Sunday, July 22, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip 2012

Because you demanded it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Marking Time #26 - Market Square in Fredericksburg

Next up on our journey was the town of Fredericksburg which offers some unique history. Downtown's Market Square is at the center of it: 
Their historic marker reads:

     "This Square, originally a two-block area which included what is now called the Courthouse Square, has been at the center of Fredericksburg since the city's founding in 1846. The area was still heavily forested when the town's Vereins Kirche was built in the center of Main street in 1847. The octagonal building served as a community church, meeting place, school, and refuge from possible Indian attacks. 
     A county jail was built on the Square in 1852. In 1856 a public schoolhouse was constructed and the school classes moved out of the Vereins Kirche. In 1911 the schoolhouse was converted to serve as headquarters for the volunteer fire department. 
     The Vereins Kirche, demolished in 1897, was reconstructed in 1934-35 as a pioneer memorial, serving as the county's first museum (1936) and library (1939). As part of its centennial celebration, the State of texas erected a monument on Market Square in honor of Baron Ottfried Hans Freiherr Von Meusebach, whose colonization efforts led to the founding of Fredericksburg. In 1987 the city purchased the property from the school district. The Market Square has served as a gathering place for special community activities and has remained a focal point of the city."

The park contains Pioneer Garden, including this working waterwheel (a great demonstration of good ol' hydro-power):

You can also find the "Lasting Friendship" monument by J. Hester which commemorates the signing of the peace treaty between the German settlers of the town and the Comanche Nation (historians can  feel free to debate how "lasting" the "friendship" was):

More Geo-RoadTrip 2012 pictures and video coming soon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Marking Time #25 - Bruhl's Drugstore

The Llano County Historical Museum is the former location of Bruhl's Drugstore.

And they've got the historical marker to prove it:

The marker reads:

"Louis Herman Bruhl (1849-1931) immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1867.  He became an American citizen in 1870, the same year he married Leonie Julia Hammale.  A merchant and a pharmacist, Bruhl lived in Waco and Rockport, and served as U.S. consul in Italy (1894-1899) before moving to Llano to open a drugstore in 1900.  His son Adolph (1876-1937), also a pharmacist, joined him in business.  The drugstore building they erected here in 1922 was donated by the Bruhl family to the County Historical Society in 1965 and was later remodeled for a museum."

You can see lots of antique drugstore related paraphernalia inside and was as a variety of historical exhibits.

The area is also home to "llanite", a rhyolite:

More pictures and video from Geo-RoadTrip 2012 coming soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

GeoRoadTrip: Marking Time #24 - CCC at Longhorn Cavern SP

Next stop: Longhorn Cavern State Park in Burnet County. We didn't have time to tour another cave but we did want to check out some of the impressive work done by the CCC:

This handy historical marker reads:

"Longhorn Cavern opened as a state park in 1932. From 1934 to 1942, Company 854 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked here to explore and develop the cavern. Using hand labor and native materials, the CCC workers built this structure in a style now known as National Park Service (NPS) Rustic. Completed by 1936, the one-story stone pavilion served as administrative offices for the park until 1967. An outside stairway leads to an observation terrace."

And from the observation tower you can get a glimpse of Falkenstein Castle.  Yes, there is, in fact, a HUGE castle in the middle of the Texas Hill Country:

Video coming soon!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Car Parts Dinosaur

Our next stop on Geo-RoadTrip 2012 was brief but we were able to get s glimpse of a Texas roadside icon:

This beauty is located in Bertram, TX but we actually shot video of it before when it made its way to Six Flags in Arlington for the once-in-a-lifetime Best of Texas Festival.

That was cool but it's always nice to see wildlife in their natural habitat.

Video Coming Soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: On Location #21 - TX Chainsaw Massacre

As we continued Geo-RoadTrip 2012 our travels led us to Leander, TX which was one of the filming locations for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, considered to be one of the most influential films in the genre.

Sure, horror movies aren't our typical blog fodder but geography and Texana usually are so it's time for another installment of "On Location." 

The grisly "warning" scene at the beginning of the film was shot at Leander's Bagdad Cemetery.

The cemetery is also used in another scene at the beginning of the film.  The scene doesn't show too many recognizable landmarks but you can see a tombstone marked "Pickle" in the film which is still there.

After that quick stop we pressed on to our next stop.  More pictures and video coming soon!

