Today is more look-about and library. Late in the day I meet Kim and Sandra’s daughter, Kerri, who has kindly checked in on me, see if I needed anything. Is this whole family sweet or what? I was just leaving to go find Gruene, next town over. Kerri suggested following River Road for a wind-about, so I do and there I discover all kinds of wonderful scenes, potential painting sites, around each turn.
Problem is, I am finding, the roads have nary a turn-off, perhaps so as not to allow toobers free access to the river; at every turn there is a place to rent and access river for a fee, or little get-away camps and cabin rentals, again includes toobs and access etc. It proves very difficult to stop at any of these sites and vistas along the road. I consider painting on the narrow two-lane bridge where there are great shots of the rapid, cascading waters, but it doesn’t seem safe to me, so I opt out.
I take a lot of pictures, successfully get myself lost again through Canyon Lake, which is fine really, as it makes me discover new things, and amble down a highway that I think is going in the direction I want. This whole region apparently is considered “hill country.” Ah ha, I am back to a road name I recognize.
Kim had suggested earlier when we talked to maybe pop in for a beer at a little bar near the house in Barbarossa called “The Trough,” a public house. I do so and inside I find the proprietor and two cronies. A fascinating place, very dark, nostalgia dripping from every corner and wall space; coupla’ old pool tables. I spy two signs in particular that needs must get cited: “I’m confused what time we start around here because everyone’s already working when I get here.” And, of course, the classic “I’m not a FAST bartender, I’m not a SLOW bartender, I’m a HALF-FAST bartender!”
Couple of beers – they are $2 each, we are not in Chicago anymore – and back to the smokehouse for foodage and prep for tomorrow. I even manage to create an impromptu studio, put down a drop-cloth and knock out a painting from a photo I took of the Taos pueblo. I am pleased, it’s a good painting, simple, 9 x 12”. An opportunity this week to create a few paintings from photos by setting my laptop eye level, high on a bureau top. That is cool. That is a good thing.