If this isn’t the Texas Hill Country, heaven help us! We’re in Bandera County about twenty miles east of Leakey, TX. We did some 10% slopes today up what looked like hills to us. We must have seen those yellow, diamond-shaped signs reading “STEEP GRADES, SHARP CURVES” ten times today. And yet, our guide book says the Hill Country is still to the east.

Whatever they call this area, I find it appealing – certainly more so than the flat, brushy plain to the west that we are coming out of. The succession of low (400 to 800 ft) hills is covered with juniper, live oak, sycamore, and a bush with smokey gray foliage that is in full bloom with lavender flowers right now. I don’t know if this bloom is related to the recent rain this area has experienced or it simply is the right time of year but the lavender sometimes covers acres.

The weather has turned surprisingly autumn-like the last two days. I say surprisingly because these southern states usually don’t start cooling down until after Halloween. Our source on that is the locals we have asked all along the route. When planning this trip, we naively thought the weather pattern here would be similar to Washington’s where a noticeable cooling trend sets in around mid September. We’re enjoying the pleasant weather while it lasts.

We stopped a little early today because the hills were kinda brutal and we would have had to do another thirty miles to get to the next campsite. Wise decision. It was nice to have some relaxation time. Mary got to read her book (photo below) and I got to fool around with my new computer keyboard.