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Frio Canyon Chamber of Commerce presents the annual


Volume 28, Number 10 ISSN: 1524-2315. Entire contents © Copyright 2018 by TD Austin Lane, Inc.

Julie Spell Harrington Publisher/Ad Sales 512-484-9716 •

Melissa Maxwell Ball

Editor/Design 512-569-8212 •

Ernie Altgelt • Bonnie Eissler • CJ Wright Writers

Gerry Burns



Gruene Music & Wine Festival + Craft Beer Event (See story, page 9.) Photos courtesy Gruene Music & Wine Festival + Craft Beer Event •

A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER It’s fall, y’all, and the much needed rain throughout the Hill Country has left us all feeling refreshed! We are going to have an amazingly beautiful season, and it is a great time to get out in the Hill Country and explore... from a fun event (many of which you can find in our calendar), unique places to stay... to the beautiful scenery and the hidden gems you will find along the way. Enjoy our Hill Country to the fullest!

— Julie

IN THIS ISSUE Small town, big fun in Gruene Gruene Music & Wine Festival + Craft Beer Event ..............9

Wild West Store celebrates 25 years

ON THE SQUARE Saturday, Nov 24 • 9 am to 4 pm Downtown Leakey, Texas Arts & Crafts, Santa, Food Vendors & More! And don’t miss our lighted courthouse, a sight to see!


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4 Early Bird Games 7:15 pm - 50/50 Split 10 Regular Games 8 pm

Meet Wimberley’s renowned “Boot Whisperer”........................5

Family fun in Dripping Springs at the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead Museum ........................7

Wildlife A column by C.J. Wright........................................................... 12

Sisters on the Fly Vintage trailers and Frio River Clean-Up.................................. 15

Calendar of Events Plan your fun fall adventures! ................................................... 16

September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   3

To advertise, call Julie 512-484-9716 or email INDEX


Texas Hill Country Locator Map

Š 2018 by TD Austin Lane, Inc.

Hill Country SUN   4 September/October 2018

Austin J5 Bandera B10 Bergheim D9 Bertram I2 Blanco F6 Boerne D9 Buchanan Dam F2 Buda J7 Bulverde G10 Burnet G2 Camp Verde B8 Canyon Lake G9 Castroville C12 Center Point B8 Clear Springs H11 Comfort C8 Concan A11 Driftwood H7 Dripping Springs H6 Fischer G8 Fredericksburg C5 Georgetown K2 Granite Shoals G2 Gruene H10 Hancock G8 Helotes G6 Henly G6 Highland Lakes F2/3 Hondo B13 Hunt A7 Hye E6

Ingram B7 Johnson City F5 Kendalia F8 Kerrville B7 Kingsland F2 Kyle I8 Lampasas G1 Leakey A9 Llano D2 Liberty Hill I12 Luckenbach D6 Luling K10 Marble Falls G3 Martindale J9 Mason B2 Medina A9 New Braunfels H10 Oak Hill I6 Oatmeal H2 Pipe Creek C10 Round Rock K3 San Antonio F12 San Marcos I9 Sattler H9 Seguin I11 Sisterdale D8 Spring Branch F9 Startzville G9 Stonewall D6 Utopia A10 Vanderpool A9 Wimberley H8

Wild West Store celebrates 25 years


By Bonnie Eissler | P hotos by Dave Wilson

t’s hard to find boots that fit just right. As improbable as it sounds, surveys and clinical observations suggest that as many as 85 percent of us are walking around in footwear that’s either too long, short, wide or narrow. Old western photographs, chaps, cowbells, leather purses, hats and even a buffalo head on the floor add to the ambience, but the main attractions at the Wild West Store are vintage cowboy boots and the store’s vivacious owner, Ulli Johnston, also known as the Boot Whisperer for her mysterious ability to find perfectly fitting boots for her customers just by looking at their feet. “I never ask for the shoe size. Most people don’t know their right shoe size,” Ulli says. So instead of asking them this question, or even measuring their feet, she simply says, “take off your shoes and stand in front of me.” As every true Texan knows, there’s nothing quite like a good pair of boots. Even though Kansas stakes the claim as birthplace of the cowboy boot, Texas is renowned for having more custom boot makers and more boot wearers than anywhere else in the United States. Born and raised in Germany, more than 5,000 miles from the cowboy culture of Texas, Ulli recalls a cobbler shop near where her family lived. “It was small and dark and one of my favorite places,” she says, “I liked the smell of the leather and watching the shoemaker repair the shoes.” Ulli has been sharing her love for vintage cowboy boots with customers since 1993, and it was in 2006 that she was given a new name by a woman who couldn’t believe her luck when presented with boots that got everything right. “Oh my god,” she said, “I didn’t tell you anything, and these are exactly what I want – you are a boot whisperer.” From then on, Ulli says, “the name just took off.” Time after time, Ulli has transformed skeptics into believers. “She has a gift,” they’ll say, or See WILD WEST STORE, page 6

Texas Hill Country elegance is yours at this secluded paradise, lush in natural settings, exquisite décor and gracious hospitality. We are your perfect setting for a romantic getaway, intimate wedding, retreat or meeting. Special treats: • Outdoor hot tub • 600’ of private access to Cypress Creek • Delicious breakfast buffet • Friday evening guest reception • Schedule an in-room massage • Romance packages

The “Boot Whisperer,” Ulli Johnston, with Jimmy Buffett. Photo courtesy Wild West Store.

