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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Trip Report: Wilson County and Karnes County...

I have been threatening to go to Floresville for a while now, ever since regular reader Bob told me about the White House Saloon and Cafe being a spiffy place to visit. I even brought it up to a co-worker who lives out in Wilson County and he mentioned several other "Must Visit" places in the greater Wilson/Karnes County area. So, my wife and I filled up the truck, turned on the Garmin and headed for Highway 181 South. The above map provides a little detail on where we went. For now, I'm only gonna hit the our visits on the southern part of the trip - Poth, Falls City, Hobson, Karnes City and finally Kenedy where we decided to turn around and head back to Floresville for lunch, which I'll tell you about later.About 7 miles southeast of Floresville on Highway 181 is a small town called Poth. Not pronounced like moth, but rather like oath (with a P in front of it). My freind had suggested that if I blink, I might pass right through Poth without realizing it.The land down Highway 181 outside of San Antonio (once you get past about Elmendorf) provides for some exceptional views. Other than the occasional house built directly off the highway where the occupants have no idea that 181 isn't their private driveway, and therefor have no worries about leaving all their crap scattered across yards as if everyday were a rummage sale, the land is really beautiful and worth seeing.

Do you ever wonder how it gets so bad that you have what any unbiased observer would call a Junk Yard in the front of your house for everyone to see? I mean, wasn't it Louie Anderson, the comedian who is quite rotund who said, "It's not like I woke up one day, looked in the mirror and said, "Oh no! Look at what happened!"

I just have a hard time believing that some of the people who live right up against the highway are thinking, "Oh, nobody will notice if we leave these ten burnt out cars on our front porch. Here, we'll just throw a blue tarp over them and maybe park the boat with a hole in front of it".

Geeze, I hope I'm not describing my friend's house.
Anyway, back to Poth. Lots of wide open farmland and a tiny little area of town, the good news is, they have their own water tower and Post office. Just for fun, say, "Poth Post Office" three times fast. I'll wait.Anyway, not a whole lot more of it. They do have a Police Department and a few restaurants and craft places. We didn't really drive off of 181, so I'm sure we missed some of the more important landmarks. If you live in Poth or are from there, I'd love an e-mail or a comment. I'd love to know more about the small town.Next is the small town of Falls City.
There is some form of industry in town and a place for people to get some vittles, but we also saw lots of things that had seen better days.
I'm not quite sure what my fascination with old wooden shacks with rusted roofs is, but I like to imagine what they were like new and if they were intended to be more than just a shack for storage. You see so many older dwellings that would make perfect "fixer uppers" (and we say it jokingly, realizing how really far gone they are, but just imagine how grand this structure must have been when it was new and with a fresh coat of paint.Oh, the folks in Falls City are pretty proud of their Falls City Beavers. That is the mascot for the high school. But, suitable for a convenience store mascot too. And, if you need some stamps...We did not realize that there was a town called Hobson, but it turns out they have a Post office, so they must be there. In this case, don't blink is an understatement.

Continuing southeast on Highway 181, we couldn't get over how much we liked the landscape. It is fairly flat but with occasional small hills and lots of cattle grazing. Horses too. I also appreciate the sense of humor the people in this part of Texas have. If you click on the picture above to enlarge it, you can see the sign in the right side of the picture says, Rancho "Not So" Grande.The county seat of Karnes County is, Karnes City. Imagine that.Instead of blowing through this town , we did pull off of Highway 181 so we could take a look at a few of the landmarks in the city. You can actually see the courthouse from quite a distance.We drove down a main road and saw the Public Library which seemed pretty modern compared to the house just across the street from it.This cat* started to take one of its nine lives into his own paws in an effort to get to some of the older businesses in the area. Not sure what he was hoping to find, but I like his style.
* Attention PETA: No animals were harmed in photographing pictures for this blog entry.
Again with the imagery of something long ago forgotten, I thought this was a nice view. Of course, it is probably still fully operational. Just needs some TLC.Finally, we got back onto 181 and headed into Kenedy, just to say that we had. We didn't do a whole lot of looking around - in fact, drove into town, gawked at a few things and turned around and headed back.On the way into Kenedy, You can see something on the horizon beyond the beautiful landscape. Upon closer inspection, it was a huge grain mill situation.You can't help but notice a lot of run down structures and wonder what the history behind each of them is.

