Tejas Chapter
Blackland Prairie Tour

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Planned by Alan & Jan Greene
On the third Saturday in May, we will explore the "Blackland Prairie" area that is due East of Austin between Highway 290 on the north and Highway 71 to the south. Its name comes from the rich black soil native to the area where many of our "native" fruits and vegetables are grown, along with peanuts and pecans. We'll travel the back roads, stop at a famous Painted Church, eat lunch at a Czech bakery/deli, and end our trip in Smithville, a location for many well-known movies (such as Hope Floats) and a great place to shop or just enjoy the small-town ambiance. Bring your cameras and appetites!

9:00AM - Meet at the parking lot of the now-defunct Christian Academy on the NW corner of the intersection of US 183 and FM 969, east of downtown Austin.
(get directions)

Driver Meeting at 9:15AM, leave at 9:30AM

Bring your coffee and visit the "facilities" before you leave, as there isn't much else at the academy, which was closed down some time ago.

We will travel east on FM 969 through Webberville and then head south a short ways to Highway 71. We'll take 71 east through Bastrop and make a rest stop just east of the city limits in Alum Creek at the Chevron station. From there we will continue east towards Smithville, and turn north past Buescher State Park and on to Serbin, where we will stop briefly to visit St. Paul's Lutheran Church which was founded by German immigrants (known as the Wends) in the mid-1850s. Serbin is also home to the Wendish Cultural Center nearby.

From Serbin, we will then continue East on the back roads to Highway 77, where we will turn south and pass through the town of Warda (another Wendish settlement) on our way to the famous (or infamous) town of LaGrange (you ZZ Top fans will recognize the town name - "they got a lot of nice girls there"). There, we will intersect with Highway 71 and head west a short distance and exit to the west end of town where we will stop for lunch at Weikel's bakery/deli/service station at approximately noon.

Weikel's is well-known for its supremely good Kolache pastries (sweet and savory) and other Czech delights, and they have a great deli that serves fresh sandwiches and salads. Plan on taking a dozen of the Kolaches home with you for desserts or Sunday morning treats! Outdoor seating is available and they will be expecting our group.

After lunch, we will take to the back roads and head south from LaGrange for some scenic driving through O'Quinn, Muldoon, and Cistern, where we will pick up Highway 95 and head north into Smithville. Our tour ends here, and participants can explore sights and shops of this quintessential (I always wanted to use that word!) Texas small town or head on home.

If you have a two-way radio, bring it. They enhance the enjoyment of the drive!

Who attended

Year Model People
Year Model People
Mohammed Abusalih 2011 1M 1 John & Corey Hughan 2011 M3 2
Don & Esther Bishop 2007 Z4 Cpe 2 Herb Looney 2006 M3 1
Tom Brown 2001 530i 3 Glenn & Sandy McConnell 2006 M3 3
JP Burd 2008 328i 2 Carl Nybro 2010 328i 4
Josh & Kathryn Butts 2006 M Rdstr 2 Phil Nybro 2007 328i 2
Ken Carson & Connie Stried 1999 M Rdstr 2 Jonathan Pearson 2003 Z4 2
Eric & Roni Chang 2003 330i 2 Jim Puryear 1989 635CSi 1
Tim & Linda Cook 2006 M Rdstr 2 Hector Sanchez 2008 M3 2
Marco & Mary Beth Cordon 2007 Z4 2 Mike & Jean Sevel 2003 Z4 2
Tom & Gay Dawson 2010 Z4 2 Darren Sillett 2011 1M 2
Paul Goldfine 2011 128i 2 Daniel White 2002 M Rdstr 1
Alan & Jan Greene 2007 335i 2 Dick White 2000 540i 2
Mark & Denise Hollingsworth 2001 Z8 2 Don & Susan Yule 1998 M Rdstr 1
        Total 26 52