Upscale in-room amenities: • 14 luxurious private guest rooms • Whirlpool baths, Jacuzzis • Private decks or balconies • Wireless internet available • Flat Screen TVs, DVD and MP3 players

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WILD WEST STORE, from page 5 “She didn’t even measure my feet – how did she know?” Ulli doesn’t claim 100 percent accuracy (more like 80 percent), still impressive when you consider that many companies, like Justin and Lucchese, have been in operation since the 19th century and designs were often trade secrets. Even within the same company, sizes aren’t consistent for every style. Also, the myriad variations of the human foot make finding the right fit even more difficult. According to the sign outside, the store has more than 500 pairs of boots, but two rooms have been added since that sign was painted. Ulli estimates there are now more than 700 pairs of boots in the store. Where do all these boots come from? It seems implausible that so many people part with never or rarely worn boots. They have different reasons, but the main reason people sell or trade them in is that they never fit properly in the first place. Ulli only buys boots that are in mint condition. A quick glance at their soles confirms this. They’re all original and look brand new or almost new. Top quality materials and workmanship set them apart. Prices range from around $250 up to thousands of dollars. The most expensive pair in the store on the day I visited were custom handmade alligator Lucchese priced at $12,000. It was in the late 1980’s and 90’s that mass production, often overseas, started to take over the industry. “Computers do all of the elaborate stitching that was once done by hand,” Ulli says, “but real boot lovers want the real deal.” A visit to the Wild West Store isn’t just about buying boots. People come for the experience. The boot whispering is not just an unconventional sales pitch. It’s an entertaining and fun experience that’s especially enjoyable for a group of friends or relatives celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or graduation. “It’s the boot equivalent to wine tasting,” Ulli says, “I want people to have a good time and leave happy.” She tells about a bachelorette party of about 15 young women who visited the store. A limousine pulled up and they all piled out, “everyone got boot whispered and they had a blast.” Customers come from near and far, from Hays County or as far away as Japan. Some people are buying boots for the first time and many others are repeat business – no one wants to go back to wearing uncomfortable, ordinary looking boots after having finally won the perennial battle of foot versus shoe. Ulli recalls one famous customer, Jimmy Buffet, best known to his “parrothead” fans for

songs that portray an island escapism lifestyle. Members of his band had been patronizing Wild West for years. When someone asked, “What about Jimmy?” the response was a dismissive, “Nah, he only wears flipflops.” It was quite a surprise when he came to the store soon after that, got the boot whisperer treatment and boots that fit him just right (of course they did!). One pair was chocolate brown and the other was sand colored, from the 1950’s or 60’s,” Ulli says, “and he bought them both.” Now the time had arrived for me to take off my shoes and stand before the boot whisperer. Despite the testimony from the “Margaritaville” singer-songwriter, a bevy of bachelorettes, and many others, I still harbored secret doubts that Ulli could conjure up my dream boots. I dreaded having to tell her that the magic wasn’t working this time. To my astonishment, in mere seconds, she clapped her hands together and said confidently, “I already know.” She disappeared into another room and came back in a flash holding up a pair of short black boots. I put them on, walked around the room, and they were so comfortable I didn’t want to take them off. Boom! Double fist bump. I’d been boot whispered.In that moment, I realized something. These pointy-toed simple black (not shiny) leather boots with very subtle hand stitching were absolutely perfect. Even though I hadn’t given Ulli a price range (usually the customer tells her what he wants to spend), the ones she’d selected were within five dollars of the price I had in mind. She assured me that finding the right boot doesn’t always happen this quickly, that sometimes it takes several tries, that she doesn’t get it exactly right all the time. “That would be too freaky,” she says. I didn’t buy the boots that day, but I can’t stop thinking about them and I know I’ll be returning to the Wild West Store soon. “If it’s meant to be,” Ulli said, “they’ll be here waiting for you.”

The Wild West Store is located at 13709 Ranch Road 12, just off the Square in Wimberley. Open by appointment only, please call 512-2934890 to schedule. Check out the YouTube “the boot whisperer can find you the perfect boots” video on the Best of Austin Facebook. And join Ulli for the store’s 25th anniversary celebration with live music from 2 pm - 5 pm Saturday, October 20  — rain or shine.  

Old-fashioned fun in Dripping Springs By Laurel Robertson


o many new things to do at the oldest place in Dripping Springs this fall, as the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead Museum launches its fall 2018 schedule of events. On September 22, the 28th annual Pioneer Day festival will fill the five-acre restored pioneer homestead with living history experiences the whole family will enjoy. There will be kids games and activities, barbeque, old-fashioned pound cake, live bluegrass music, a petting zoo and rides in a horse-drawn covered wagon. More than 40 artisans will demonstrate pioneer crafts such as spinning, rag rug looming, soap making, basket weaving, blacksmithing, and flint knapping. Texas Parks and Wildlife Buffalo Soldiers will be there in uniform, as well as a Texas Rangers historical group. Regular favorites such as Great Promise PowWow, Centex Model-T Car Club, Driftwood Gospel Choir, and Civil War re-enactors will return. (Hear the cannon roar!) Kids can try their hand at candle dipping, needlework, and other pioneer skills, and take home their creations. They’ll be able to play old-fashioned games - marbles, wooden hoops, stilts, checkers – beneath heritage live oak trees. A special travelling exhibit “The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings” will be touring the museum that Saturday and the new museum store, Pound Provisions, will celebrate its grand opening. Guests can enjoy docent-led tours of the 150-year-old dogtrot home all day, and get a peek at the new wallpaper in the parlor, installed this summer. Saturday, October 6, guests at the Twilight and Starlight fundraising gala will revel on the beautiful museum grounds beneath canopies filled with light, fine food and sparkling company. Some of the best Hill Country chefs will serve a feast of small-plate specialties, with drink selections provided by local wineries, breweries and distilleries. Live music, dancing, interactive games, live and silent auctions will make for a fun and dynamic evening. The annual event raises important funds for the preservation and protection of Dripping Springs’ original homestead, which has been fully restored to its late-19th century appearance. Ongoing educational, recreational and social programs for the community-at-large are made possible with the support.

Hip Horticulture will present a new hands-on workshop, “Succulent Pumpkins,” October 14. Participants create their own arrangement of succulents – planted in a pumpkin shell! (This is the same class that was featured in Texas Highways magazine a few years back.) And Saturday, December 8, from noon to 2 pm, have your photo taken with Santa next to a covered wagon and enjoy holiday refreshments and a tour of the restored homestead, decorated for the holidays in true pioneer fashion at Homespun Holidays, a family-festive, free event designed for folks of all ages.

The Dr. Pound Farmstead Historical Museum is located at 570 Founders Park Road, at the rear of Dripping Springs Founders Park. Docents in period dress are available to give tours of the restored homestead and grounds. Small group and private tours are also available by reservation. For more information, visit the website at or call 512-858-2030.