But we did see this place called Jerry B's. It has a dead plane posing in front of it. Many readers will recall Bucks Landing off 1604 near Stone Oak. I'm thinking this plane wasn't as nice. But I liked the signage and if we hadn't already planned on lunch someplace else, we would have stopped.And of course, there is a post office and a second hand store in Kenedy, so I'd say you could easily make a day of it.

Just remember, my wife and I often drive through small and interesting places and take a few pictures and post them here without having the benefit of stopping and really getting to know a place. So I hope that if something catches your eye here, you might take a short (or long) drive and see some of these places for yourself. Share your thoughts on the things we missed if you will.

Next time, I'll tell you about Floresville and lunch at the Maverick Grill.


Sapphire/Maureen said...

One of the little restaurants in Poth is quite good! (I used to be lucky enough to hit up all these small towns with my previous job.) Did you stop at the Busy Beaver? I was doing some merchandising work there on the day of the Columbine shooting. They have a big screen TV so we watched the coverage all day. The owner is a cool guy, and he has a ginormous chocolate lab named, what else? Hershey. He does tricks! Awesome dog, and I wonder if he's still alive? The Busy Beaver is also a pool hall/bar.
On to Karnes City--not much there really, but we did find a wonderful little sandwich shop one day while working there. It was a complete and total accident as there was nothing on the outside of the store to indicate any food inside! But it was great!
Thanks for the memories!!!

Dave said...

It's interesting that you mention finding these places by accident. We find the best trips we have are the ones that involve a surprise find along an unexpected path. I wish we had stopped into The Busy Beaver and met Hershey.

I have a feeling I could get to enjoy a job like the one you had, as long as I could go to a different place each time!

Sapphire/Maureen said...

Yeah, I had a great job--but hotel rooms get awfully lonely. I've eaten at some of the best holes-in-the-wall ever! My territory was all of South Texas--from Junction over to Houston and all points south, and I have hundreds of hours of windshield time. My Robert Earl Keen CD's got plenty of play--great Texas driving music. We have a beautiful state, and I have a long list of places to take the family "one of these days." But they don't appreciate the "hidden gems" quite like I do--when you're out in the middle of nowhere--say, LaPryor or Batesville, TX, and it seems like convenience-store chicken (that's been there for God knows how long!) is your only lunch option, and along comes a local and points to a decrepit-looking shack and says--"Over yonder, they have enchiladas and what-not." SCORE!! You come to appreciate the little things!!

And yeah, Hershey is worth a stop!

C4SysGreyBeard said...

When you were describing Hobson it sounded like you were saying "I'm not sayin' the town is small, but the "Welcome To..." sign was on both side of the same pole."

There are some neat places north of here also. Go up 35 to Waco and turn right. Head on out to Corsicana. You will go through a couple/three small towns that are promising, and interesting. Antique shop in one them, with really old stuff (late1800s - early1900s) with reasonable prices. And Corsicana has Ray's Cafe, open from 6AM to 5 minutes after 2PM. Their 'Pork Chops and Eggs' with their Coffee will wake you up and start the day. There is also the Corsicana Bakery, which is responsible for the millions of fruitcakes (1, 2, and 3lb sizes) in the familiar red tins that get sent around the world every year. The other baked goods are really delicious, too.

I live in Silver Creek too, on Timber Lodge. this is the first time I've seen any interesting stuff in the the Passages, which then lead me to your blog. Keep travelling!

Dave said...

Pork Chops and Eggs. Now that's some good eats!

I'm glad you found the Blog and hope to see you at and about.

Was there a wanted poster of me in the Passages or something?

C4SysGreyBeard said...

Nope! Was just reading it, and found a mention of this (your) blog, and then spent the rest of the morning reading all of your stuff. Pretty good, I might add. I then branched out from your links to about 15 other blogs and blogging sites, joined a couple, and had some fun learning stuff.

Have a Great Day!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in that house.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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