My first impressions of Blanco were a bit on the sad side......the Courthouse became second string when the county seat was moved to Johnson City just a few short years after it was built on in the town square.
Now it's an outstanding Visitor's and Community Center. It even was a hospital for about 30 years and there's a long list of all the babies who were born there. (Hey they should have one of those at the old Sonora Hospital!). These are really, really steep stairs up the courtroom that is the whole second floor.
And then there is this absolutely fabulous oak that as you will see from the plaque is the "second" biggest in the county. If this is second I sure am wondering about the biggest!
On top of that, many of the store fronts were empty around the square. But an antique store had a super collection of spurs.
At lunch my liking of Blanco improved by leaps and bounds. As is often true of Texas barbecue places, Riley's didn't look like much. Don't let that fool you! "Riley" took a brand new brisket
out of the barbecue oven and sliced it for my sandwich. It was heavenly!
Blanco State Park continued to improve my original impression of the town. It's not quite two miles long, on both side of the Blanco river, many beautiful picnic areas and a friendly little campground. I walked close to 3 miles and didn't even get on the Nature Trail (another mile or two).
In Texas they build these little dams along rivers that back up the water creating shallow "lakes". I saw several along the Blanco River (and you all know I never saw a dam I didn't like!).
There were also several abandoned ford-like bridges across the river. This one was on a main road. The highway bridge is now just downstream.
This ford is the entrance to the campground side of the Park. I am curious about the river flows and how often this might actually be impassable. The host wasn't around and all the employees were busy pruning trees, so nobody to ask.
Another mystery for my next trip is the purpose of this old stone structure.
And I definitely will be going back, Blanco State Park is my new favorite (next to McKinney Falls).