Sunday, October 23, 2011


The last week has been full of new friends and great rest, followed by a  fun reception and signing at the Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.  Texas had finally found relief from extreme heat and drought last weekend, as friend, Anita, and I headed to Laity Lodge in … TX.  I had just commented on how “flat” this area of the “Hill Country” was  when our Suburban started heading down, down, down into a long and vast river canyon which revealed a hidden and incredible beauty. 

After driving IN the river for a ways, the road ended at the grounds of the lodge and our home for the next three days.  During those days we had the opportunities to attend presentaions by Diana Schick, enjoy amazing meals, rest, and spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of this canyon. 
It was impressed upon us that the name “Frio" River meant freezing river, however, the two of us did decide to brave the water.  Anita and I were delighted to find it to be very mild and comfortable, in fact glorious. It was so clear we could see the huge and happy catfish and water turtles swimming throughout.  We donned goggles or snorkel and mask to get an up close look!   Kayaking was amazing and so peaceful on this lazy, late summer river.  Feeling fearless, Anita and I went above and beyond and took the big plunge.  Up river the canyon narrows and creates an abyss where the water is extraordinarily deep and dark blue.  It is appropriately called the BLUE HOLE.  After our short hike there, we watched a few college students  jump from the rocks into the depths and come up screaming and laughing.   Finding this irresistible, we , too, jumped… not from quite the same height as the young folk, but high enough for us to be totally proud of ourselves. We really felt so blessed to be having so much fun! 

This was a great highlight after starting out day with getting lost and three miles out of our way on a hike.  the hike had been one funny episode after another as we were trying to find directions back.  At one turn we even ran into a group of hunters gutting a hanging hog.   They had no answers for us, and we wandered until we were finally picked up by ‘Camper John” who drove us back to our lodge.

photo courtesy of Laity Lodge website
The weekend ended and as we drove out of the canyon.  I imagined what a miraculous and awesome experience it must have been for early travelers or explorers who discovered and settled along such hidden treasures.