Photo courtesy Dr. Pound Farmstead Historical Musesum.

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September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   7

Gruene fest for f

Story by Ernie Altgelt Photos courtesy Gruene Food & Wine Fest

food | wine | craft beer | music

or being such a little place, Gruene sure has a lot going for it – year ‘round world-class music, tons of traditional two-stepping, ample amounts of appetizing Hill Country cuisine and an oh-so cool river bank venue that just can’t be beat. Who could ask for anything more? Why wine and craft beer lovers, of course! And come October, Gruene has got them covered too. Yep, in October the historic old community will host its not-to-bemissed 32nd Annual Gruene Music & Wine Festival + Craft Beer Event where oenophiles, cerevisaphiles and audiophiles happily harmonize to all things guitar, grape and golden (as in ale) over four days of tunes, tasting and toe-tapping largely for the benefit of the United Way. So, come one, come all and join the joy at this by-the-glass, very worthwhile, class event where the fun, flavor and philanthropy flows faster than the Guadalupe. It’ll be a real corker! Initially started in 1986 as a smaller scale music fest with a charitable aim, the festival drew a dedicated crowd of Country and Western enthusiasts that partied, played and generated $450.00 in donations. By year 2000, the wine connection was added and, with that extra dimension, the event really took off. In comparison, last year’s festival raised a whopping $173,945.98 for the United Way – a substantial portion going towards Hurricane Harvey relief. Wow! This October’s festival should prove to be the best yet with vintners from 30 different notable Texas wineries all showcasing and sharing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, more than 100 delectable varieties of their best fermentations. Attendees are encouraged to saunter, sip and sample and, if the palette is pleased, purchase some of the same vintage from Gruene’s very own Grapevine wine outlet. Sunday, the tastes will shift towards a bevy of Texas breweries as the fest hosts its always popular Craft Beer Event where more than 75 delicious boutique concoctions will be offered for tasting and purchase as well. As past participants will attest, all of this effort can be “thirsty work” but well worth the effort – hic-cup! And of course, what would be a music, wine and beer fest without the music? Thankfully, Gruene knows its stuff where that’s concerned. Non-

Hill Country SUN   8 September/October 2018

stop, top-notch musical entertainment on multiple stages throughout each day with the audio attractions culminating with kickin’ stellar concerts every evening except Sunday in the legendary Gruene Hall, the Lone Star State’s oldest continuously operating dance hall that originally opened in 1878. Scheduled performers include: Michael Martin Murphy, Thursday night, Aaron Watson, Friday night, Hal Ketchum Saturday night and, lots of additional traditional Americana music throughout the day on craft beer Sunday. Be sure and get your tickets early. But there’s even more. If wine, beer and song weren’t enough, multiple arts and craft vendors will be offering their quality wares on Saturday and Sunday allowing fest goers to get an appreciated jump on Christmas gift buying. Couple this activity with what Gruene’s permanent restaurants augmented by multiple diverse food trucks will be deliciously dishing out daily and it seems that almost all physical, emotional and, where wine and beer are concerned, spiritual needs can and will be accommodated. The event will be held across the sprawling township grounds where much of the activity will be tented. Oak trees will provide additional See GRUENE FEST, page 9

GRUENE FEST, from page 8 shade as well. Seating is abundant and parking is plentiful and free. Due to the festival’s wine, beer and music theme, attendees will need to be 21 or older. Admission tickets are sold by the day with most including beverage tasting chits, souvenir glasses, raffle entries and concert access.

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Gruene is located on New Braunfels’ northern edge just off IH 35. Take IH 35 to Exit 191 (Canyon Lake, FM 306), go west 1.5 miles then turn left at the traffic light at Hunter road and travel one half mile to the town. The 32nd Annual Gruene Music & Wine Festival + Craft Beer Event starts on Thursday, October 4 at 5 pm, with a Friday, October 5 start time at 5:30 pm. Saturday, October 6, the fun starts at noon and, on Sunday, October 7, at 1 pm. For more information, visit the website at

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When you join the Y, you’re committing to more than simply becoming healthier. You are supporting the values and programs that strengthen your community. At the Y, children learn what they can achieve, families spend quality time together, and we all build relationships that deepen our sense of belonging. For more than a workout. For a better us.

SPRINGS FAMILY YMCA 27216 Ranch Rd 12 512.894.3309

Hill Country SUN   10 September/October 2018


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SAVINGS OF $48 For New Members 65 or Older *Offer valid for in-person registration only. Not valid for online registration. Springs Communities YMCA 27216 Ranch Rd 12 | 512.894.3309 September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   11

July/August 2018 Hill Country SUN 17

Hill Country Wildlife

a column by C.J. Wright

why do birds matter?


