Visit to Barrington Farm

Barrington Farm is a living history farm similar to the the Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm at LBJ State Park.

If you haven’t been to one of these living history farms I highly recommend a visit. It is educational and entertaining. Ask lots of questions.

farm house at Barrington Farm

The farm still uses the smokehouse. They slaughter a hog in January and smoke meat for the rest of the year.

The farm has a beautiful Polish Crested Red that guards the hens.

There are also two slave houses that are present at the farm.

There is not quite as much to check out at the Barrington Farm as the Sauer Beckmann Farm, but I still recommend the stop.

Battleship Texas

Next to the San Jacinto Battleground in Houston is Battleship Texas. If you like history, ships, militaria, or all of the above you’ll easily spend a few hours checking out this jewel of the Admiral Nimitz Fleet.

battleship texas

Your parks pass gets you aboard for free. This is a great deal considering it’s normally $12 for an adult and $6 for the kids.

You can take a seat on the guns and get a feel for what it was like to aim these beasts.

view from guns on battleship texas

If you’re a photography nut, you’ll need to bring extra memory cards. One of my favorite shots was of the San Jacinto Monument from the bow of the ship.

view of monument from battleship texas

San Jacinto Battleground and Monument

Back in June we headed to Houston to see an Astros game and check out a couple of Houston area parks. Truly one of the highlights was the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and Monument. This should be on every Texan’s bucket list. (summary of battle)

san jacinto monument

view from top of monument

The elevator ride to the top is $4 and is probably a “do it once just to say you did it” kind of thing. The views are nice though.

Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ Joints in the World*

Along with visiting all the parks and historic sites my friends and I are hitting the top BBQ restaurants along the way. The best guide is the Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50 List.

Here’s a Google map of the top 50 along with some honorable mentions.

Map by @chriscreel

Follow my not nearly as detailed attempt to visit all 50 of the BBQ joints to make the 2013 TMBBQ list.

Washington on the Brazos SHS

Today we visited Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS. The birthplace of Texas.

20130803-143126.jpg

Be sure to visit the gift shop. It’s one of the largest I’ve seen at a state park.

Every hour on the hour there is a guided tour of Independence Hall.

20130803-143254.jpg

The guide gives a great explanation of the history of Washington, TX and the story of Texas’ independence.

From there head outside and stop by the obelisk just outside independence hall.

20130803-143508.jpg

The inscription on one side reads: “The necessity of self preservation therefore now decrees our eternal political separation.”

From there head down the La Bahia road to the Brazos River. The La Bahia was an old highway hundreds of years ago. It’s estimated that people have traveled that east-to-west road for over 300 years.

20130803-143909.jpg

At the end of this path you’ll see the old fairy crossing at the Brazos.

20130803-143954.jpg

Turn right at the fairy crossing and you’ll see the La Bahia Pecan Tree. This type of pecan is normally found in Mexico. It is believed to be 190 years old.

There was a great amount of history to this park, but not much in the way of trails. There are picnic areas, an amphitheater, and a pavilion.

20130803-144308.jpg

Pedernales Falls SP: Fishing

This past Saturday I made it out to Pedernales Falls SP again. This time I brought the fishing gear with me and headed to the Pedernales Falls overlook area.

The spot I chose was just North of this spot though I won’t give away the exact spot. Where’s the fun in that?

Here’s the first giant I caught. No laughs. I was in it for the sport and not to find dinner.

And the biggest catch of the day…

It was a lot of fun until the families with untrained children showed up and thought it was a good idea to throws rocks into the water. I wish I had the camera out to get a shot of the fish throwing up the peace sign and disappearing never to be seen again.

By the way, “Harassment of Hunters, Trappers, or Anglers (Sportsmen’s Rights Act) is punishable by a fine of $200 to $2000 and/or 180 days in jail.”

Until that point it was a wonderful day out on the river. There were some bigger fish in this spot, but they weren’t interested in the bait I tried. Maybe next time.

*No fish were harmed in the production of this blog post.

Pedernales Falls State Park Bird Blind

After the storms on Monday, I headed out the Perd to see if the rains had any impact on the water level. While out there I remembered that there’s plenty about this park that I haven’t experienced yet. One of those things is the bird blind at the park.

My expectations were really low because I thought “low budget and state park must mean bench and tree = bird blind.” Boy was I wrong.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, put it at the top of your list for your next visit to the park.

From the park store, head towards the main falls. Keep an eye out on the left side of the road for the parking area for the blind. It is well-marked and should be easily found.

To get the most out of your visit and to be respectful of others at the blind:

  1. Turn your radio off before you turn into the parking area.
  2. No talking unless you are able to whisper (not all people are able to in my experience)
  3. When you park, try to park at the far end of the lot away from the entrance to the blind.
  4. Close the door to your car as quietly as possible
  5. Don’t set your alarm. Lock your doors, but no honking of the horn to set the alarm.
  6. Enter the blind quietly (don’t let the gate slam)

There are two large bird blinds once you enter. The first one on the right, pictured below, has a few hummingbird feeders.

I saw several different species in just a short time in this blind.

There is another blind in this area that has a special visitor right now.

I was lucky to get there around feeding time. The volunteer, Mr. Strickland, said that the baby fox, pictured below, shows up every day around 5pm and stays about an hour.

According to Mr. Strickland, there is a mother and a couple of other young foxes. However he had not seen them in a few days and the worry is that something might have happened to them. Hopefully this little guy is not on his own so young.

The park is in the middle of a large project at the blind/surrounding area. They are building a large star gazing area. Mr. Strickland said that there would be a telescope and accompanying facility. I look forward to visiting this facility when it opens.

Pedernales Falls (again)

I made it out to Pedernales on Monday after the heavy rains. Got some great pictures with the old camera I dug out of the closet. Easy to say that this park is my favorite so far. Every time I visit I see something I haven’t seen before.

picture of rocks at state park

limestone cave at state park

old tree at state park