to turn around in the middle of the bridge and go back the other way. Although she must have been frightened, she didn’t high-tail it for home. Instead, Grannie doubled back to Ranch Road 2748, the unpaved dirt road to Rio Frio, and went on to the encampment. I bet she wasn’t late, either. Someone told me another story which went something like this: Grannie was in Utopia one day when she heard someone say the Sabinal River was rising. She remarked that she better hurry and cross before it got too high. Several people tried to convince her that she should stay in town as the river was already too high to cross. “No, I have to get home. My cow will need to be milked,” Grannie said adamantly. So she headed out of town and across the Sabinal River. Jess McFadin told me he followed her to the river to make sure she made it. Well, about halfway across, “Ol’ Blue” washed off the slab and onto the

river bed below the crossing. As spectators on both sides of the river watched in amazement, “Ol’ Blue” and Grannie continued on across the Sabinal River, parting the raging waters like Moses at the Red Sea. Finally “Ol’ Blue” emerged on the other shore, cut back onto FM 1050 and headed for home. Nothing like a swollen river could ever stop Grannie. Pickup Yields Rich Harvest About 1972, shortly after my husband, Roger, and I returned to the ranch and began to build a house, we found we needed the use of Ol’ Blue. First we were prompted to try and wean Grannie from the use of the pickup, because we were concerned for her safety and others who were on the highway. Finally, we needed to use Ol’ Blue almost every day. Grannie was not one easily fooled, and I am sure she recognized our motives, but accepted this as she did all other aspects of life. And at the age of 87, she gave up the independence of driving. See TRUCK, page 16

High Places Realty Mary Kay Windham, Owner/Broker 664 S. US Highway 83 • Leakey, Texas

830-232-4408 •

Frio Canyon Rentals Vacations on & near the Frio River in the Frio Canyon

Waterfront Lodging

Family Get-Aways • Couples Retreats Weddings & Private Events Main office located at

Historic Leakey Inn 527 S. Highway 83 Leakey, Texas 78873

830-232-FRIO (3746) Let us help you plan your Frio River Vacation. Check out the many local attractions available on our website at Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


TRUCK, from page 15 In 1988, Ol’ Blue looked to be close to her 32nd birthday, which she was, and she had the most magnificent sunburst fracture of the right windshield, but was still running and used daily on the ranch. A lot of pickups don’t deserve to be called ‘pickup’, they are so fancy they look more like passenger cars, but Ol’ Blue now she was a genuine ranch pickup. She served a good purpose for fetching and hauling; sometimes hauling rocks for small building projects, also wood for the fireplace. And she furnished endless joy for hauling various and sundry

grandchildren and guests out to feed the deer every night. We began calling Ol’ Blue by a new name, ‘Grannie’s Pickup’, after Grannie passed on at the age of 93. But eventually “pickup” was dropped and we just called her “Grannie,” with affection and respect for Grannie Davis. Finally,“Grannie” could no longer pass inspection for a highway sticker; some necessary parts were no longer available. So she was confined to us driving her on the ranch. All she needed were some new brakes and maybe a

tail light. Her license plate was renewed each year, still in the name of Bob Davis. The reason for this is Sister Susie, who settled our parents’ estate, could never set a price to sell her to us. It was too difficult to establish a value. Although her body showed a fine assortment of dents and bruises, she was loaded, both inside and out. I decided to take an inventory and found the most glorious assortment of stuff that revealed the history of Grannie, alias Ol’ Blue. I made a list of her contents starting with the seat and floorboards: two pairs, of binoculars, three work gloves (none matched), one patio cushion for a passenger to sit on, and on

the driver’s side, a castoff padded toilet seat to sit on because the seat padding is gone. There wasn’t much to list on the floorboard, only a worn gold carpet remnant, a plastic bag and an envelope containing seeds to be planted, a wooden scalloped handle from an old church fan, no doubt left from Grannie Davis’ days. A heavy wire loop, oval shape, unknown use. A brown paper bag, spread out. An old oily card that once held a Deka post terminal for a battery (it cost 65 cents). A 25-foot Stanley tape measure (it didn’t work anymore). And under the driver’s side of the seat: A length of See TRUCK, page 46

Cedar Oil • Jewelry • Lazy Susans • Pottery • Ornaments • New & Antique Stained Glass • Lariat Baskets

Catahoula Gifts J Decor c ustom WooDWork

open year round

105 RR 337W @ Hwy 83 Leakey, TX


Mantels • Crosses • Custom Furniture • Calf Skins • Cowhides • Pillows • Handcrafted Glycerin Soaps 16 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

GicleE Prints & Cards by B.F. CHapa • Lamps • Lampshades

Mohair Clothing by Dolores • Mesquite Cutting Boards


Calendar of Events EVERY NIGHT in SUMMER CONCAN: Enjoy family friendly dances at Garner State Park Pavilion. EVERY WEEKEND LEAKEY: Live music at the Buckhorn Bar & Grill. MONDAY, WEDNESDAY THURSDAY CONCAN: Dance lessons at Joe Jimmy’s at Neal’s Lodges (seasonally). Family friendly. 20948 Texas Highway 27, 830232-6118. TUESDAY - FRIDAY CONCAN: Hayrides at Garner State Park. Friends of Garner State Prk. 830-232-6132. TUESDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY CONCAN: Live music at Joe Jimmy’s at Neal’s Lodges (seasonal). Kids welcome. 20948 Highway 27, 830-232-6118. SECOND FRIDAY UVALDE: Four Square Friday. Historic Downtown Late night shopping, food, live music, cocktails, art, prizes and surprises. 6 pm to 9 pm. www. EVERY SATURDAY CONCAN: Dance at Garner State Park Pavilion. Spring Break, summer ‘til Columbus Day. 830232-6132. UTOPIA: Gourmet Dining at The Laurel Tree. Lunch and dinner by reservation only. Call ahead. 830-966-5444, FOURTH SATURDAY UVALDE: Market Days Uvalde Plaza, downtown at the intersection of Highways 90 and 83, across from the court house. Arts and crafts, plants, jewelry, collectibles, antiques, and more. February to October. MARCH - SEPTEMBER CONCAN: Bat Flights at Frio Bat Cave. Times and days vary widely. 888-502-9387, MARCH 15-19 CONCAN: Rio Frio Fest at House Pasture. Josh Abbott Band, Cody Johnson, Jason Boland, Brandon Rhyder and more.

APRIL 1-3 SABINAL: Sabinal Lions Club hosts Wild Hog Festival. Hog chasing, arts, crafts, games, rides, more. At Sabinal City Park. APRIL 8-9 UVALDE: Fort Inge Days. At Historic Ft. Inge. 830-278-4115. APRIL 9-10 BANDERA: Mayhem on the Medina., 830-396-4447. APRIL 15-17, APRIL 29-MAY 1 RIVER REGION: 15th Annual Nature Quest. (See story, page 10.) Learn from experts through field trips and programs. Headquartered at Hill Country Nature Center, 830966-2320, APRIL 16 UVALDE: Tree City Boxing Event. Uvalde County Fairplex. APRIL 30 UVALDE: STRHA Ranch Rodeo. Uvalde County Fairplex. APRIL 23 – MAY 7 UVALDE: “Deep in the Heart: Texas Themed Quilts” Quilt Show. MAY 6-7 UVALDE: Cactus Jack PBR Bull Riding. Uvalde County Fairplex. MAY 13-14 LEAKEY: Fire on the Frio Barbecue CookOff., 830-232-5222. MAY 28 CONCAN: Gary P. Nunn. MAY 29 UTOPIA: Ranch Rodeo. At Utopia Park on Farm Market 1050. 7 pm. JUNE AND JULY UTOPIA: Utopia Horse Club. Held once a week, this event allows local kids to really learn about their horses. JUNE 4 CONCAN: Rough River. Live music at House Pasture. www. JUNE 11 CONCAN: Spazmatics. Live music at House Pasture.

JUNE 17 CONCAN: Bellamy Brothers featuring Zach Walther. JUNE 18 CONCAN: Josh Abbott Band. JUNE 24 CONCAN: Cory Morrow. JUNE 24-25 UTOPIA: Open Rodeo and Barbecue. Utopia Park, FM 1050.

JUNE 25 BANDERA: 19th Annual Riverfest, River rodeo, kayak races, paddle boats, water games, food, music, crafts. open car show, barbecue cookoff and more. www.BanderaRiverfest. com. 830-796-4447. CONCAN: Roger Creager featuring Cameran Nelson. Live music at House Pasture. www.