s the long, hot summer wanes, we look forward to autumn with its cooler breezes and cobalt-blue skies. In 2016, autumn reflected what the 19th century author and poet, John Howard Bryant called “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” That year fall was warm and tranquil, lasting into November. Last year, fall lacked the muse to inspire poetic verse. With, insufficient rain in summer, foliage dried to brown and fell. By late October the first frost shimmered in the first light of morning. Since summer came early this year, toasting much of the eastern half of the country, one is left to wonder what this autumn has in store. Although we associate bird migration with fall, birds are on the move in July. Purple Martins stage, gathering sometimes by the hundreds of thousands, preparing for their trek to wintering grounds in South America. Having short breeding seasons, Orchard Orioles, a small glossy russet and black oriole and a species in decline, also head south. Shorebirds such as Wilson’s Phalaropes and Black Terns make their way to south Texas in July. After leaving their breeding grounds in the Northwest and Canada, the phalaropes rest and molt before heading to South America. Small, dark and graceful, Black Terns breed in the northern U.S. and Canada, migrate in flocks, resting in South Texas before leaving for Central and South America. Although common, their population has declined by 57% since 1966, and they are listed as a Species of Moderate Concern. Another shorebird, the Piping Plover, also makes its way to the Texas coast in July, only this seven-incher will stay for the winter. This year when it stopped to rest and eat at its favorite playa on the Texas High Planes, that playa might well have been dry due to drought, forcing the exhausted traveler to search elsewhere for water. This round and stocky plover is a sandy, grayish brown bird with white underparts, narrow black collar and yellowish orange legs. Larger than a sparrow yet smaller than a robin, its sandy back allows it to hide in plain sight along the sandy beaches of ocean shores in the northeast and along lakeshores, rivers and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes—areas in which they breed—as well as on its winter grounds: shores from the Carolinas to Texas. Although conservationists are making inroads by restoring breeding sites and placing exclosures around nests, Piping Plovers are on the Red Watch list and are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Their ground nests are subject to predation from several animals from dogs to raccoons to gulls. Recreationists may inadvertently step on their camouflaged bodies, eggs and chicks. Beach developments destroy their habitat. At this writing, it is mid-August. As is typical for this time of year, the bird community is silent. Our surrounding woods remain still save for the twitter of hummingbirds as they fly among Turk’s cap, sages, salvias and feeders. Even Carolina Wrens are mostly mute. Occasionally, a Red-eyed Vireo is seen flitting among branches, hunting for insects. Because of recent rains, whitetail deer now dine on fresh grasses. The bucks’ antlers are still in velvet and fawns are growing more independent. In August Mississippi and Swallow-tailed Kites add to the count at the Corpus Christi Hawkwatch, bound for South America. Mississippi kites are lovely and sleek. Interestingly, their nestlings are most compatible, often preening each other—a rare raptor trait. Adults allow smaller birds such as Northern Mockingbirds to nest near or even on their nests. Because their population is stable, they are a species of low concern. The Swallow-tailed Kite, an aerial acrobat, lost much of its historic range in the U.S., and is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Lots of hummingbirds migrate in August. Black-chinned, many of which breed in Texas, often winter along Gulf Coast while others fly

Hill Country SUN   12 September/October 2018

into central America. With a population of five million, this hummer, like the Ruby-throat—some of which also breed in Texas—is a species of low concern—this despite the fact that these feisty, feathered jewels that weigh no more than a nickel often fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico. The Allen’s Hummingbird, a sometimes winter visitor to Texas, has suffered an 83% decline between 1970 and 2014 and is a species of concern. Another winter visitor, the Rufous Hummingbird has declined 62% and is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Both species’ declines are due to development pressure on their West Coast breeding habitat. As autumn approaches, a kind of restlessness stirs the air. According to reports on Dplex-L, the monarchwatch electronic mailing list and discussion group were seen throughout their summer range than in recent years—a hopeful sign. In October, they sail through Texas on their journey to Mexico. In preparation, these insects, along with migratory birds, increase food intake to build fat reserves, readying to brave the elements and embark on their annual fall migrations. Throughout September and October songbirds will take advantage of cold fronts with their northerly winds, most migrating at night, their passing sometimes silhouetted against the moon. So, why do birds matter? “Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth.” —Melanie Driscoll, Director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Flyway “Birds matter not least because amazing migrations remind us what an interconnected web we live in, from pole to pole.” —Bill McKibben, author, environmental advocate “When we save birds from large-scale threats we see that what’s good for the birds is also good for us. This is true about agriculture, fishing, climate change. As we solve their problems we solve ours. This is about everyone’s quality of life.” —Gary Langham, National Audubon Science Director “…Like the canary in the mine, they hold the planet up to us like a mirror and ask ‘Can you not see that if we pass away, soon you will as well?’ That’s a good question, and since birds pose it, they matter a lot.” —Wes Craven, Hollywood director “…Today, I find myself continuing my Mom’s legacy by giving my niece and nephews ‘an eye to the sky’ and I take pride in working for Audubon to make sure they have the birds around that I enjoyed as a child.”  —Frank Moses, Montezuma Audubon Center Director “Birds connect me to the rhythm of the natural world. Flocks of cedar waxwings announce winter in a way no calendar can. The meteorologist declares autumn’s arrival, but I wait for goldfinch and junco to confirm it. Purple martin scouts arrive, chirping from the telephone wire, their oily feathers shine in the sun—spring is here, again.”  —Ben Jones, Director, Trinity River Audubon Center “Birds matter because they are a basic, integral part of the earth’s ecosystem. As in any system, the loss of one part will ultimately cause the downfall of the whole.” —Jean Ashby, Education cochair, Skagit Audubon “A world without flight is a world without imagination. Just ask Icarus, DaVinci, the Wright brothers, or any kid with his arms out in a sudden gust of wind.” —Benjamin Vogt, Lincoln, Nebraska  To read more, I encourage you to Google “Why Do Birds Matter? / Audubon.” The passage by the same name is from editors at Audubon, March 6, 2013.

Songwriters Fest to feature wide variety October 19-21 DRIPPING SPRINGS H The Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival returns October 19-21, with another incredible roster of local, national and international songwriting talent. The fifth annual event features more than 35 showcases a day, offering a wide variety of finely-crafted songs along with the people and stories behind them. More than 40 talented songwriters from as far away as Toronto, Canada, will play “inthe-round,” Nashville-style on five intimate stages located at The Barber Shop, Acopon Brewing, Mazama Coffee Company, The Sidecar Tasting Room and Hudson’s on Mercer ­— all of which are within safe, easy walking distance of each other in the quaint Historic District of downtown Dripping Springs. Performances run continuously Friday and Saturday until late in the evening, and Sunday the festivities include a spirited Gospel Brunch Showcase at Hudson’s on Mercer, followed by the ever-popular Festival Wrap-Party at the Barber Shop. Parking is plentiful, food and drinks will be available at each venue, and admission to all the showcases is free to the public.

