Bastrop State Park that is. Just on the outskirts of Bastrop, Texas, near a busy crossroads with a Buc-ee’s located just outside the park entrance. It is about 3.5 hours by car from Fort Worth, It wasn’t exactly like living the country life but we did stay in a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) cabin situated in a cluster of old cabins inside the park built back in 1934. Most recently these cabins survived fire and flood so expect they will be around for another eighty years or more. The loblolly pines or what Texans call the lost pines didn’t fare so well but they are slowly coming back after seven years of steady growth.
Our cabin was originally built of reddish colored boulders and the inside surprised us with a wood-burning fireplace with a hand carved mantel. The rest of the cabin was sparse but we were able to cook several meals and there was a bed with linens along with fresh towels and an indoor bathroom so we didn’t rough it much. There is a photograph of the men who built the cabins hanging on the wall inside the cabin. RM said the crew looked hungry as all of them in the photograph were pencil thin by today’s standards. We really need to do something about this high fructose corn syrup diet that is literally killing us.
We explored the town of Bastrop before checking into the cabin and enjoyed walking the downtown street full of tiny shops and cafes as well as a leisurely stroll along the Colorado River. We stopped for a craft beer and free popcorn at the Bastrop Beer Company grand opening. That night, back at the ol’ campgrounds, we built a fire outside in the pit as well as inside in the CCC built fireplace. RM likes to burn crap, a lot of crap. It was a bit smokey in the cabin but the ambiance was nice and my leather purse still carries that aroma one week after the trip.
The next morning we headed into Bastrop for their regular Saturday morning farmer’s market. It is held next to the town’s art center so after buying up some fresh fennel, spring onions and greens, we checked out the local art gallery. We noticed lots of scenes of the area including a painting of the cool bridge that crosses over the Colorado River in Bastrop. There is a walking path on the bridge so you can walk over if you have time.
After that, we were hungry so we headed to Smithville to check out the town where Hope Floats was filmed. We ate at the Comfort Cafe,a donation based restaurant, that supports people who are recovering from addiction. Whoever runs the kitchen knows how to cook high quality locally sourced food and their coffee is better than any Starbucks. Don’t miss looking into the dessert case.
We walked around Smithville but it started to rain. We did discover many of the buildings and the gazebo from the film but then headed back to the park for a nap and couple of hours of reading. The weather cleared a bit so we drove inside the park to find the trail head that leads to the CCC built outlook over the park, about a 2-mile-trek up and back.
The humidity was high so it was a little sweaty but nothing like how that hike would be in the middle of summer. Don’t do the trail when the sun is out as there is not a lot of shade but in April there were so many wildflowers everywhere we walked and nice cloud cover. Thank you Lady Bird Johnson for the gift of wildflowers in Texas. We made it to the top of the outlook for a pretty view out over the park and then quickly we trekked back down as a thunderstorm was headed our way. We returned back to the car just in time to not get drenched. We thought about going out to dinner but the sound of the rain on the roof of the old cabin was so peaceful and we had plenty of food on hand to prepare dinner so we just stayed in by the fire. Nice.
Just the kind of birthday week-end a Red Dirt Girl likes.