This morning Dianne Bennett and I left Austin around 9:00 on a day trip to the Hill Country to look for wildflowers. We knew we were too early in the season but hoped to see at least a few flowers anyway; we were not disappointed. There were more flowers along Highway 16 south of Llano than the other places. They should peak in a couple more weeks, so we’re planning another flower-peeping trip along a different route – on a weekday, of course, because weekends are a madhouse then.
We stopped for a break in Willow City at a little café before entering the Willow City Loop. The owner is a friendly veteran. Just as we were leaving, a large group of motorcyclists stopped there. Perfect timing! The Loop is a 13-mile scenic road winding through several ranches. With or without wildflowers it is a pretty drive, ending at Texas highway 16.
Our next destination was Canyon of the Eagles, which is on the northeast side of Lake Buchanan at the end of FM 2341. It is owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority. We had a late lunch at the Overlook Restaurant; Dianne had their specialty pizza and I had a Portobello sandwich with seasoned fries.
Before our extended, severe drought the waters of Lake Buchanan reached to the edge of the resort’s property. At the time of my previous visit there several years ago, guests could board the Vanishing Texas River Cruise down the embankment from the restaurant. Now there is no water to be seen from there. Everyone is hoping that the drought will end soon.
From the resort we headed back to Austin. The weather was perfect for the trip. The day started with temperatures in the upper 40s and ended in the upper 70s with no wind. We had a good time. This was Dianne’s first visit to both of these places.
ROUTE: US 290 W => US 281 N past Johnson City => FM 1323 W to Willow City Loop => TX 16 N to Llano => TX 29 E => FM 2341 N to Canyon of the Eagles => back to TX 29 E => US 281 S past Marble Falls => TX 71 E to Austin