For more information about the 2018 Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival visit


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September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   13

Sisters on the F ly I

By Ernie Altgelt Photos courtesy Sisters on the Fly

Frio River Cleanup at Garner State Park

n early October, visitors to our scenic Garner State Park in Uvalde County just might be a little surprised when encountering a fabulous faction of very focused females all intent on freeing the Frio from anything and everything trash-related. And, that’s not just a lot of rubbish. Yep, the legendary Sisters on the Fly, a national, 10,000-strong women-only group of outdoor enthusiasts known for colorful trailers, camp cooking and generally, just cutting up, are headed our way with beautification in mind. Welcome ladies, to the Texas Hill Country! Sisters on the Fly was established in 1999 by two actual sisters who shared a love for fly fishing, nature, travel, togetherness and just plain old fun. Today, this sorority of Susans, Sarahs, Sallys and so many other similar-minded ladies, all with an over abundant zest for life and adventure, roams the byways and backwoods punctuated by periodic pauses where incredible country camps are established. Once ensconced in these rural respites these camaraderie-craving wanderers really know how to connect and commune. It’s a hoot but, sorry guys, no men are allowed in this club. Boo! However, a gathering of the Sisters isn’t just about having good time. Giving of their time and energy are often involved as well. And, that’s one of the reasons why they’re coming to Garner. Uvalde County has always relied on volunteer groups to help keep the Frio pristine by encouraging annual garbage collection events. When the Sisters on the Fly heard about this need, it seemed like a “natural” for an organization with a love of fishing, the environment and of course, outdoor camping to join in the clean-up effort. So, with bags in hand, here they come! While in the area, the Sisters will be encouraging those they meet to make donations based on the hours they will spend sprucing up the river. All proceeds will go to support the very laudable Mazie Morrison Foundation, a charity which provides funding and scholarships exclusively to women and children in serious need. Mazie was the mother of the original founding sisters of the organization. Anyway, if you’re intrigued and now have a hankering to meet a goodly number of the Sisters on the Fly, come to Garner State Park this October. On Friday, the 5, from 4 pm until 6 pm, the ladies will host a not-to-be-missed, family-friendly trailer tour showcasing their extravagantly-decorated mobile homes-away-from-home. What they’ve done creatively to these wheeled and towed domiciles Hill Country SUN   14 September/October 2018

is guaranteed to delight and astound. Really, it’s a museum-quality, open-air, mobile art installation like nothing you’ve ever seen before. There is the regular $8 admission fee to the park but it also includes access to the more than 11 scenic miles of trails that wend through the unblemished wilderness. And, if you need more exposure to these gallivanting gals, they will also be in attendance at Uvalde County’s Fall River Road Market Fest in neighboring Concan on Saturday, October 6, at Andy’s on River Road, from 10 am ’til 3 pm. Come join the sisterhood at this free event along with myriad artisans and craftsmen, food vendors, musicians, carnival rides and even, a few “racing pigs!” You won’t be disappointed.

Come help and welcome the uber-unique and wonderful Sisters on the Fly as they descend on Garner State Park for a little “R and R,” meeting and greeting and especially, doing their part to ensure that our Frio River remains clean and clear for future generations. Thank you Sisters – you go, girls! For more information, visit the website at

Vintage trailer tour. Photo courtesy Sisters on the Fly.

Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch MEDINA H Love Creek Orchards, pioneers of the Texas apple industry, host the 24th Annual Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch beginning October 6, open to the public every Saturday, Sunday and Monday in October and for school tours Thursdays and Fridays. What a great way to learn about agriculture and how apples are grown and harvested. Guests can enjoy hayrides, scarecrow building, pumpkin painting, pony rides, games and photo opportunities along with a petting zoo, apple orchard tours, cider making and processing apples on the apple line. Other fun events include pig races, storytelling, playing an instrument in the Great Hill Country Symphony and an apple eating contest. Love Creek offers hot dogs, hamburgers, apple pie, pumpkin pie, apple ice cream and of course, fresh squeezed apple cider, or enjoy food from onsite vendors. If you want pumpkins, you’ll find a great variety of pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, corn stalks and fall squashes and gourds available to buy. Bring your camera! Photo opportunities abound.

(830) 232-5758

The Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch opens on October 6 — open every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in October from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $6 per person and includes free hayrides, the petting zoo, pumpkin painting (you buy the pumpkin and we provide the paint), tours, and entertainment. There is an additional charge for face painting and a barrel train ride. The Pumpkin Patch is open on Thursdays and Fridays for scheduled school tours. For more information, call 800-449-0882. For school tours, call 210-215-1995. Special birthday parties can also be accommodated.

September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   15

Hill Country Calendar

NOTE: Dates and/or locations for the events listed in the Calendar may change. Some require admission fees or reservations. Please call ahead to confirm.


GRUENE: Live music at Gruene Hall.


HELOTES: Family Night and Free Dance at John T. Floore Country Store., 14492 Old Bandera Road. 6 pm.


BANDERA: Second Sunday Music Fest. Afternoon of music, food, and fun at Frontier Times Museum. JOHNSON CITY: Taste Wine + Art. Kirchman Gallery. 830-868-9290.


DRIFTWOOD: United Methodist Church Bluegrass Gospel Sing-along Service. 11 am. 512-944-6300 EVERY MONDAY SAN MARCOS/WIMBERLEY: Wimberley Glassworks gallery open 10 am to 5 pm daily and Sunday noon to 5 pm. See the artists create in a live glassblowing demo.


CYPRESS MILL: Bunkhouse Gang at Wenmohs Ranch. Paint and enjoy fellowship of artists. 830-825-3465. EVERY TUESDAY SAN MARCOS: San Marcos/Wimberley Area Community Bible Study. 6:30 - 8 pm. First Christian Church, 3105 Ranch Road 12. 512-808-9156.



DRIPPING SPRINGS: Farmers Market. 3 pm to 6 pm at Highway 290, Ranch Road 12. KERRVILLE: Kerr County Farmer’s Market. River Star Arts & Event Park. www. NEW BRAUNFELS: Veteran Music Group at VFW Post 7110. 5 pm to 8 pm. Open to all veterans, all skill levels. Song writing, guitar, keyboard, more. 600 Peace Avenue. Gary Walter, 512-460-9919. SAN MARCOS: Kent Finlay’s Songwriter’s Circle. You never know who might walk in and perform at Cheatham Street Warehouse. 8 pm. WIMBERLEY: Farmers’ Market. Senior Citizen’s Activity Center, Ranch Road 12. 512-264-1637.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Cook Off Club. 6:30 pm. VFW Hall. Email ryoncrew@ WIMBERLEY: Heart of Texas Genealogy Society meets at Wimberley Village Library. 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm.



