Peace Like a River

by Julia Hayden

We went to Wimberly last weekend, first for the Market Days, and then to try and find the place where I had taken some particularly beautiful pictures along the Blanco River some years ago. I am getting ready to publish a all-in-one hardback version of the Adelsverein Trilogy, and I thought that a nice rural view of the hills, river, trees and wildflowers would be just the ticket for the cover. Alas, no luck with the wildflowers this year, and we couldn’t find the road that we had gone driving down, which paralleled the river and offered a wonderful vista around every bend . . . never mind – we still got some lovely pictures, I got some plants to begin reviving my poor dog-and-frost destroyed garden again, and my daughter scored some major finds as far as her pressed glass collection goes. Oh, but it was hot. We carried along bottled water, with plenty of ice, drank of it every time we began to feel thirsty, and still came home limp with exhaustion.

We took the back way, from New Braunfels – too much traffic on the highway . . . and anyway, I wanted to look for scenic bits of the Hill Country anyway. We took the exit for Farm to Market 306 as if going to Canyon Lake, turned right on Purgatory Road and went all the way to Ranch to Market 32. Turn east, towards the direction of San Marcos, and then north on Ranch Road 12, into Wimberley. It seemed to be a very short and direct drive, rather than up to San Marcos on the highway, and then over to Wimberley – and it was much more restful a drive – little traffic, once past the turn-off for Canyon Lake.

So – Wimberley; a sweet little town, halfway between Austin and San Antonio, well-grown with oak and cypress trees, and stocked with cute little places selling artistic tchotchkes, kitchenware, antiques and the like. It still has a small-town feel about it – it is not laid out in straight lines and squares like the older parts of Fredericksburg, or Boerne or New Braunfels – it’s more like the original city planners dropped pieces of cooked spaghetti on the floor and took the resulting tangle as a viable plan. Still – considerable charm, even when everyone is heading to Market Days, or decides do go for lunch in downtown Wimberley afterwards.

We took our lunch at Marcos’ Italian, right on the town square; which was a perfect place to sit and recover after the heat. They make their own rolls, as I discovered, when having an Italian sausage roll for lunch – and the same dough is used to make little rolls to dip into spiced olive-oil. We completely missed the turn-off for the River Road, which is where we wanted to go, as I discovered when checking the map again. Instead, we blundered off into the entirely opposite direction – still, it was scenic enough: a cool green river, with cypress trees lining the riverbank, and tiny green feathers of cypress seedlings coming up from the mud. My daughter waded in the water, to cool off – she promises that next time, we’ll bring some inflatable pool toys and float around a bit on the river.

So, that was our Saturday excursion – what about yours?

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