See CALENDAR, page 18


Hometown Goodness

Pizzas —8”, 12’, 16”, 20” Calzones • Salads Spaghetti & Meatballs Desserts • Hot Wings Dine-In or Carry-Out • BYOB Call or check website for hours Located on Highway 83 5 blocks North of Hwy 337

LEAKEY, TEXAS 830-232-4420

Live Music • Dance Floor Karaoke • Great Food 830-232-4755 On Hwy 83 between Concan & Leakey Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



CALENDAR, from page 17

Next to Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop

Cabins on the Frio River Where memories can be made for a lifetime.... Open Year-Round Reservations Required Private access to a 1/2 mile of the East Frio River 3 miles north of Leakey, Texas on US 83

MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY! Hill Country Views, Wildlife, Tubing, Hiking, Star Gazing, Fishing, More

830-232-5955 •

Large & Extra Large Washers & Dryers (Front End Loaders)


Clean, Cool and Comfortable One Mile South Outside of Leakey

1256 S. US Hwy. 83 • Leakey (830) 232-4993 47 S. Hwy 83 Right Next to the Leakey Mercantile

10 AM to 9 PM MON-SAT CLOSED SUNDAY 18 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

JULY 1,2, 3 CONCAN: 2nd Annual July Frio River Fest. Includes performances by Turnpike Troubadours, American Aquarium, Cody Johnson, Sam Riggs, and Rough River Band. www. JULY 2 LEAKEY: July JULY 4 UVALDE: Fourth of July Celebration.Uvalde County Fairplex. 830-591-9040. JULY 4-5 LEAKEY: Rodeo. Bareback, calf roping, bullriding, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, ladies’ barrel. 336 north of Leakey. 8 pm. UTOPIA: 4th of July Parade and Fireworks. Utopia Park. JULY 8 CONCAN: Kyle Park. Live music at House Pasture. www. JULY 9 CONCAN: Kyle Park featuring Parker McCollum. www. JULY 15 CONCAN: Wade Bowen featuring John Baumann. www. JULY 16 CONCAN: Jason Boland and the Stragglers. JULY 23 CONCAN: Kevin Fowler. Live music at House Pasture. www. JULY 29 CONCAN: William Clark Green featuring Judson Cole. JULY 30 LEAKEY: Frio Canyon Redneck Games. SEPTEMBER 29 - OCTOBER 1 UTOPIA: 8th Annual UTOPiAfest. Music festival in pristine setting. Camping available. AUGUST 7 CAMP WOOD: Old Settlers Reunion., 830-597-6241. AUGUST 12 CONCAN: Casey Donahew. Live music at House Pasture.

An Easter egg hunt is held the Saturday of Easter weekend at The Laurel Tree in Utopia. Photo courtesy Wanda Waters. SEPTEMBER 1-4 UVALDE: Palamino Fest and Pro Rodeo. Uvalde County Fairplex. SEPTEMBER 2-4 BANDERA: Celebrate Bandera. Longhorn cattle drive, Circle of Life Powwow, historical reenactments, South Texas Bull Fighters Tour and much more. www.celebratebandera. com, 830-796-4447. OCTOBER 6-8 UVALDE: Team Roping. Uvalde County Fairplex. OCTOBER 15 LEAKEY: Oktoberfest. www., 830232-5222. OCTOBER 28-31 UVALDE: FEARPLEX Haunted House. Uvalde County Fairplex. LATE OCTOBER to MID-NOVEMBER VANDERPOOL: Fall Foliage at Lost Maples State Natural Area. Make lodging plans in advance, as visitors flock to this beautiful area to witness changing of leaves. Foliage report at, or call 830-966-3413. NOVEMBER 4 UVALDE: Hunters Roundup. Uvalde County Fairplex. 830591-9040.

See CALENDAR, page 29


Above: Photo by Trey Stewart. Top Right: Photo courtesy River Bluff Cabins. Bottom Right: Photo by Mark Lord.


“Where All Your Troubles Just Float Away!” Come Stay, Shop & Float!

SHOP Groceries, Boutique Gift Shop, Volleyball, Horseshoes

STAY Cabins, Suites, Rv Sites Tent Camping All Cabins & Suites have free Wireless internet

FLOAT Tubing, Kayaking & Shuttle Service

830-232-5444 • • 21488 TX Hwy 127 • Concan, Texas Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



Open All Year Personal Service/ Red Carpet Treatment “Providing unforgettable experiences, time & time again”

Best Vacation Rentals in Concan! More than 45 rental properties RiveRfRont H Pools Homes H Cabins


Office at 289 CR 348 • Concan, TX

Homes H Ranches Acreages Vacation Rentals “I can show you any property for sale in the Frio Canyon. Catch the Frio Fever own a piece of the Frio!” Larry Roberts, Owner/Broker

Conveniently located in the heart of Concan 289 CR 348 • Concan, TX • 936.537.4555 20 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Campfire storytelling by Lee Haile fun for all ages


River Oaks Resort

36 cabins & homes on or near the Frio River in Concan, Texas Storyteller Lee Haile delights audiences year ‘round with exciting tall tales. Photo courtesy Hill Country Adventures.


rofessional storyteller Lee Haile delights visitors and locals alike with his captivating brand of campfire storytell­ing, offered through Hill Country Adventures since 1999. A gifted perfomer, Lee amuses audience mem­bers—young and old— with traditional cowboy storytelling, singing, and plenty of tall and funny tales about people, critters and cowboys. Storytelling sessions— offered year-round—last up to an hour and a half, available by reservation “at our ranch or at your lodg­ing,” says LeAnn Sharp of Hill Country Adventures. Lee is such a skilled weaver of words, LeAnn says it’s hard to tell if his tales are really true or just tall ‘til he has come to the end. “Did he really have a pet rattlesnake when he was a boy that followed him everywhere he went? Has he really had close calls and encounters with java­lina, mountain lions and skunks? You’ll have to hear him to find out!” Don’t be surprised if

Lee has the kids dancing to the “Hokey Pokey,” adults dancing and singing “La Bamba” (in Spanish) and everyone crooning “Ol’ Su­sanna,” “Streets of Laredo” or ’70s tunes. It’s hard not to laugh along to Lee’s hi­ larious animal stories like “The Sky is Falling,” com­plete with animal sound effects. Campfire storytell­ing is perfectly suited for families and groups of all ages. “Lee has performed for birder groups from up North, Boy Scouts, 3rd to 5th grade Montessori School groups, even at 60th and 70th birthday parties,” says LeAnn. “He is enthusiastic and gets everyone involved. Kids love getting up to par­ ticipate, adults can’t keep from laughing and their stresses disappear.” FYI • Campfire storytelling with Lee Haile is offered through Hill Coun­ try Adventures, owned by LeAnn and Anthony Sharp. An hour and a half ses­ sion is $150, by appointment only and available at your location or at their ranch. For more information, call 830966-2320 or visit the web site at www.


Pet Friendly H Hot tubs H Fireplaces Cabins have fully equipped kitchens, DSS/TV/DVD, A/C and heat TUBE & KAYAK RENTALS


1-800-800-5773 • 830-232-6106 Open Daily from 9-5 Summer or 10-4 Off Season

Private River Frontage

Cabins • Vacation Homes RV Spots • River Front Weddings Corporate Retreats & More! Call 1-888-9concan for more info Email Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Lovely courses for golf lovers


Family Park Badminton • Volleyball Jungle Gym • Teeter Totter • Horseshoes • & More! Cabins • Full RV Hook Ups Big Rigs Welcome • Pets Welcome RV Storage • RV Parts • Free WIFI AC Bath House • Laundry Facilities Picnic Tables • Free Cable TV


Golf Club of Texas-Concan eaturing a challeng­ ing Bechtol-Russell de­signed course, players enjoy the picturesque scenery at The Golf Club of Texas - Concan, from gorgeous hills and val­ leys to stunning rolling terrain. The par 72 championship course offers 18 holes measuring 7,333 yards from the tips. Panoramic views of the Hill Country are found on every fairway and with premium Zoysia grass underfoot, this a must-play course. Rates are $59 weekdays and $69 weekends. The twilight fee is $35. The club has a wellstocked Pro Shop, offering the latest in golf apparel and equipment for men and women. A variety of

Stay for a Day or a


LIFETIME! • 29015 N US Hwy 83


22 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Utopia Golf. Photo by Doug Shearer.

burgers, sandwiches, salads and more are served up in the Patio Grille, which offers yearround dining and a full bar. Check the web site for hours. The Golf Club of Texas Concan is located at 520 Mountain Valley Drive. For more information, and to book your tee time, you can visit the web site at, email or call 830-232-4471. Utopia Golf Billed as “the most beautiful nine-hole golf course in Texas,” Utopia Golf is nestled in the Sabinal Valley one mile south of Utopia on High­way 187. The course is the set­ ting for the 2011 movie “Seven Days in Utopia,” See GOLF, page 23

GOLF, from page 22 based on the novel “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Uto­ pia” by David L. Cook.