WIMBERLEY: Meeting of the Hill Country Neighbors. 10:30 am. Community Center. 512-847-2849.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Coffee House with Light Dinners, Desserts, Open Mic. 6 pm to 9 pm. Thyme and Dough. INGRAM: Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market. Highway 39 & Old Ingram Loop. 2 pm to 7 pm. 830-367-2800.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: First Thursday. Events, food and music plus special sale items. 5 pm to 9 pm. DRIPPING SPRINGS: Vince F. Taylor American Legion Post 290 of Dripping Springs meets at 7 pm. 512-858-5637.


CANYON LAKE: Noon Lions. Canyon Lake Golf Club. 830-899-4406.



WIMBERLEY: Hill Country Bead Society. Wimberley Community Center. 1 pm. Marilyn Pierce, mp@


WIMBERLEY: Toastmaster Club. Learn public speaking, leadership. 7 pm to 8 pm at the Community Center,14068 Ranch Road 12. 512-847-6822.




BANDERA: Third Thursday Cowboy Camp. Pickers who play cowboy, Texas, or Western swing music are welcome to sit in. DRIPPING SPRINGS: Dripping Springs VFW Post 2933 meets at 7 pm. 512-858-5637. WIMBERLEY: Susanna’s Kitchen Coffeehouse presents some of best in Hill Country music. Pie, tamales, pizza, coffee, soft drinks available. Doors 7 pm, music 7:30 pm. WIMBERLEY: Third Thursday. Shops open ’til 8 pm.


WIMBERLEY: Live Music at Linda’s Fine Foods. 500 FM 2325. facebook. com/LindasFineFoods.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Craft Beer Tasting, Free Tour at Twisted X Brewing Co.


BLANCO: Tasting Room Open & Brewery Tours at Real Ale Brewing Company. WIMBERLEY: Bingo. Family friendly fun at the VFW Hall on Jacobs Well Road. 512-847-6441.


BANDERA: Knights of Columbus Fish Fry. 5 pm at St. Joseph’s Hall. www. FREDERICKSBURG: First Friday Art Walk. MARBLE FALLS: Art Walk. 5 pm to 8 pm.


20th Brent Thurman

MEMORIAL BULL RIDING September 22, 2018 • 7:30 pm Dripping Springs Ranch Park

29401 Ranch Rd 12, Dripping Springs TX 78620

BANDERA: Medina Community Jam Session. Bring a covered dish, snack or dessert. Medina Community Center. UVALDE: Four Square Friday. Shopping, food, music, art. 6 pm to 9 pm.


BANDERA: Flying L Chuckwagon Dinner Enjoy barbecue, wagon rides, roping lessons, gunslingers, line dancing, and more. BOERNE: Farmer’s Market. 9 am to 1 pm. DRIPPING SPRINGS: Texas Music and Wine. FISCHER: Jackson Open Artisan and Farmers Market. 9 am to 5 pm. 6341 Farm Market 32., 830-935-2781. NEW BRAUNFELS: Farmers Market.


WIMBERLEY: Tour Jacob’s Well. Hear stories about floods, divers, and experience beauty of the spring that started the town of Wimberley. 10 am.

Visit the EmilyAnn

See a show, attend a festival, or stroll through the gardens and enjoy our interactive grounds.

Friday Night • September 21

Gar 21st Annual

Upcoming Indoor Shows Twelfth Night

Aug 31 - Sept 23 Fri & Sat 7:30 pm/Sun 2 pm

The Mousetrap

Oct 26 - Nov 18 Fri & Sat 7:30 pm/Sun 2 pm

Jane Eyre The Musical

Feb 1-24 ♦ Fri & Sat 7:30 pm/Sun 2 pm

Doors open at 6 pm Cowboy Reunion and Auction 7 pm followed by Jake Hooker & the Outsiders

Trail of Lights

Saturday Night • September 22

Children’s Theatre Little Red Riding Hood

Produced by Bo Davis, DVS Productions. Proceeds benefit Marbridge Ranch, the Jason Walford Foundation, RED Arena & the Special Olympics

A Christmas Carol


Saturdays 10 am ♦ Sundays 2 pm

Nov. 24 - Dec. 28 Sun. - Thurs. 6 - 9 pm Fri. - Sat. 6 - 10 pm

Sept 29 - Oct 21 Nov 24 - Dec 16

1101 FM 2325 ~ Wimberley, TX ~

Exceptional Rodeo 5:30-6:30 pm Bull Riding 7:30 pm People’s Choice Band 10 pm

September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   17

Hill Country Calendar The Friends Foundation 25th Annual Barbecue Fundraiser Thursday, October 11, 2018 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. The Salt Lick Pavilion 18200 FM 1826, Driftwood, TX

Silent & Live Auctions BBQ Buffet 6-8 p.m. Tickets $25

Cash, check or credit card Tickets available at the door. Children 6 & Under Free Advance tickets at Hill Country Care (cash or check only).

Music by Hot Texas Swing Band Master of Ceremonies KVET Austin’s Bama Brown

WIMBERLEY: Arnosky Family Farms Market. Ranch Road 2325 and Highway 165. 830-833-5428 WIMBERLEY: Saturday Evening Dinners. UTOPIA: Lunch and Dinner Served at Laurel Tree.


BANDERA: Market Days on the Courthouse Square. 830-796-4447. BANDERA: First Saturday Book Sale. Public Library. 830-796-4213. BANDERA: Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters. Re-creating shootouts and life of the Old West. High noon and 2 pm. BANDERA: Cowboys on Main. See and interact with a sample of the Old West cowboy lifestyle on Bandera Main Street. DRIFTWOOD: Community Club. Group meets to enhance community spirit. Dinner 7 pm. KERRVILLE: Kerr County Market Days and Hill Country Swap Meet. Hill Country Youth Exhibit Center. Free admission, WIMBERLEY: Market Days. Oldest outdoor market in the Hill Country and second-largest in the state fea- tures 475 -plus booths of art, crafts, antiques and treasures. Lions Field.


