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Past Adventures

Mason Texas 2002

Sites include visits to : The City of Mason, TX, the Mason County Bats, the Hunt for Texas Topaz, Stonehenge II and Easter island in Ingram, TX and the Arts and Festival Show in Kerrville.

Prelude : (As always, click on the picture for for a larger image and click on the links for surprises.)

         On Saturday April 16, 2002 , Evelyn and I made our way to Big Bend .  We stopped for lunch in the unique community of Mason , TX .  After lunch we walked around the town square visiting their antique and gift shops before heading back on the road again which starts another story on our navigation skills and we wound back into Mason again.  Needless to say, Mason has more to it than just great food, antiques and gift shops.  From the literature I picked up, there were other treasures to be had and places to explore.  But first, one step at a time.  Letís get to Big Bend .

        Oh, I wasn't in charge of taking pictures.  So if you want to see any, bug Carolyn.

Star Date : 05/24/02

        I had already packed the night before, so I got off a little early and headed on down to Evieís place.  Evelyn finished packing and we loaded up the truck.  The next stop was Carolynís home.  We got to Carolynís and got her boarded.  Evelyn took up the driving from here.  I forgot to warn her about my new carEarlier, I warned the folks who ran the Bed and Breakfast that we will be coming in late and so we did.  We did not arrive in Mason till around midnight .  We were all dead tired and so we crashed for the night.

Star Date : 05/25/02

        In the morning, I woke up slightly sick but we ate a light breakfast and I went out to the corner convenience store to pick up our digging permits for mining the Texas topaz on the Garner Seaquist ranch.  We had our directions and headed out.  Another plus, Carolyn had an old map from an old rock hound.  How accurate was it?

        We found the ranch and drove in while being greeting by the bovine reception committee.  From the old rock hound map, I do believe we were in the right place.  So we dug and we sifted.  We dug and we sifted.  We dug and we sifted.  I think you get the idea.  We may have found something but, I wouldnít know topaz from quartz.  After some discouragement, we decided to hike through the old riverbed that we were digging in.  We first went up and had to pass by a dead cow.  Boy did that stink.  It was obvious from inspection she died during complications from childbirth.  I will not describe in any further details.  I have a weak stomach.  Then we took another hike up the riverbed.  We never really saw anything interesting.  If there were any topaz out there, then someone took its location to his or her grave.

        Time to pack up and head back into town.  Upon packing, I became violently sick.  I will just leave it at that.  However, we did make it back into town.  Our next adventure was the bat caves of Mason county.  While waiting for evening, the girls shopped while I rested and tried to eat a little soup.  Carolyn went crazy and bought more artwork.  They also found some very expensive jewelry in a shop made by a local artist.

        Later, we all hooked back up again at our B&B.  Carolyn rested a while and Evelyn and I drove around the town to see what else was around.  We found some remains of the old Fort Mason and we did find the shop/studio of that pictograph jewelry maker.  As it turns out, he also make numerous iron sculptures as well.

        We all hooked up again, grabbed our map and set out to the bat cave.  The route took us out of town, through some county roads and onto some private land.  We also passed by to what looked like a small river recreational park along the Llano river.  Pronounced "Ya-No"  Told you girls.  We came to a point where we had to cross the river by truck.  Hum, time to put it in 4 wheel drive.  We watch a family ahead of us in a mini-van and once we saw them make it we were confident to go through.  Then more rough roads until we finally made it to the bat cave parking area.   Some folks must have already met the park ranger, so we had to make the hike to the cave on our own. 

        We finally got there and sat in an amphitheater style of benches.  The park ranger gave us instructions, rules and what to expect.  Then suddenly around 7:00 PM it all started.  First, the bats would fly in circles inside the cave.  Then little by little they would venture out of the cave and fly back in.  As time passed, the bats flew further and further out of the cave until it looked like a small black tornado in front of us.  The bats were so close you could actually grab one as they flew by.  (Though I do not recommend this at all and neither does the park guide.)

        Finally, they hit the high skies organizing themselves into many different swarms.  There were so many that they seemed to peeper the clouds above.  This continued for over an hour.  However, it was beginning to get dark, and I did not want to cross that river again without light.  So we took another trail and hike back to the parking area.  We managed the river crossing again and stopped at the Llano river recreational site.  Since there was no real night life anywhere nearby, we decided to make this our tail gate party and I got out my fireworks.  As it darkened, we could see storm clouds head to us from the north.  We continued anyway until we felt a few rain drops and then headed back into town.  On the way back, we saw several fire trucks heading towards us.  We would not know what happened until the next morning.  Finally, we made it back and it was pouring down.  We dried up and all retired for the night.

Star Date : 05/26/02

        We woke up early the next morning, packed up and drove to Kerrville for the Kerrville Arts Festival.  I finally got my appetite back and filled up on the normal festival food while the girls shopped for art.  Evelyn found a metal sculpture piece to hang above the door in her newly renovated kitchen.  We then later drove into Ingram to tour the sights.  We stopped by the Stonehenge and Easter Island replicas and had a photo op.  Carolyn tried picking one guys nose while Iím seen here sacrificing Evie to the Gods.  Of coarse the girls just had to model for me.

        We then set off for Jack and Jenniferís place.  We were going to stay there for the night but, their plumbing went bad.  So we found a Best Western back in Kerrville .  We then went out to eat at a local Chiliís and then retired for the night.

Star Date : 05/27/02

        Time to go home.  But first, we stopped by Jack and Jenniferís again for breakfast.  Then they gave us a little tour of their little piece of the Guadalupe river.  Unfortunately, the girls were disappointed by not getting to see their favorite stain glass artist.  They were able to get a hold of her husband who stated she had some of her work in a gallery at a nearby hotel.  We stopped at the gallery and the girls fought over one piece.  Of coarse Evie won out.   We finally headed out again and got back to Gatesville.  We dropped Carolyn off and then returned to Evieís.  I had to wait a while to go home due to a storm blowing through but, finally managed to make it back home.  Tomorrow, back to work.  Bummer!!

 

          So, until next time, take care and I'll  See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!

                                                     Francis                        

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