A clubhouse, includ­ ing a self-serve hospitality room, overlooks the ninth hole at Utopia Golf. Rates

range from $10-$15 per person for nine holes and $15-$20 per person for 18 holes. For more information about Utopia Golf, call 830966-5577 or visit the web site at

Uvalde Memorial Uvalde offers an 18 hole public golf course located along the Leona River at 221 East Doughty. For more information about Uvalde Memorial Golf Course, call 830-278- 6155.

CONCAN Tim & Linda Hester

830-232-5903 Cell 830-261-0772 Fax 830-232-5801 PO Box 34 Concan, TX

Cabin Rentals

Golf Club of Texas - Concan. Photo courtesy Golf Club of Texas-Concan.

2,800 feet of Frio River frontage Cabins • RV Sites • Tent Sites Groceries • Tubing • Fun •

On the Frio River • 1636 County Road 350 • Concan, Texas • 830-232-5412 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



It’s gonna be one HOT SUMMER 2016! Wednesday Nights KARAOKE Thursday Nights Steak Night (live music) Friday & Saturday Nights Live Music

May 28 June 4 June 11 June 17

Gary P Nunn Rough River Band Spazmatics Bellamy Brothers featuring Zack Walther June 18 Josh Abbott Band June 24 Cory Morrow June 25 Roger Creager featuring Cameran Nelson 2nd Annual 4th of July Frio River Fest July 1 Turnpike Troubadours featuring American Aquarium July 2 Cody Johnson featuring Sam Riggs July 3 Sam Riggs featuring Rough River Band July 8 Kyle Park July 9 Kyle Park featuring Parker McCollum July 15 Wade Bowen featuring John Baumann July 16 Jason Boland & the Stragglers July 22 TBA July 23 Kevin Fowler July 29 William Clark Green featuring Judson Cole Band July 30 TBA Aug 5 TBA Aug 6 TBA Aug 12 Casey Donahew House Pasture Cattle Company

Concan’s Original Country Music Venue & Restaurant

Wed-Fri 5 pm-12 am • Sat 5 pm-1 am

Check schedule & get tickets online at 2 N. County Rd. 348 “River Road” Concan, Texas • 830-232-6580

24 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

The Garner State Park Song In the Western part of Texas Ninety miles from San Antone, There’s a place I go each summer When I get the urge to roam. I’d stand out on the highway, If I couldn’t get a ride I’d walk To Garner State Park. There’s the cutest girls from Texas And from everywhere They trade their city slickin’ clothes For some boots and western wear, We swam all through the day And we danced when it got dark At Garner State Park. She was the cutest girl around, We walked down to the water Found a big rock, began to talk At Garner State Park. Next thing I knew it was 4 a.m. She said my mother’s surely worried About where I am And with the Texas sky above, We couldn’t help but fall in love At Garner State Park. Well, the summer it was over And we had to say goodbye, We said we’d see each other next year, As a tear fell from her eye. When I came I knew no sorrow; now I’m leaving with a broken heart At Garner State Park. Oh, but I’ll be back again next year...

75 years of fun at Garner State Park


arner State Park — beloved Texas tradition — celebrates its 75th birthday June 1, 2016. The park encompasses 1,774 acres and 2.9 miles of beautiful Frio River frontage, including 11 miles of scenic trails. Whether camping overnight at Garner State Park, or visiting for the day, with swimming, fishing, biking, geocaching, dancing, hiking, picnicking and more, there’s plenty to do and see. Since the ’40s, folks have been gathering for the family-friendly jukebox dances at the Garner State Park Pavilion. Dances are Mon­day through Saturday during Spring Break, and Saturday nights ‘til sum­ mer. In the summer, you can enjoy a dance every night of the week, with post-summer dances Saturday evenings. Another fun diversion is putt-putt golf at Stinkin’ Sweet Candy Shop and


Elm Creek Stables “Come ride with us.”


Drinks • Snacks Petting Zoo Trail Rides 00 $


Pony Rides 00 $

10 45

High Trail* 00 $ *High Trail: Longer Trail/Adults Only

It’s a tradition: nightly dances at the Garner State Park Pavilion. Photo by Julie Harrington. Mini Golf (located at the Park Pavilion), with rentals $5 each ($2 for kids 3 and under) including a putter, ball and 18 holes. Want to go for round two? Play again for only $2 per per­son — any age. You can golf 7 days a week from 10 am to 10:15 pm through the second week See GARNER’S 75, page 26

Open 9 am-5 pm (last ride out at 5 pm) OPEN Everyday during Spring Break, Weekends After Spring Break, & Everyday Memorial Day through summer, Cash/Check Only Please.

1/4 mile N. of Garner State Park

On Hwy 83 N H 830-232-5365

The Hill Country


Worth Finding, Worth Experiencing Beautiful Frio Riverfront • Shaded Sites Adjoining Garner Park • High-Speed Internet Full Hookups • Satellite TV • Store • Propane

CONCAN, TEXAS 830-232-4006

Ready to hit the Frio River. Photo courtesy Kelly Marler. Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


GARNER’S 75, from page 25 in August, Saturday and Sunday only during the off season (closed Decem­ ber through March). The updated camp store has just about everything you need from firewood to gourmet muffins and coffee, s’mores fixin’s to candy, drinks, ice cream and more. In addition to snacks and supplies, you

can also rent tubes, barbecue pits, tables, even fans and heaters at the store. Paddle boats and boards, kayaks and canoes are also available to rent from the store. If you’re hungry, you can head on over to the Garner Grill, where burg­ ers, fries, corn dogs and more are made fresh to or-


NaNa’s RV PaRk & RV ReNtals River frontage park located on Frio River, each site features a picnic table, a fire ring, 20-30-50 amp electrical, sewer & water hook-ups

Across the Frio River from Garner State Park on County Road 350

RIO FRIO, TX • 830-232-4653

A short but steep hiking trail leads to the summit of Old Baldy, a limestone mountain that overlooks popular Garner State Park near Concan. Photo courtesy TPWD. der. The grill is open Saturdays and Sundays April through May and open dai­ ly all summer and Fridays and Saturdays in the fall. Another fun tradi­tion, summer hayrides (hosted by the Friends of Garner State Park Tuesday through Friday from June to August) de­part from the Visitors Center promptly at 7 pm, so plan to arrive no later than 6:45 pm. Visit the Friends of Gar­ner Visitors’ Center or call 830-232-5999 to make res­ervations. Garner is the most

popular state park for overnight camping in Texas. Camping is available in screened shelters, cabins and campsites. Make your reservations early! Garner’s busy season is Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and the park often reaches maximum capacity. FYI • For information about rentals, the Park Store, Garner Grill and much more, visit the web site at www. To make reserva­ tions at Garner State Park, call 830232-6132 or visit the web site at tpwd.

Hearty Breakfasts • Daily Specials Chicken Fried Steak • Fried Chicken Steaks • Barbecue • Sandwiches Outdoor & Indoor Seating 20720 Hwy. 127 at Frio River in Concan, Texas


SEASONAL Closed December - February Call or check web site for hours.

26 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Play a round or two at the Stinkin’ Sweet Candy Shop and Mini Golf, located at the Garner State Park Pavilion. Photo by Kelly Marler.


4251 County Road 348 Concan, TX 78838 (830) 232-5260

Check out our New Custom Tee Shirts and see what else is new for 2016


STAY FRIO (830) 232-5260

Comfort and relaxation inside your cabin with private river frontage just outside your door‌ Find out why we are highly rated for lodging on the Frio River on

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Largest Cypress in Texas CONCAN H Check out the largest Texas tree! The Bald Cypress can be seen as you amble along Buffalo Creek at Criders on the Frio in Concan. The massive tree boasts a circumference of 438 inches, a height of 96 feet and a crown spread of 112 feet. Don’t forget your camera...come take a look at this magnificent specimen and capture your own special family photo. It’s on private property, so please do stop by the office for a pass before you visit. FYI • Visit the web site at

Did you know?

