27 February 2012

Why Stop?

I'm back out on the road again for a short hop to Austin.  This is round two of the training I did back in September.  Two days in a fancy hotel conference center, eating too much, training with a bunch of sales people.  Last time we did this, half of Texas was on fire.  The small town of Bastrop was in the middle of a major fire that took out several hundred of thousands acres.  The roads I normally take to Austin were closed because of the fires that were sweeping across the area.  The fires were eventually put out and we've finally turned the corner on our drought with all  this recent rains.  I drove up this afternoon through the Bastrop area and it is depressing.  The whole area was is southeast of Austin in the beginning of the hill country.  Lots of forests mainly pine trees.  There is one scout camp east of Bastrop (Lost Pines) that out troop has attended for several years.  I drove through the area this afternoon and it was eery, looking like a lunar landscape.  Bare trees for miles, nothing on the ground, burned out houses/building.  I know that fires can be good, burring out a lot of dead wood and overgrowth and it is something that is a part of the cycle of growth, but still it is somewhat sad to see the damage.  Most of these trees won't grow back  for decades. 

While on the road, I try to keep an eye out for interesting sites.  Texas has over 2,500 Texas roadside markers that feature historical events; famous and infamous Texans; origins of towns, churches, and organizations; battles, skirmishes, and gunfights; and settlers, pioneers, Indians, and outlaws. Many time we are driving somewhere in Texas and pass a historical  marker sign and we sometimes wonder, What Happened There?  With this book, we can actually read  up about the marker and what it records and relive the tragedies and triumphs of Lone Star history.  It is a neat book my parents gave each of us so that we know more of the local history.   

And we are a bit closer to picking a reception spot.  Sunday we went out to see three more country club set ups.  We found the perfect spot,  very close by,  inexpensive,  well run, (we liked the general manager), except it is already booked on the day they want.  Hopefully, the kids will make their selection in the next week.  After that, the real fun begins. 


ShadowRun300 said...

While you're in Austin, find us a house on the lake.....
Seeing destruction from natural disasters is very sad, isn't it? We drove to Joplin, MO after the huge tornado hit there, and my daughter and I both cried. EVERYTHING was flattened.
I can't imagine seeing burned trees and homes.
I love the "Why Stop" book! That would be perfect for motorcycle trips. Wonder if they have similar books for other states.

meleah rebeccah said...

I wouldn't mind two days in a fancy hotel and eating too much food.

Hope you can have more fun than business while in TX.

And I hope the "kids" can book the wedding of their dreams!

Abby said...

Last summer we had a family gathering near where a major forest fire raged a couple of summers ago. "lunar landscape" is right! Weird.

"Why Stop" is a great idea - beats just trusting the billboards!

terri said...

I think how often we're out on the roads and see signs for historical markers and just keep on driving. I'll bet we've missed out on a lot. Maybe we'll start stopping more often!