First Winter Away - 2005 travel blog

on the ranch




An hour drive north of San Antonio put us at our final planned destination for the Winter of 2005 travel adventure. We are at an Elderhostel on digital photography at Canyon Ranch. The ranch is the typical Texas size spread. What intrigued me is that it has been run for the last 25 years by two women, who were still constructing buildings on the grounds with very little outside help well into their 60's. Currently the ranch is owned by a consortium of churches and rents out its facilities to Elderhostel and any other organization that wants to take advantage of its cabins, hotel, meeting rooms, pool, dining room, and four site campground where we are staying. This meant we had to say grace at dinner; I cannot remember the last time I have done so.

I am by far the youngest participant here, as has been the case with most of the activities and campgrounds we have been involved in since my retirement. This leaves me with mixed feelings. I enjoy learning from the storehouse of experience my elders have, but get impatient sitting at a dinner table where everyone but Ken wears a hearing aid and conversation suffers.

Canyon Ranch is in the fabled Texas Hill Country, an area we've never seen. While I am quite sure that Ken will not learn anything new about digital photography here and will probably take over the class at times, we are hoping to be taken to scenic spots we might not find on our own.

Thus far, the young man who is our instructor seems to welcome Ken's helpful comments and not feel threatened by them. He told us the Hill Country is limestone covered with four inches of soil, ready to wash away at the first heavy rainfall. Large trees have root systems largely right below the ground in their search of surface water. It is disconcerting to drive down the road, hit a dip, and see a depth maker along side that would warn you that you're about to drive through five feet of water.

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