How Concan got its name


heodophilus Watkins first settled at Con Can and built the first log cabin with a chimney in 1862. When a Post Office was to be established in 1880, a name had to be chosen. One story of how the community of Concan got its name goes like this: “The men of the community gathered on Saturday afternoons and played dominoes and ‘coon can,’ a Texas card game. ‘Coon can’ was a variation of ‘Conquian,’ the earliest known rummy game, played since at least the 1880s. When word came that a Post Office was to be located there and a name for the town had to be decided on, the men decided that they would send in ‘Coon Can.’ In Washington, no one had heard of such a game or such a word, so they thought the Texans must have misspelled the word and meant Con Can (now spelled Concan).” FYI • Excepted from Lora B. Garrison’s book, “Texas Pioneer Families.”


Frio’s Dry FiFty Celebrating Our 32nd Summer On the FriO! Frio River & GSP T-Shirts Shorts HHand Dipped Blue Bell Hawaiian Shaved Ice Consuela H Southern Tide Hats/Caps HFlip Flops River Gear H Yellow Box Jewelry H Gifts H and More! Like Us On

Open Sunday-Thursday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm • Friday-Saturday 9:30 am - 6:30 pm Check Us Out on Hwy 127 in Concan, TX 830-232-6300 • 28 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


CALENDAR, from page 18 NOVEMBER 5 UTOPIA: Annual Utopia Fall Arts and Crafts Fair. Vendors of handmade arts and crafts, music, food, demonstrations and auction benefit local scholarships. 9 am to 4 pm on Utopia Town Square, FM 187. Utopia Fall Fair. UtopiaFallFair@ NOVEMBER 26 LEAKEY: Christmas on the Square. 8 am to 4 pm. Arts, crafts, food, Santa. SponUtopia Ranch Rodeo. Photo courtesy sored by Frio CanHattie Barham Photography. yon Chamber. www. friocanyonchamber. com, 830-232-5222. DECEMBER 10-11 DECEMBER 4 CAMP WOOD: Christmas in UVALDE: Briscoe BBQ Cookthe Canyon. www.nuecescan- off. Uvalde County Fairplex., 830-597-6241.

830-232-5583 •

On US 83, 1.5 miles past Garner State Park

Fresh baked goods, from our family to yours Place your order today, call

Search for


Crider’s Cabins


Gifts H Jewelry Home Decor 337 E Main Street

Fredericksburg 830-307-3083

23223 N US Hwy 83


830-232-4402 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Get a whole new view from horseback


ELM CREEK STABLES or more than 20 years, Elm Creek Stables has offered guided trail rides at their charming lo­cation a quar­ ter mile north of Garner State Park on U.S. High­ way 83. You can take a ride about two miles long with gorgeous trails and great scenery for only $30 per person. Rides are about 60 minutes in length. Pony rides are also available for the younger kids for a fee of $10. Adults can enjoy a High Trail ride (about 90 minutes) for $45. A gift shop and pet­ ting zoo are also part of the fun. Elm Creek Stables is now working with Frio Canyon Horse Rescue — all pro­ceeds from the sta­

Elm Creek Stables’ gift shop. Photo courtesy Elm Creek Stables. bles go to the charity. Elm Creek Stables of­ fers trail rides from 9 am to 5 pm (last ride out at 5 pm). NEAL’S LODGES Neal’s Lodges in Con­ can offers horseback rides a mile from the Frio River on Neal’s Ranch. Guests take in magnificent views including flats, beautiful hills and valleys, plus en­

Saddle up for a trail ride at Elm Creek Stables. It’s fun for a good cause, with proceeds benefitting the Frio Canyon Horse Rescue. Photo courtesy Elm Creek Stables. joy seeing antelope, bison and plenty of wildlife, in­cluding six types of ex­ otics during the approxi­ mately one-hour guided ride. Trail rides are $25 per person. Neal’s also hosts two nightly hayrides in sum­ mer ($7 a head), departing about 8 pm, and timed so that guests can enjoy the sunset and stars, plus a stop at the large tank for s’mores, watermelon or other cool refreshments. FYI • Elm Creek Stables is open every day during spring break, and weekends after spring break through Memorial Day. The stables are open every day

Memorial Day through the end of summer. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm; last ride out at 5 pm. Call for reserva­tions. Please bring cash or checks, no credit cards are accepted at Elm Creek Stables. For more information about Elm Creek Stables, call 830-232-5365 or find them on Facebook. Neal’s Lodges offers horseback rides and hayrides during Spring Break and Memorial Day through the end of September. Up to 15 riders at a time can be accommodated on trail rides, ages 8 and up. Trail rides offered three times a day. Hayrides at Neal’s Lodges nightly. Res­ervations recommended, credit cards accepted at Neal’s. For more information about horseback rides and hayrides at Neal’s Lodges, call 830- 232-6118 or visit the web site at www.

HWY 83 & 127 Concan, TX 78838

713-562-8043 30 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Trail rides at Neal’s Lodges in Concan offer beautiful views. Hayrides are also offered. Photo courtesy Neal’s Lodges.

River Bluff Realty


At River Bluff Realty, we strive to meet all your realty needs. Whether it be a small vacation home or a 3,000 acre ranch, you can count on River Bluff Realty to treat you with respect and dignity. We will be sure to find the right property for you! BROKERS

Morris Killough 210-415-9850 Jim Fuchs 210-413-3939

60 - 130 acre tracts 11 acres Frio River - Home Rio Frio acreage available


Helena Bonnema



Post Office Box 218 Concan, Texas 78838

6-15+- acre tracts Two 50-acre tracts 14+ acres - Sabinal River – Home 7 acres - Sabinal River with 4 rentals

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



18-Hole Championship Golf Course Stay & Play Packages • Weddings Group Outings & Tournaments

Amazing world of Lost Maples By Rob McCorkle,

Concan • 830-232-4471

Casa Rio

Cabin Rentals

Offering River Frontage at River House & very near river at Hideaway and Cottage.

3978 CR 348 • Concan • • 830-591-3544

32 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department he Sabinal River and its several tributaries have carved limestone canyons through the nearly 3,000acre park straddling Ban­ dera and Real counties at the western fringes of the Edwards Plateau. Here, the canyons’ moist, cool microclimates sup­ port a remarkable di­ versity of plant life found few other places in Texas. The bigtooth maple tree ranks as the park’s marquee spe­ cies. In late autumn most years, the stands of oldgrowth maples set the canyons ablaze in a riot of red, orange and gold foli­ age, drawing upwards of 50,000 leaf-peepers to the state natural area. The western cousin of the eastern sugar maple retained a foothold in the Hill Country canyons af­ ter vast sheets of ice ad­ vanced southward across North America almost to present-day Texas, and then retreated. (For an explanation of the park’s geological history and in­ formation about the big­ tooth maple and other indigenous plant species, visit the exhibit hall in the park headquarters.) The park is home to the state’s largest known species of the bigtooth, also known as the Uvalde


bigtooth maple and can­ yon maple. The 40-foot tall maple with a 45-foot crown spread stands at the head of the park’s most popular trail, the .8-mile Maple Trail, just a few steps from the dayuse area parking lot. How­ ever, to really appreciate this wondrous arboretum, visitors should park their vehicle and stroll the wooded canyon trails that traverse the upland canyons of the Sabinal River, as well as Can, Hale Hollow and Lane creeks. But no matter the time of year, Lost Maples SNA makes a worthwhile destina­ tion that will not disap­ point. Visitors hoping to enjoy the park under less crowded conditions of late October and early No­ vember when the maples’ color peaks should con­ sider an early fall visit. Nights tend to cool off and during warm, sunny days, the waters of the Sabinal and spring-fed swimming holes prove tempting spots to take a soothing splash. Almost 11 miles of well-marked trails lead to scenic overlooks, springfed ponds populated by Texas’ state fish, the Guadalupe bass, prime birding habitat and 40 primitive backpack camp­ ing sites. Composting See LOST MAPLES, page 33


LOST MAPLES, from page 32 toilets near several back­ country campsites make the wilderness experience a bit more pleasant. The Maple Trail pro­ vides the easiest access to the park’s natural won­ ders, traversing mostly flat terrain through a moist, shaded Sabinal River canyon. Mature big­ tooths share fertile canyon habitat with monstrous chinkapin and Lacey’s oaks, Florida basswood, pecan, black willow, green ash and American syca­ more. Boulders the size of a subcompact car sit in the middle of the river and at the base of soaring lime­ stone cliffs. Because of the can­ yonlands’ microclimate effect, the park contains numerous species of plants and animals of both eastern and western affin­ ity, as well as rare species endemic to the Balcones Escarpment. Found here are the unusual Texas ma­ drone tree, three kinds of buckeye, witch hazel (common in Mississippi), six different kinds of oaks,


Spendina day

A charming Hill Country town nestled in the Sabinal Canyon between Bandera & Garner Park

Discover Lost Maples State Natural Area, a 2,175-acre preserve along the Sabinal River near Vanderpool. Photo by Chase Fountain ©Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

French Country Antiques, Collectibles Gifts, Books, Jewelry, Accessories. Closed Sunday and Monday 282 Main Street, 830-966-5544,

Texas mock orange and sycamore-leaf snowbell whose white clusters of flowers bloom in late Sep­ tember. The park’s birdlife reflects Lost Maples’ loca­ tion in the North Ameri­ ca’s central flyway, as well as its diversity of habitat that includes grasslands and scrublands; mixed ev­ ergreen and deciduous es­ See LOST MAPLES, page 33

Seasonal gourmet cuisine in charming setting. Open Sat. for lunch & dinner. 830-966-5444 for reservations. 18956 Highway 187.

