This morning Nancy Riley and Jeanne Hamilton met me at a Walmart parking lot to go bluebonnet stalking. We all are avid photographers; Jeanne is a retired professional. We drove up to Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, which is a Lower Colorado River Authority park on the northwest side of Lake Travis, east of Spicewood.
As so often happens, the driving directions I had gotten from the Internet weren’t totally accurate. They showed the route as TX 71 N to CR 414. A very important piece of information was missing, so we missed the turn. It should have shown CR 404 (Paleface Ranch Road) and then CR 414. Jeanne called upon her GPS for help and, as it frequently does, it took us on a very convoluted route through the countryside and finally back to TX 71, which is where we were to begin with. Aarrgghh!!!! We stopped at an Exxon station in Spicewood where we were given sensible directions.
When we finally arrived at the park, we drove first along Trammel Road East. Due to the extended drought in this area, the water level in Lake Travis is very low. Where water used to be, there is now a huge field of bluebonnets. It resembles a thick carpet -- a photographer’s dream! We drove through the field (on some bumpy roads) so we could take photos from different viewpoints.
The weather wasn’t ideal because of the wind. Sometimes the clouds would hide the sun, which made for better lighting conditions. Anyway, we just worked with what we had.
Alas! I didn’t get as many photographs as I had hoped. While we were there, I became ill with a horrible pain in my stomach and mid-back. I almost blacked out several times, so Nancy took over the driving chores. Finally, I threw up a couple of times and got some relief. Because of this episode, we drove back to Austin earlier than we would have otherwise. I was not happy being the wet blanket! Jeanne followed us to my place and then took Nancy back to Walmart to get her car. Back home, I put on my pajamas and lay down for a few hours. When I woke up around 6:00 p.m., I felt much better.
CORRECT ROUTE: TX 71 N => CR 404 NE => CR 414