CASTROVILLE: Market Trail Days. Houston Square. 830-539-2316. WIMBERLEY: Gallery Trail. 15 galleries around Square open late offering art, wine, appetizers.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Craft Beer Tasting and Free Tour at Twisted X Brewing Company, live music and food. ROUND MOUNTAIN: Tours at Westcave Preserve.


LAMPASAS: Trade Days. Meet artists and craftsmen who create one-of-akind items, from antiques, collectibles, quilts, and crafts, to folk/fine art, home furnishings.


AUSTIN: Tours of Bright Leaf Natural Area.

Come for fun things to do. Stay for good things to learn.

Free & Fun for All!



Hill Country Alliance is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Hill Country SUN   18 September/October 2018

(dog friendly)


JOHNSON CITY: Market Days.


KERRVILLE: “Fiber & Wood” Art Exhibit. Hill Country quilters and wood turners connect for this display of high craft at Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett Street.


15th AnnuAl


October 27, 2018 @ 6 pm

St. Mary Catholic Church

KERRVILLE: American Water-color Society Traveling Show. Juried exhibition features watercolors from artists all over the world.

14711 Ranch Road 12 • Wimberley, TX

SAN MARCOS: Mermaid Week SMTX. Celebration highlights mermaid as a symbol of guardianship for the city’s river with mermaid-themed activities including Mermaid Ball, Downtown Mermaid Promenade and The Mermaid Aqua Faire. Downtown San Marcos. mermaid




GRUENE: Come and Taste It. A winery showcases three wines, alongside a craft brew with live music and prize giveaways. WIMBERLEY: Susan Gibson in Concert. Proceeds from this performance by the Wimberley-based singer-songwriter help people in need in the community. Susanna’s Kitchen., 512-847-3109.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: 20th Brent Thurman Memorial Bullriding. Dripping Springs Ranch Park.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Pioneer Day. Step back in time and experience early Texas history with re-enactments, blacksmithing demonstrations, more. Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead. LAKEHILLS: Cajun Festival & Gumbo Cookoff. C. Lakehills Civic Center.


JOHNSON CITY: Market Days. City Park, US Highway 290 and Avenue G.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Sacred Art Workshops. Sean Kramer, Artist and Iconographer teaches a series of workshops at Villa Vigneto Texas.,


NEW BRAUNFELS: Comal County Fair. Enjoy a parade through downtown New Braunfels, a rodeo, bull riding, a livestock show, carnival rides, more. Comal County Fair Grounds.


BANDERA: Rumble on the River.Poker run, vendors, food, field events, music, a bike show, and Sunday church service.


BURNET: Day Out with Thomas. Take a ride with a full-size Thomas the Train Tank Engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt.


KERRVILLE: Guadalupe Watercolor Group. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett Street.


COMFORT: Taste of Comfort, Celebration of food and wine with live and silent auctions. JOHNSON CITY: Art Walk. Galleries open 4 pm to 8 pm, with adult beverages and snacks provided. Nugent Avenue and Main Street. MARBLE FALLS: Market Day on Main. Shop artisan goods from around the Hill Country from more than 70 crafters. Main Street. MASON: Old Yeller Days & Lion’s Club 5K/10K. Celebrates Mason’s pioneer and cultural heritage, in particular the writings of Fred Gibson, Mason native and author of “Old Yeller.” Courthouse Lawn. SAN MARCOS/WIMBERLEY: Gourdgeous Glass Pumpkin Patch. See more than 500 hand blown glass pumpkins and gourds. Live music, Middleton Brewing beer on tap and glassblowing demos creating pumpkins.


INGRAM: Texas Arts & Crafts Fair. More than 150 exhibitors, food trucks and entertainment on the outdoor stage.


GRUENE: 32nd Annual Gruene Music & Wine Fest. Vintner and music events, wine, food and beer samplings, and the Great Guitar Auction.

“Under the Big Tent”

• Thompson Center Compass .22-250 • Bernelli Super Nova 12ga • Bergara 8-14 Hunter 6.5 Creed • Tikka T3XLite .308 Win • Remington 870 Express Cmpt 20ga • Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV .45LC,410 • Ruger Am. Predator 6.5 Creed • Ruger American Ranch .450 BM • Ruger 10/22 Itac .22LR • Beretta A300 Mallard 12ga • Savage 93R17 FXP 17HMR • Ruger American Cmpt 7MM-08 • Stoger Condor Youth/O/U20ga • Henry Goldenboy .22LR • Remington 870 Exp Tact 12a • Savage 93R17 BGVXP 17HMR • Savage 10T - SR .308 Win • Remington 870 Exp Super Mag 12ga • Savage Axis 6.5 Creed • Keystone Cricket .22LR • Stoeger Coach Supreme 12ga • Marlin 1895 .45-70 • Ruger Vaquero SS .45Lc/.410 • Stoeger M3500 12ga • Savage Axis Cmpt .243 Win • Henry Single Shot .308 Win • Savage 116 Trophy Combo .30-06 • Mossberg 930 JM Pro 12ga • Beretta M9 9MM • Remington 700 Varmint .22-250


Lee Butler 512-497-9806 Mike Regan 916-838-7722 Paul Guzman 512-461-3067 Mark Jones 210-632-5844

Tickets $40 ea or 4 for $140 At Door $45 ea or 4 for $160 Buy Online@ Ticket includes one meal & beverages

Live Music 6 -8 pm

Knights of Columbus

Council 9151 - Wimberley, Texas Doing business as Central Texas Columbus Club Inc. 501(c)(3)

September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   19

Hill Country Calendar OCTOBER 5-7


OCTOBER 5-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-29


FREDERICKSBURG: Oktoberfest. Celebrate the fun and flavor of Fredericksburg’s German heritage. MEDINA: Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch. Hayrides, hay bale maze, giant hay stacks; a petting zoo; apple orchard, cider mill, and apple processing tours. Love Creek Orchards, 13558 SH 16 North.