Main Street Utopia

The Laurel Tree

Utopia Golf

Beckoning colors of fall at Lost Maples State Natural Area. Photo by Chase Fountain ©Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Prettiest 9-Hole Course in Texas. Home of the movie “Seven Days in Utopia” 20567 Hwy 187, 830-966-5577

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Looking for

Live Music?

House Pasture Cattle Co. River Road in Concan • 830-232-6580

Joe Jimmy’s

at Neal’s Lodges

20970 Hwy 127 • Concan • 830-232-6118

Buckhorn Bar & Grill

4377 South US Hwy 83 • Leakey • 830-232-4755

Two Twisted Sisters

508 E. 4th • Downtown Camp Wood • 830-597-3999

Corner Store

201 S. Nueces • Downtown Camp Wood • 830-597-3380


Four Sisters Ranch Cabin

Secluded. Picturesque. One of a kind. A true Utopia.

1848 LeMond Road • Utopia, TX • 210-414-4341



Log Cabin & Vacation Home Rentals in Vanderpool 830-966-2200 • 877-966-8200

34 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

LOST MAPLES, from page 33 carpment woodlands; and streamside woodlands. Birders from around the world vis­ it the park to catch a glimpse of the en­ dangered goldencheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, as well as specialty birds such as the green king­ fisher and zone-tailed hawk. Water-and-electric campsites are at a premi­ um at Lost Maples SNA. The 30 campsites, which also feature inground barbecue pits and shaded picnic tables, book up 11 months in ad­ vance for the peak fall fo­ liage period. Other times of the year, booking res­ ervations early is recom­ mended. In keeping with Lost Maples’ state natural area

designation, the park has limited development and facilities. However, young and old alike can enjoy na­ ture photography, hiking, camping, bird watching, back­ packing, fishing and swimming. FYI • The day use-only park entry fees for persons 13 and older are: $5 from January through September and $6 October through December. Hike-in campsites are $10 a night and water-electric sites are $20. Lost Maples State Natural Area is located about an hour’s drive southwest of Kerrville and five miles north of Vanderpool on Ranch Road 187. Parking at Lost Maples State Natural Area is limited to 250 cars, so schedule fall trips during the weekdays, if possible. Fall foliage reports are available at Reports are updated weekly through November.

8th Annual UTOPiAfest


he 8th Annual UTOPiAfest is slated for September 29 to October 2, 2016, at the gorgeous Four Sisters Ranch in Utopia. Presented in a natural amphitheater on the 1,000-acre Four Sisters Ranch (between Gar­ ner State Park and Lost Maples), UTOPiAfest offers a “true alternative and full-on escape from the large multiple-stage music festi­ vals that sometimes favor quantity over a quality audience experience,” according to the web site. UTOPiAfest offers “great perfor­ mances, musical discovery, quality time with new and old friends, tasty food and enjoyable activities without claus­ trophobia, expensive beer and food, lines, walking miles to camp, paying to camp or get the idea!” FYI • UTOPiAfest is a capped-audience festival. The festival is also BYOB. UTOPiAfest is a joint production between founder Travis Sutherland and Onion Creek Productions’ Aaron and Jamie Brown. For more information, visit the web site at

Sabinal Canyon Museum UTOPIA H Get a taste of area history at the Sabinal Canyon Museum, where you can see exhibits of early settlers, pioneer farm implements and household items, Indian artifacts and geological exhibits (including fossils and minerals from the Sabinal River Canyon) and much more. FYI • The Sabinal Canyon Museum is located on Farm Market 187 in Utopia (on the west side of the road) Open Saturdays. For information, call 830-966-2100.

Big fun in small town Utopia every July 4th


By Wanda Waters

idafternoon each July 4, Utopia shuts down Highway 187 to allow passage of the annual 4th of July parade of brightly decorated bicycles, carts, vehicles, and trailers hauling families and groups of friends waving American flags and throwing candy to spectators lining the road in lawn chairs or tailgates. An assortment of antique cars, vintage fire trucks, and military vehicles join the group. That evening, Utopia Utopia 4th of July parade. will swell with Photo courtesy Hattie Barham Photography. thousands of people driving to the area to enjoy the fireworks display that begins at dark from the park. It is hard to know how many people enjoy the elaborate fireworks show; cars fill the parking areas in and around the park, spill over into the town, and literally line highways 187, 470, and 1050 that lead to Utopia from all directions. Many watch from their homes or acreage in the hilly area that provides scenic views. The 45-minute discharge of more than 40,000 fireworks fills the sky with aerial bursts, many 300 feet in diameter, and rivals the best of shows from any large city or country club. A volunteer group uses four to five large trailers, each holding around 45 “cakes” (a bundle of 100 to 600 tubes holding firework shells). The fireworks are painstakingly wired together and electrical charges attached, requiring months of preparation. On the big night, the trailers are set up on the baseball field adjoining the park, placing the pyro equipment at least 300 feet away from the spectators, and the fireworks are ignited electrically. All of the fireworks are purchased with generous donations collected at the previous year’s show. FYI • For more information, visit the web site at

More local info...

Utopia & Sabinal Canyon Frio Canyon Chamber Nueces Canyon Chamber Sabinal Chamber Utopia, Texas Uvalde CVB Lost Maples SNA 830-966-3413; Garner State Park 830-232-6132;


Lone Star Motorcycle Museum

“Wonderful Machines from the Past”

A world-class collection of Classic motorcycles on display. Located in the Heart of the Hill Country on Hwy. 187 one mile south of Lost Maples State Park. Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 am-5 pm March - November

(830) 966-6103 •

Located on Scenic FM 337 between Vanderpool & Leakey By Reservation Only

(830) 966-5178

.info Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Fun evening adventure at Frio Bat Flight


ake time to head out to Frio Bat Flight —March through September— an amazing evening for the entire family. You’ll watch in awe as 10- to 12-million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from Frio Cave on a ranch near Concan. A beautiful destination, the pristine, private


10,000 acre property has been continuously owned by the same family since 1874. It’s a great place for kids. “On the two mile long drive to the cave we generally see a selection of Texas wildlife from birds, mammals to reptiles. Even the occasional exotic. The ranch has cows, sheep and goats. At the cave we can


A fully furnished, riverfront log cabin lodge available for year round vacation rental

Hwy 187 S • Utopia, Texas • 830-966-3393

Lost Maples Cafe

Breakfast • Appetizers • Desserts Entrees • Burgers 384 FM 187 Main Street in Utopia, Texas Open Monday-Sunday 7 am-9 pm

830-966-2221 • Vist Us on Facebook at Lost Maples Cafe

36 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

see other species that come in to feed on the bats such as skunks, ring-tailed cats and snakes,” says Bain Walker, proprietor of Frio Bat Flights. Bain and his wife, Kirstin, run the bat tours, each season hosting a whopping 3,000 to 4,000 visitors. Bain is a true expert on these Frio Cave bats — the second largest bat population in the world open to the public. He begins each evening with a brief presentation and knowledgeably handles questions from the audience as the crowd waits for the bats to appear. Kirstin runs the ticket booth and sells bat flight merchandise. She also takes care of correspondence, books tours, and handles marketing. The bats generally begin emerging from the cave about 30 minutes before sunset, “bearing in mind they have their own ideas and will make a liar out of me every time,” laughs Bain. “The weather can also affect tour times, which change through the season depending on the bats’ activities,” he says. (Check the web site at in advance.) Each night the bats travel up to 35 miles from the cave, covering several hundred miles in the course of the evening. “The length of their nightly forage varies through the season,” explains Bain. “They generally hunt all night at the beginning and end of the season. Once the young are

“Bat man,” Bain Walker. Photo by LeAnn Sharp. born, however, they return to the cave every two to four hours to nurse.” The bats that call Frio Cave home are insectivores, preferring agricultural pests. “Scientists have discovered the bats eat, on average, their body weight nightly. That amounts to about 100 tons of insects a year!” says Bain. Predator birds are also a big hit with visitors. “They come in often to feed on the bats. They hunt on the wing and dive through streams of exiting bats to catch them,” he explains. “We see Red tailed hawks, Red Shoulder hawk, Coopers Hawks, Peregrine falcons and Swainson’s Hawk, just to name a few.” Frio Bat Flight is truly a family affair for the Walkers and their two children, Brennen, age 6, and Charlotte, age 5. “The kids love to come and ‘help,’” Bain smiles. “We also make bat jewelry to sell at the cave.” In the off season, he and Kirstin make it a point to keep up with the latest research about bats. See BATS, page 37

BAT FLIGHT, from page 36


Lost Maples Country Store Groceries • Gas • Ice • Free Wi-Fi

Grill serving BBQ, Burgers & more! Beer & wine to go!

