In mid-June, I opted to fade away for a few days and vacation up north.
My Dad, myself and eight fellow pilots (most from Fredericksburg) decided to take the planes and venture up to the Idaho mountains to do some backcountry flying.
The trip was much needed, and although I can write a novel about my adventure, I don’t intend to do so in this column.
What I can say is that Idaho is breathtaking and flying a small, 1,500-pound plane through a 9,500-foot mountain pass is an experience that can’t be rivaled.
One of the biggest things the trip taught me was that there really is NO place like Texas. I knew that before (thanks to my past travels) but my recent expedition cemented that fact.
Each place you wander to in life is unique, but Texas has a way of “out-uniqueing” its own uniqueness.
When you visit a place, it will have bits and pieces of other places in it. Your mind will construct a visual of certain areas and places you’ve previously been exposed to in all aspects of your life.
Idaho had a bit of the Montana mountains, Wyoming rivers, Colorado hippie-vibe and Alaska weather balled up into one magnificent place.
For me, commonalities are shared between places all over the world and there’s distinct culture dispersed throughout these little “pocket holes” of life.
It’s the same unique, balled-up experience wherever you go.
Except for Texas.
You’re not going to find Texas hospitality wherever you go.
The hot sauce won’t have that Mexico kick and East-Texas smoky flavor.
The country music may be as loud, but it won’t resonate as much as it would in Luckenbach.
In other places, you’re not going to eat a German kolache, spicy sausage and Tex-Mex in the same 24-hour period.
Where else will you say “howdy”, “danke” and “gracias” at the same dinner table?
The connective-ness of Texas thrives throughout. Other states may see it as a “they think they’re better than us” mindset, but it’s really more of a “we’re having a good ol’ time down here, you should join.”
The biggest thing I rediscovered is that the Texas Hill Country is a dang good place to come home to.
Whether you grew up here or just moved to the area, you may one day realize how special the Texas Hill Country is.
And if you go on vacation out of state, you may soon connect with the same experience that I had: the total uniqueness of the Texas Hill Country.
It’s good to travel. It’s important to be able to get away at times and destress because life can get hectic. Summertime is a great time for travel, but Texas is always (and will always remain) a good place to lay your head.
Don’t take for granted what we have it Texas. It’s easy to think of the grass being greener and wanting to spread your wings and fly away, but even wandering birds somehow find their way back to the nest.
I think Fredericksburg is an exceptional nest.
We have a beautiful piece of life here in the 78624. It’s in the people, wide-open spaces, food, music, culture, art, good times and loving nature for one another.
Hold on to this.
Take that kindness with you wherever you travel to and when someone says “thank you so much! So where do you come from” you can grin as you proudly respond: “just a little place in Texas called Fredericksburg.”