With the weather turning cold these past few days, Ward and I made the decision to leave the area and head South to warmer climates. We left Fredericksburg around 4pm after a quick stop at the Walmart to get our New Years Eve supper supplies. The plan was to stop off quickly at Luckenback and get a photo in front of the Post Office, then head toward San Antonio and on to Corpus Christi. We were not sure how far we would get before sundown, but the motorcycle was put back on the rack, so we could drive through the night if that is what we decided to do.
Luckenback, Texas was not very far from Fredericksburg, just around the corner really. We left town on Hwy 290 and soon turned onto County Road 1376, following signs for the Luckenbach Dance Hall. Then down this tiny narrow country road called Luckenback Town Loop.
The road barely handled two vehicles passing on it.
We pulled into the parking area, which was a huge field with rows of fences marking parking areas.
There was an RV and a trailer already parked in the lot, so we pulled in between them and got out for our quick picture. Two young women came over, asking where we were from. They said we were just in time for the Sunday night picking circle, which was at the back of the post office in the bar. And they asked if we were camping. We were told it was $15, and we could pay at the post office. So, off we went, to find out what was really happening at Luckenbach.
There was a crowd in front of the post office, with people taking each others pictures in front of the sign. We pitched in and took several peoples pictures, then it was our turn. Another tourist was kind enough to take our photo.
We went into the post office to look around. It was a store full of tourist items, and had a nice warm wood stove going to warm the place. In the back was a door that led to the bar.
Inside the bar, we were greeted by a fellow who really looked like Jeff Bridges.
He said he got that a lot, his name was Rick by the way. He said he was an 8th generation Texan, going back to the beginning of the 1800. Now that's a Texan. He told us most of the people in the picking circle had CDs out, and there really are no picking circles happening anywhere except this one. Sunday nights was the best time to come, because the better artists are here at that time. They start at 5pm, and go until 9pm (they actually kept going until about 10:30pm).
Some of the artists stayed for the entire time, others played for a bit and left to give room for others to play.
The two women we spoke with in the parking lot were also sitting in at the picking circle, playing fiddle and guitar. Even one fellow behind the bar joined in, playing the harp.
Later in the evening, they played a song for us Canadians, it was 'Summer Time and the Living is Easy'.
The entire night was amazing. I don't know who anyone was, but there was so much talent in that room, it just blew me away.
One woman had a great growly blues voice, a young man plucked a violin with his fingers, then switched to spanish music on a guitar.
Another musician played slide with a beer bottle. It was amazing, amazing, amazing.
And we really only coame to get our picture taken at the sign in front of the post office. We came because of that song, you know the one, We're going to Luckenback Texas, to see Waylon and Willie and the Boys.
Who knew! And how did we manage to make it at exactly the right time for them to start the picking circle right then. It was the best kitchen party ever!
We signed the guestbook.
Then the next day, Ward and I took a walk over the bridge to see the 500 year old oak trees that Rick had told us about. He said when it is warmer outside the picking circle is out under the large oak trees or in other areas set up outside, and there are more artists as well.
That's my New Years story, and I'm stickin' to it.