33533 FM 187 • Vanderpool, Texas

830-966-3568 • Your Texas Hill Country Escape

Watch as millions of bats emerge. Photo by LeAnn Sharp. “We want to be able to give people the best information we can. I work frequently with research teams who come to the cave to study the bats and have had tons of fun working with film crews from all over the world who come to the cave to film.”

FYI • Bats emerge from Frio Cave March through September. Frio Bat Flight entry is $12; $10 for kids 10 and under; and $11 for seniors. Kids 5 and under get in free. Tour times vary, according to season. For more information, call 888502-9387, email info@friobatflight. com or visit the web site at

A Peace of Heaven Cabins & RV •

1856 Evans Creek Rd • Vanderpool• 830-966-5198

Utopia River Retreat Cabins 1 & 2 bEdROOm

Cozy 1 or 2 bedroom cabins, full kitchens plus microwave, heat/AC, fireplace, BBQ grill, fire rings, picnic table, satellite TV. Mesquite firewood for sale for pits/fire rings.

Vacation Rentals on the Sabinal River The Fortress

Wonderful Vacation Home Rich with History Main House Sleeps 4 to 16 people; 5 large bedroom areas & 3 - 1/2 baths. Rock fireplace, 52” satellite TV/DVD, stereo, cypress kitchen cabinets, 2 dining tables w/ cactus chandelier, patio w/ chairs, BBQ grill. For Weddings, Reunions & Other Events!

Enjoy 15 rolling acres, Giant Cypress

Party Barn

& Oak trees, Watch birds & deer at river & feeders. ¼ mile of private river front on Sabinal River, Swimming Pool for Guests. 360 PR 3850 • Utopia, Texas 78884 • 830-966-2444 • Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



55th Nueces Canyon Old Settlers Reunion By Jim Holder

Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce he Nueces Canyon includes the communities of Vance, Barksdale, Camp Wood, and Montell, and sur-


rounding rural area. This year, the 55th Nueces Canyon Old Settlers Reunion, hosted by the Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce, is August 5-6 in Camp Wood. The annual celebra-

Fishing in the Nueces River. Photo courtesy Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce.

Arrowhead Lodging ON THE NUECES RIVER

Vacation Cabins & Guest Houses

3 BR/2 BA House • 1 Bed/1 BA Cottage and 2 Beds /1 BA cabins 921 Hwy. 55 N. • Camp Wood, Tx. 830-597-4421 •

38 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

tion begins Friday evening when students who have attended any school in the Nueces Canyon come together for a school reunion at Lindbergh Park. Saturday morning, enjoy a downtown parade with festivities continuing in Lindbergh Park. Fun activities open to all include live music and entertainment, a homemade baked pie contest and auction, a homemade hot salsa contest and auction, and washer and horseshoe pitching tournaments. You can also take part in a raffle — last year’s prize was a 65-quart Tundra Yeti— a loud yelling contest and plenty of kids’ activities. Plus, you will find plenty of food, art, craft, antique, local business and game vendors to make the day an event that’ll have you returning year after year. Friday and Saturday evening, guests can enjoy a rodeo at Bruce Park, just north of Camp Wood on Highway 55. Saturday evening, the Nueces Canyon Volunteer Fire Department hosts a street dance in front of their building on 4th Street. Year-round activities available in the beautiful Upper Nueces Basin Recreational Area make the area a major travel destination. Photography, camping, cycling, spelunking, hiking, birding, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, horseback riding, hunting,

The beauty of nature abounds in the Nueces Canyon. Photos courtesy Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce.

ultra-lite flying, hang gliding, paragliding, stargazing, searching for artifacts and fossils, or simply relaxing in the Nueces Canyon region make for an exciting and memorable adventure. The Nueces Canyon is a travel hub to many nearby attractions, including Briscoe – Garner Museum and historic Janie Slaughter Briscoe Opera House in Uvalde, Garner See NUECES, page 39

NUECES, from page 38


Corner Store Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor Burgers & Chicken Tenders Made Fresh Every Day!



201 S. Nueces Street • Camp Wood, TX 78333 Open 11 am-9 pm (Closed Tuesdays) • Dine-in / Carry Out

Old Settlers Reunion rodeo. Photo courtesy Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce. State Park in Concan, Lost Maples State Natural Area near Vanderpool, the Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area in Rocksprings (with Mexican free-tailed bat emergence tours during summer mornings and evenings) and Kickapoo Cavern State Park near

Brackettville. In Camp Wood, you will find Lindberg Park and Mission San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz State Historic Site. An interpretive map and walking tour are available. A diorama of the site created by the Texas See NUECES, page 40

Rushin’ Tea Room & Coffee Bar We

deliver! card games

& Rushin’ Tea Rummage


cappucino • freshly ground coffee espresso • gourmet tea sandwiches • bagels • pastries

dominoes board games

antiques vintage items

It’s a nice place. 830-597-4401 79 Mountain Shadow Ln. • Camp Wood Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


NUECES, from page 39 Memorial Museum at The University of Texas can be viewed at the Chamber office and museum along with other museum artifacts from local Nueces Canyon family heirloom donations. Stop by the museum in the Chamber building at 112 East Fourth Street to pick up tourist brochures for the area. While at the museum, you can learn about Charles Lindberg’s accidental trip and visit to Camp Wood. The damaged propeller from Lindbergh’s plane is also on display. Call in advance, 830-597-6241, for reservations to view the diorama and museum. The area is steeped in a rich history of sheep and

goat ranching. Local artisans still produce mohair textiles recognized internationally. Some of the best exotic and native species game hunting in the state is found in Nueces Canyon. Whitetail deer, angora, bobcat, red stag, fallow deer, puma, javelina, Russian boar, axis deer, black buck antelope, aoudad, and Rio Grande turkeys roam the canyon. The best kept riding secret of Texas finally revealed: Long considered the ultimate riding roads by motorcyclists, bicyclist, car clubs, and weekend adventurists, the Three Sisters (See story, page 7.), FM roads 335, 336, and 337, 80 miles east of San Antonio in Real and Ed-


Bear Creek

Fudge & Chocolate

Love in chocolate form!

Handmade Chocolate • Ice Cream Old Fashioned Soda Fountain • ’50s Jukebox Banana Splits • Cherry Limeades • Malts & More! Try our popular “Deer Munch Crunch!”

830-597-6160 •

118 South Nueces • Camp Wood, Texas 78833 40 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Stunning sunset. Photo courtesy Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce. wards Counties, takes the rider through some of the prettiest, most exciting roads Texas has to offer. Beautiful vistas, switchbacks, and turn backs greet visitors at every turn along fantastic roads. And now, with the recently defined Big Brothers FM 334 and 674 and State Highway 55, the riding experience becomes complete. The Three Sisters and the Big Brothers form an area known as the Upper Nueces Basin Recreational Area located in Real, Edwards, Kinney, and Uvalde Counties.Both loops are a “must ride” and feature the best in scenic views and some of the most breathtaking roads in Texas, if not the USA. On the Big Brothers Loop, you will discover Fort Clark Springs, the movie set where John Wayne’s movie “The Alamo” was filmed in Brackettville, Kickapoo Caverns State Park with guided tours of bat caves,

and Rocksprings with historical motels and famous Edwards County Court House. Heading south to Camp Wood on Highway 55 the rider will experience impressive views and long sweeping “S” curves guaranteed to bring you back for more. Camp Wood is in the center of the Three Sisters and the Big Brothers Loops and offers basecamps, motels, restaurants and shopping. The Upper Nueces Basin Recreation Area may just become your favorite “get-away” destination. Whether your Nueces Canyon destination is in Barksdale, Camp Wood, Montell, or Vance, we are sure you will find the perfect Hill Country hideaway, sporting adventure, restaurant delight, and Texas sized warm welcome. Hope to see you soon and often! FYI • For more information, visit the Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce web site at



WED-SAT 10:00-5:00 CAMP WOOD 830-597-6400


Sterling Silver Jewelry


Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



DELIGHTS The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, 4 miles north of Vanderpool. Photo courtesy Lone Star Motorcycle Museum.

