Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pedernales Falls

Recently my family and I went to Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, Tx.
Pedernales is the Spanish word for flint; there are many chunks of flint in the river bed.
The park has lots of hiking trails, camping sites and boulders to climb and explore, but the main attraction is the falls.  The falls are beautiful at low water, but can turn deadly in flash floods, as signs throughout the park state. The falls trickle off into little pools of water, you can walk out to them on strips of rock that jut into the river.

The area the park is situated in is really picturesque- it seems like a backdrop for an old Western, with rolling hills and brown mountains.

mom kept taking pictures. ;)


 This was a cave. I crawled pretty far in but wriggled back out when the tunnel narrowed. People had scratched names on the sides, and sunlight filtered in through a hole in the roof. I felt like Nancy Drew, exploring. :)

The park itself is 5,200 acres and was a private ranch until 1970. Can you imagine owning all the waterfalls?!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Museum and Library

While in Austin for Agrilife 4-H Day at the Capitol
(Bleed Maroon! Bleed Green!) we stopped at the LBJ library and museum on the UT campus. Compared to the other two presidential libraries I've seen (there are 3 in Texas) this was a little dated, but it still had some really neat exhibits.
One of my favorite things was the telephone calls on any and everything, from Johnson's wife Lady Bird correcting his speech to him offering Jackie O advice.
 The museum focused a good bit on the decades in Johnson's life- a room filled with 50's, 60's or 70's mementos, etc.  It was very interesting to see what was popular at different times, and what news and wars impacted life.
Johnson's presidency was deeply overshadowed by the Vietnam War, and he hated the fact but knew he could do nothing to change it. More than anything, he wanted to use his Presidency help the underdog - poor, minorities, children - anyone who didn't have a voice or say at Congress. A few years teaching at an impoverished school on the Texas- Mexico border instilled this desire to help in him early on.

This table showed how events in Johnson's presidency affect our lives today.

You have to give it to him- it was a pretty good idea to get people to care about who their senators are. He had some pretty snazzy tactics- while running for President, he handed out toothbrushes and razors so people would remember him 'first thing in the morning and/or before they go to bed' as he felt those were important decision- making times.