Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lessons Learned

I should know better by now.

After all you can't catch fish if your line isn't in the water.

I woke up this morning with a pretty good idea about what today would bring - I had some honey-do's that have been hanging for a while and was committed to getting them done before heading out of town for most of next week.

I was advised shortly after getting half way through my first cup of Starbucks that there was a Fiber festival in Boerne Texas going on today. For the uninitiated that means a knitter's show and sale. I'm always looking for an excuse to take a road trip and to spend some quality time with the love of my life so off we went to Boerne.

I had an ulterior motive for heading west on I-10. Here's a hint:

If you've never stopped in Luling at Buc-ee's you've missed the best travel stop in Texas. Not only do they have a great selection of goodies- they have the best restrooms on the planet.

You might ask why I would volunteer to go to a Fiber festival when there are still fish to catch. Well aside from the fact that I really do enjoy spending time with my wife, there are other things besides yarn to see and do at one of these gatherings.

When we first arrived I was surprised by meeting Grady Ingle, one of the organizers who used to work for the same company I do. He checked out in 1985 - the year I started. Small world.

Next as we headed towards the building with the vendors I began hearing the sound of a guitar and a dulcimer. A husband & wife duo from Fort Worth were playing old-time favorites like Buffalo Gals, and Golden Slippers for the enjoyment of the festival vendors and attendees. As a fellow player of both of these instruments, I really enjoyed watching and listening to them play.

This festival also had several wooden articles for knitters, weavers, and spinners. One item is not one most folks would recognize either by name or if they saw it. Its called a nostepinde and it is used to wind yarn into a ball that pulls out from the center. Sure they make fancy crank type plastic geared winders but these are old fashioned tools that are hand crafted. The first one we bought a few months ago was made from Mulberry wood by Lloyd Stretton of Running Moon Farm in Louisiana. At this festival there was some other LA ladies called Les Trois Amies (the three friends) who were neighbors of the RMF. We picked up a small noste made from Cherry wood.

There was also a dealer of handmade spinning wheels. Bill Wyatt produces some fine crafted custom wheels. He company Wyatt Wheels is quite a story.

In addition to the wooden items that attract me like a hungry Brown trout to an olive and black wooly bugger at sundown, there were live animals at the Fiber fest. Alpacas of all things - producers of fine soft wool that are a knitters dream. These are funky beasts though. These guys seemed pretty worried about all the strangers.

In addition to some yarn we also purchased some local honey from Del Jardin from Poteet.

After leaving Boerne we headed back home via the scenic route. We did manage to stop once more at Buc-ee's.."It's a Beaver!"

At the exit we noticed that Palmetto State Park was just a few miles away and decided to drive down and take a look for future reference. This is the part I was getting to.

Texas has some nice parks and this is one of them. When I realized that the name of the community nearest to the park was called Ottine, I knew I would like it. When I realized that flowing through the park was the San Marcos River I was even more impressed.

But when I saw the four-acre oxbow lake near sunset with fish rising steadily - I was hooked.... well almost.

You see I had left my ultralight next to my flyrod which was next to my backpack with my tackle in it in the garage AT HOME.

Oh well this was supposed to be a trip designed to spend quality time with "you know who". We got to enjoy a beautiful Texas sunset and managed to pass by Buc-ee's a third time without stopping. All in all it was a great day even without wetting a line.