Don’t miss Lone Star Motorcycle Musesum


he Lone Star Motorcycle Museum—open Friday through Sunday March to November from 10 am to 5 pm— features an impressive display of machines from around the world dating from the 1910s to modern day. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 ages 65 and up. Kids ages 15 and under

Top Left: Photo courtesy River Bluff Cabins. Top Right: Photo by Melissa Maxwell Ball. Bottom Left: Photo by Julie Harrington. Bottom Right: Photo by Nancy Feely.


and 90 years and up get in free. Groups of 10 are more are $5 each; active military and spouse $3 each. FYI • The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum is located at 36517 Highway 187, four miles north of Vanderpool, less than one mile south of Lost Maples State Natural Area (also on Highway 187). For more information, visit the web site at

Headwaters of the Nueces River & Travel Hub for Many Nearby Attractions

Chamber of Commerce Vance • Barksdale • Camp Wood • Montell

Nueces Canyon


Request a FREE copy of our

Nueces Canyon Travel Map! Includes Upper Nueces Basin Recreational Area

Old Settlers Reunion

Downtown Camp Wood First Saturday in August (See article in this publication for more information)

Christmas in the Canyon

Downtown Camp Wood First Saturday in December

Nueces Canyon Chamber • 830-597-6241 •

42 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Local Churches CAMP WOOD Nueces Canyon Church of Christ

1656 N. Hwy 55 830-597-4131.

First Baptist Church

813 South Nueces. 830-597-5150.

Hill Country Church of Christ

Hwy. 55 North. 830-597-6175.

St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church

311 E. 3rd. 830-597-5165.


Church of Christ

Hwy. 83 at the Y. 830-232-4058.


New Beginning

5749 Ranch Rd. 1120. 830-232-5221.


Central Christian

512 N. Center Street. 830-988-2751. Church of Christ

204 N. Center Street. 830-988-2725.

First Baptist Church.

607 N. San Antonio. 830-988-2344.

St. Patrick’s Catholic

501 N. Orange St. 830-988-2255.

Concan Baptist Mission

Trinity Temple Church

Emmanuel Lutheran

United Methodist

32711 Hwy 83 830-232-4411.

2561 Co. Rd 350 830-232-4006.


Church of Christ

3rd Street. 830-232-6933.

108 W. Rheimer Ave. 830-988-2927. 200 W. Fisher Ave. 830-988-2535.

UTOPIA Gospel Tabernacle

724 Hwy 83. 830-232-6841.

371 Main St. 830-966-2440.

Hwy. 83 N. 830-232-5344.

FM 1050. 830-966-2426.

Church in the Valley


First Baptist Church

Living Waters Church

Frio Canyon Baptist Church

United Methodist

200 Cypress. 919 Hwy. 83 S. 830-232-5883 830-966-3400. Réal County Church of Christ

Utopia Baptist Church

St. Raymond Catholic

Utopia Church of Christ

121 Oak Hill, Ste. 4 830-275-9661

2nd Ave.830-232-5852

241 Johnson St. 830-966-3688.

Trinity Fellowship

Main Street. 830-966-3629.

Leakey United Methodist Church


E. on 337. 830-232-6770. 410 N. Market. 830-232-6266.

St. Mary’s Catholic

Hwy 187. 830-966-6268.

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Head over to Bandera for cowboy fun


By Genie Strickland

or generations Bandera, Texas, has been making those dreams of being a “cowboy” come true. In Bandera, you can ride horses, explore a dude ranch, try some rope tricks, tell tales around a campfire, yeehaw at a rodeo, sit around the campfire and count the stars. If you are planning to visit just for the day, don’t miss the Bandera Cattle Company’s entertaining gun shows each Saturday at noon and at 2 pm in the back yard of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Kids can be deputized as official Deputies of the Bandera Cattle Company!

Saturday afternoons, enjoy Cowboys on Main with horses, chuck wagons and strolling singers. You can take a wagon ride through town or have your picture taken on the back of a Longhorn (all beginning in mid-March and going on through December). These include weekly rodeos all through the summer, and the Wild Hog Explosion each March. April brings Mayhem on the Medina and there’s more fun at the PRCA Rodeo in May. Bandera celebrates summer with Riverfest, where of course there is a rodeo—but on the river! The National Day of the American Cowboy is held


44 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Only in Bandera: a Longhorn cattle drive right through town at Celebrate Bandera Labor Day weekend. Photo courtesy Celebrate Bandera. each July. The ultimate Cowboy Event Labor Day weekend is Celebrate Bandera featuring a Longhorn Cattle Drive, Circle of Life Intertribal Powwow, and the National Professional Bull Rider’s Challenge! Holidays in Bandera include the Cowboy Capital Christmas, with a night

parade and a Shoppers Jubilee, lighted Christmas trees and displays in City Park, Singing in the Saddle (caroling from horseback and wagon). FYI • For more information and complete details about these and many other Bandera events and attractions, visit the web site at www.


Above: Photo by Melissa Maxwell Ball; Top Right, Bottom Right: Photos by Mark Lord.


Amy’s Attic A fun and affordable boutique that offers gifts and home decor for Moms, her daughters and their friends 830-278-1667

Open Mon-Sat • 10 am-5:30 pm

116 N. Getty Street • Uvalde, Texas Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


TRUCK, from page 16 rope, a 25-foot chain, a pipe wrap insulation kit, one work glove, a sack of grass seed, an empty Folgers Coffee can, and two cans of brake fluid (this had to be added often), an old iron scraping tool, two Kassel beer caps, two lug wrenches, a tire tool, an empty feed sack. A tool box containing — nails, headlight bulb, spring, an ancient rough hewn copper hinge for a cabinet door, nuts and bolts, plumbers’ nipple, extension cord with a plug only on one end, a brush to clean a battery terminal, putty knife, six screw drivers, three wrenches and another brush to clean spark plugs (I think). And a five-inch piece of cedar limb, old and grey, perhaps used to plug something. Under the passenger’s side of the seat I found these treasures: A clothespin doll (an Indian I think, probably made in vacation Bible school two years ago by a grandchild), a Prince Albert tobacco can, Hot Shot for wasps and hornets, a can of instant starter fluid, Ortho insect killer for ants, a roll of silver duct tape and a empty box of Diazinon granules. And, oh my, I could hardly believe this, a can of Turtle Wax rubbing compound. I wonder who ever planned to use that!

46 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

Last of all a record book, I opened it expecting some ranch records, but to my surprise the title read in very neat drawing, “My Book” by Paige Garrison, dated 1977 (when my grandson was 12 years old). It stated First Edition. It was a novel about a search for King Tut’s tomb. After that I had to sit down and read that hair-raising tale. The inventory continues, behind the seat I found: Two elastic cords with hooks on the ends to fasten down a tarp, two plastic garbage bags, a plastic bag with pecans in it, a wire clothes hanger, another tool kit, a jack, three fan belt hoses, a can of WD-40 and part of an electric extension cord. In the glove compartment, I found, listing from top to bottom: a tire gauge with safety tire kit, four cinnamon graham crackers in a plastic bag, a box with Everclear wipes to clean glasses or windshields, a Sears battery warranty dated January 1985, a note pad, a map of Bexar County and a Southwest Airlines flight schedule for the summer of 1979. Also, a copy of “Open Windows” booklet dated July-August-September 1971 from when Grannie Davis was still driving the pickup, a vacation Bible school coloring paper from 1987, songs on the back were “Jesus Loves Me” and “Who See TRUCK, page 47