Monday, July 9, 2012

GeoRoadTrip: Marking Time #23 - Mount Bonnell

Our next stop on Geo-RoadTrip 2012 gave us a different perspective of the Austin area as we checked out the view from atop Mount Bonnell.

We're always on the lookout for historical markers and this area didn't disappoint.  The Mount Bonnel marker reads:

     "Rising 775 feet above sea level, this limestone height was named for George W. Bonnell, who came to Texas with others to fight for Texas independence, 1836. Was commissioner of Indian Affairs in Republic of Texas under president Sam Houston. Moved in 1839 to Austin; there published the "Texas Sentinel", 1840. Member Texan-Santa Fe expedition, 1841. Was captured but released in time to join Mier expedition, 1842. Was killed in camp on Rio Grande, Dec, 26, 1842. 
     Frontiersman W.A.A. "Bigfoot" Wallace killed an indian he met face to face while crossing a narrow ledge 50 feet above river, 1839. He also took refuge in a Mount Bonnell cave to recover from "flux", but was missing so long his sweetheart eloped. 
     In the mid-1800s Mormons built a mill on the Colorado river at foot of Mount Bonnell. Mill was destroyed by flood and the Mormons moved on west. 
     Mount Bonnell was site of picnics and outings in 1850s and 1860s. As it is today. Legend has it that an excursion to the place in the1850s inspired the popular song "Wait for the Wagon and We'll All Take a Ride". As a stunt in 1898, Miss Hazel Keyes slid down a cable stretched from the top of Mount Bonnell to south bank of then Lake McDonald below."

From the top you can get a good look at Lake Austin.  There's also this old school marker:

There's also a great view of the Austin skyline.

Video coming soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Hanging With Willie Downtown

We couldn't leave Austin without a quick tribute to our pal Willie Nelson.  And there's no better place for that then Willie Nelson Blvd.

Earlier this year the city honored Willie be erecting a statue of him downtown in front of Moody Stadium (where Austin City Limits is filmed).  The bronze likeness is not too far from the Capitol Building that we visited earlier.

While we were in the area we thought we'd do a mini-"On Location" and match up a shot from Willie's movie "Honeysuckle Rose."

You can see the Capitol Building in the background.

With our business done in Austin, we headed out for the next location.  More pics and video coming soon!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Texas Pink Granite

Next stop: downtown Austin and the State Capitol building:

The building was constructed with Texas Pink Granite.  We wanted to dig a little deeper on this one so later in the trip we went to Marble Falls to see where the stone had actually come from:

Near Granite Mountain is a granite (of course) marker commemorating the area's contribution to the Capitol Building in Austin (approximately 50 miles away).

Video coming soon!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Inner Space Caverns pt. 2

It was only a matter of time before the world of earth science and the world of vending machines came together.  Seems like a natural fit to us so before we left Inner Space Caverns we just had to try it out.

As you can see, the potential bounty ranges from crystals to fossils to polished stones and more.  The suspense was both exhilarating and maddening.

Behold!  A fragment of an oviraptor egg shell fossil from China!

Surely it won't be long before we see geo-vending machines on every corner!

More Geo-RoadTrip pics & video coming soon!

Geo-RoadTrip: Inner Space Caverns pt. 1

After years of driving past Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown, TX we finally had a chance to stop and take the tour on this year's Geo-RoadTrip.

Plenty of stalactites. stalagmites and columns:

Some cave bacon (mmm...bacon...):

Some remains from unfortunate animals for whom the cave was there final resting place:

Video coming soon!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: On Location #20 at Baylor U

While we were on the Campus of Baylor University in Waco, TX to see the museum, we couldn't leave without continuing our madcap quest to document movie locations.

"Where the Heart Is" is some kind of super long chick movie starring Queen Amidala and Ensign Robin Lefler.  For some reason (I didn't actually watch, just shuttled through to get screencaps) at the end of the film Padme goes to a college campus to walk around while staring blankly.  First she walks past Pat Neff Hall:

Then she checks out the inside of The Armstrong Browning Library:

Who knows what she did after that.  But I know what we did:  we kept heading south!  More Geo-RoadTrip pics and video coming soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Geo-RoadTrip: Natural History at Baylor

Geo-RoadTrip may be over but the blog entries are just starting!  Let's take a look at our first stop, the Mayborn Museum Complex on the Baylor University campus in Waco, TX which is the home toa great mammoth exhibit excavated from a nearby site.

Devin checks out some tusks:

Other fossils include a great marine reptile:

Devin checks out the nearly two story tall Humpback Whale Skull:

Video coming soon!