BANDERA: Bandera Market Days. CONCAN: Sisters on the Fly Vintage Trailer Tour and River Road Fall Market. Vendors, petting zoo, games, live music. KERRVILLE: Fall Native Plant Sale & Festival. KERRVILLE: Kerr County 4-H Wild Game Dinner.Feast of wild game, auction and raffle.


INGRAM: Kerr County Celtic Festival & Hill Country Highland Games. Enjoy song, dance, games, food, more at Stonehenge II. LAMPASAS: Lampasas Trade Days., 512-734-1294.

OCTOBER 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28

PIPE CREEK: Pumpkin Patch. Hayride, scarecrows, farm animals, pumpkin painting. Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm.


MEDINA: Annual Cabrito and Barbecue Dinner. Medina Community Center, Main Street.


DRIFTWOOD: The Dripping Springs Friends Foundation 25th Annual Barbecue Fundraiser. Silent, live auctions, music by Hot Texas Swing Band. Salt Lick Pavilion. LLANO: The Heart of the Art in Song. Singer, songwriter and author, Alex Harvey, and artist Daniel Adams, together for an exclusive, intimate dinner show at BADU 1891.

Hill Country SUN   20 September/October 2018

FREDERICKSBURG: Texas Mesquite Art Festival. World’s largest selection of original mesquite art., 830-997-8515. BANDERA: Texas Hill Country Musicfest. Featuring Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros. 11th Street Cowboy Bar. BURNET: Octoberfest. Enjoy music, crafts vendors, kids’ activities, breweries, car show, wineries, auction, Wild West gun fight, more. FREDERICKSBURG: Monarch Celebration. KERRVILLE: Hill Country Swap Meet. Kerr County Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 State Highway 27. LAMPASAS: Fall Fest. Plants, garden-related vendors, and seminars help visitors get ready for fall gardening. Downtown Square. 512-556-8030. STONEWALL: 38th Annual Stonewall VFD Fall Fish Fry. Fundraiser includes fried catfish with all the trimmings, entertainment. Stonewall Chamber of Commerce Building. 830-644-5571.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Hill Country Ranch Harvest Market. Clothing, gifts, jewelry, gourmet food, more. FREDERICKSBURG: WWII Pacific Combat Zone. National Museum of the Pacific War, 311 East Austin. KERRVILLE: Hill Country Gun Show. Features approximately 70 vendors at Hill Country Veterans Center, 411 Meadowview Lane. 830-315-3101. KERRVILLE: 4th Annual Kerrville Chalk Festival. Peterson Plaza in Downtown Kerrville, Main Street., 830-895-5222.


COMFORT: Scarecrow Invasion. Unique and imaginative scarecrows for the enjoyment of all who see them., 830-995-3131.


WIMBERLEY: Adam & Chris Carroll in Concert. Susanna’s Kitchen, 1200 County Road 1492., 512-847-3109.

Hill Country Calendar OCTOBER 19-20

Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm.,


WIMBERLEY: 15th Annual Knights of Columbus Hunter’s Night Out and 30-Gun Raffle.

LLANO: Llano River Chuck-wagon Cookoff. DRIPPING SPRINGS: Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival. Enjoy an exciting weekend of phenomenal singer/songwriter show-cases. Downtown Dripping Springs, Mercer Street. FREDERICKSBURG: Trade Days. Shop more than 400 vendors in seven barns, with acres of antiques, a biergarten, and live music.


LLANO: “Western Trappings on the Llano.” In its sixth year, this juried art exhibit and sale features the finest in custom gear and Western art. Llano County Historical Museum., 325-247-3026.


DRIPPING SPRINGS: Hill Country Living + Rainwater Revival Festival. Dripping Springs Ranch Park. GARDEN RIDGE: Women’s Club Holiday Marketplace. Handcrafted hand-crafted jewelry, sculptures, metal work, fiber art, photography, more. $3 admission. Garden Ridge Community Center, 9474 Municipal Parkway.



BURNET: 10th Annual Utopiafest. Patty Griffin, Lukas Nelson, Grand Master Flash and a huge lineup of musicians.


NEW BRAUNFELS: Christkindlmarkt. A German-inspired open air Christmas market. Convention Plaza, 1300 Church Hill Drive.


LEAKEY: Christmas on the Square. Arts and crafts, Santa, lighted courthouse. Downtown.

Help us save lives


COMFORT: Fall Antique Show., 830-995-3131. GRUENE: Old Gruene Market Days. gruenemarket


WIMBERLEY: Wimberley Adoption Group and Rescue WAGala 2018 at Rancho Mirando. 6 pm., 512-847-3200.

Adopt  Volunteer  Foster  Donate


KERRVILLE: 39th Annual Kerr County Fair .


WIMBERLEY: Wimberley Players and 7A Ranch’s Haunted Pioneer Town. Spooky fall fest features haunts, creepy petting zoo, crafts, pop-up vendors, live music, food, and beverages Friday 7 pm to 10 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and

We are a non-profit public charity for dog rescue and adoption serving Wimberley and western Hays County.

512-847-3200 






September/October 2018 Hill Country SUN   21

Make it a Llano Western Weekend!

Don’t miss the Llano Chuck Wagon Cook Off Visit for tickets and details

The Cedar Chest Open Daily 10 am-5:30 pm • 13915 Ranch Rd 12 • Wimberley, TX 78676 512-847-1100


Celebrate Fall!

River Rim Resort Indian Springs Lodges

RiverGate Cabins Lost Canyon Retreat

River’s Edge Cabins RiverStone Cabins

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. These resorts are open all year and provide the perfect home away from home getaways. 830-232-5758 • • Elevate your experience in the majestic Frio Canyon with Frio Premier Rentals, Concan’s finest vacation homes. Many of these homes feature private swimming pools & private river access. 1204 CR 350 • Concan, TX • 830-232-4935 •

Hill Country Sun, Sept/Oct 2018  

Since 1990, bringing you the stories of the Texas Hill Country. Read all about interesting people, places, events and more in the Hill Coun...

Hill Country Sun, Sept/Oct 2018  

Since 1990, bringing you the stories of the Texas Hill Country. Read all about interesting people, places, events and more in the Hill Coun...