TRUCK, from page 46 Was Paul?” for ages 4 to 6 years. And an invitation to parents to attend the closing ceremony of vacation Bible school on July 3, year not given. A small blue child’s hand print was on the cover. Still in the glove compartment I found these things underneath: three horse shoes, a roll of White Cross adhesive tape, another screwdriver, a jar that once contained Gerber baby food (but now held some black salve), two more tire gauges and a tube of cold patching kit (that must be an antique), a CamphoPhenique bottle (all dried up), a roll of toilet paper, a steel brush, a Coca-Cola bottle cap from when it was the real thing, a cap for a gas tank, two wheels from bed frame, a funnel, a piece of fur on hide (maybe a rabbit’s), a very old vaccine bottle, three empty 303 shells and a Christmas bell. Also assorted holey rocks (that doesn’t mean they are religious objects, they are rocks with holes in them), several pieces of flint, two arrowheads, a piece of red chalk for marking goats after drenching, and a very old brass lipstick case (the size Avon gives for samples – it was corroded shut). How can there be so much in one glove compartment? They made ‘em big back then. Now we are getting to the bottom. In addition I found a file, nails, clamp, a gauge from a broken

thermometer, staples and a 1962 nickel. A needle for giving livestock shots (probably went with the vaccine bottle). An eye dropper, a weight for dropping a plumb line, and at the very bottom – a petrified dirt dobber nest. Riding in the back bed of the truck were: jumper cables, a chain saw, an old battery, a cross-cut saw, a sack of deer corn, a can of gasoline, a can of motor oil, a plastic cap for something, a chain and hook for towing and about enough wood bark to serve for kindling for at least six months. Also, tie wire for fencing, a roll of barbed wire, three empty beer cans and one 7-Up can. Now I want to defend the consumer who tossed those cans in ‘Grannie’s’ bed, please remember they weren’t thrown out to clutter the landscape. After completing this inventory, I remarked to my husband, Roger (the principal driver), that I found it hard to believe there could be so many things in one pickup!

And then he made the most remarkable statement: “It was just awhile back I cleaned that old truck out.” FYI • Author Lora B. Davis Garrison is a woman who wears many hats. She is a historian, storyteller, businesswoman, rancher, gourmet cook, newspaper columnist, folklorist, as well as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Born and raised a Texas ranch girl, with no electricity, no running water and an outhouse in the corner of the garden, she learned to cook on a wood stove, chopped wood and hauled water when the cistern was dry. She is a native of Uvalde County and a descendant of some of the first settlers in Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Lora has been collecting oral history stories since 1979. Her stories have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and in many Texas folklore publications. She traveled the world with her late husband, Col. Roger W. Garrison, during his 30 year career with the U.S. Air Force. They raised their five children in locations such as Guam, France, Thailand, Texas and numerous other states in the US. Lora B. Garrison’s books, “Cooking Around the World”( in 2 volumes) and “My Stomping Grounds,” featuring oral histories from the area can be ordered online at

My Stompin’ Grounds My StoMpin’ GroundS

Texas Hill Country Settlers Their Own Stories An Oral History Collection

By Lora B. Davis Garrison

Texas Hill Country Settlers

Their Own Stories

An Oral History Collection by

Lora B. Davis Garrison

where to find

Wi-Fi CAMP WOOD Rushin’ Tea Room 79 Mountain Shadow Lane 830-597-4401

CONCAN Andy’s on River Rd. 21488 Tx. Hwy. 127 830-232-5444

LEAKEY... Real County Public Library Main at Evergreen 830-232-5199 Bent Rim Grill 657 W. Ranch Rd. 337 830-232-6649

SABINAL... HOTexas BBQ 1001 Fisher Ave. 830-988-2133

RIO FRIO... Hill Country Nature Center on FM 1050 830-966-2320

UTOPIA... Lost Maples Cafe 384 FM 187 (Main Street) 830-966-2221

UVALDE The Local Fix Coffee Shop & Cafe 2001 E. Main Street 830-900-7183

Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


Specialized Care. Local Convenience.

You can count on us for the specialized care you need, with the local convenience you deserve. • • • • • • • •

24-Hr. Emergency Service Hospice Respiratory Care Laboratory Outpatient Specialty Clinic Rehabilitation Center Inpatient & Outpatient Surgery Hyperbaric Therapy & Wound Care

• • • • • • • • •

Medical & Surgical Services Intensive Care Unit Women’s & Newborns’ Center Radiology/Diagnostic Imaging Women’s Imaging Center Social Services Senior Behavioral Health Services Sleep Center Air Transport Capability

Uvalde Memorial Hospital 1025 Garner Field Road • Uvalde, TX 78801 • (830) 278-6251 •

48 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016


where to find in CAMP WOOD...

Candy, Bear Creek Fudge Fudge & & Chocolate More Hwy. 55 Downtown 830-597-6160

Baked Rushin’ Tea Room Goods 79 Mountain Shadow Lane & Coffee 830-597-4401

in RIO FRIO... Baked Goods

Bonnie’s Bakery

On US Hwy 83, 1.5 miles past Garner State Park 830-232-5582

in CONCAN... Baked Goods

Concan Pies

TX Hwys 83 & 127 713-562-8043

Ice Cream Frio’s Dry 50 by the scoop

Tx. Hwy. 127 830-232-6300

Gelato, Josh’s Coffee & US Hwy 127 & 83 830-232-4343 More


Repurposed • Vintage • Retro • Antiques

“Not everything that’s old is bad, blow the dust off, the beauty lies underneath.” — Diana A. Mon-Sat 10 a m -5 p m 309-B North Getty Street Uvalde, Texas 78801 830-900-5240 mysistershouseuvalde

“Serving the Hill Country for over 109 years.”

in LEAKEY... Baked Goods Pies & Ice Cream

BBGs Bakery

279 Mountain Street 830-232-5703

Friends Grill 153 Hwy 83 South across from courthouse 830-232-6301

in UTOPIA... Baked Goods

Espresso, Gelato, Coffee & More

Lost Maples Cafe 384 FM 187 Main Street 830-966-2221

in UVALDE... The Local Fix 384 FM 187 Main Street 830-966-2221

Visit us at

24/7 ATMs

at all of our Hill Country locations

CAMP WOOD • LEAKEY SABINAL • UTOPIA MEMBER FDIC 830.278.6231 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016



Texas Hill Country’s Peak Producer

160 South River – South River Business Park • Wimberley, TX 50 Welcome to the Hill Country River Region 2016

For all your Frio needs!





Fuel & Diesel • Specialty Meats T-Shirts • Hot Deli • Pizza Firewood • Tubes • Swimwear Open 7 Days a Week Year Round!


@ intersection of Highways 83 & 127 in Concan

A Quilter’s Delight Quilting Fabrics, Fat Quarters, Quilting Kits, Quilting Patterns, Gifts, Specials & Treasures That Will Delight Your Heart!


Suzie Q Quilts....worth going the extra mile!

Valley Ranch Retreat Now taking reservations for quilting, scrapbooking, needlecraft and art retreats, weddings, receptions & other events.

For information, call


508 S. Nueces • Camp Wood, TX 78833 830-597-6310 •

105 Mockingbird Lane • Camp Wood, TX 78833

Mill Wheel on the Nueces Guest Cottages

Woodbine Inn

Vacation Time in Beautiful Camp Wood, Texas!

P.O. Box 279 • Camp Wood, TX 78833 For more information, call 830-597-4411

For a peaceful stay, this is the place!

214 S. Nueces St. • Camp Wood, TX 78833 For more information, call 830-597-2310

Visit us online at


River Rim Resort, a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country, provides guests with a cluster of cabins accented with a European flair and ten shady RV sites. The Spring at the Rim, a beautifully landscaped complex with pool and patio area, is a charming venue for private parties, wedding receptions, family reunions or corporate retreats. The Rim and its five sister resorts offer a signature style of accommodations. These resorts are open all year and provide the perfect home away from home getaways.

River Rim Resort

1204 CR 350

I ndian Springs Lodges 1586 CR 348

RiverGate Cabins 2020 CR 350

River’s Edge Cabins 2039 CR 350

Lost Canyon Retreat

RiverStone Cabins

2785 RR 1050

89 Roy Chisum Rd, Leakey, TX

830-232-5758 • • Elevate your experience in the majestic Frio Canyon with Frio Premier Rentals, Concan’s finest vacation homes. These lovely private homes offer the utmost in comfort so you can make unforgettable memories. Many of these homes feature private swimming pools and private river access.

1204 CR 350 Concan, Texas VISIT US ON

830-232-4935 •

Hill Country River Region Guide 2016  

our guide to Concan, Camp Wood, Leakey, Rio Frio, Utopia, Uvalde and Vanderpool. Published by the Hill Country Sun.

Hill Country River Region Guide 2016  

our guide to Concan, Camp Wood, Leakey, Rio Frio, Utopia, Uvalde and Vanderpool. Published by the Hill Country Sun.