Crash Landing into The Sweetest Couple on The Earth in Fredricksburg, TX
Stopped and snapped a photo - it’s a good-looking flag. I like Maple Leafs better though… :)
It was a gorgeous Sunday morning after a restful sleep in Clementine, our 1981 VW Westfalia, and officially our home. We were in Austin, staying with a friend we met on Couchsurfing.org and we had come in late the night before, so we stayed in the van playing cribbage until we dozed off.
We were leaving Austin today to push for Fort Stockton, Texas – more oil country, and from there we would head North by Northwest toward Carlsbad to see the caverns. First thing was first though, we said our thank yous and goodbyes to River for putting us up in such a great spot – we were showered, rested, and recharged with big help from River.
This is how far we made it out of Austin. Oh well.
We had made it to Fredricksburg, TX before we wanted to turn it in for the night, so we pulled into the Walmart in town. Kasey was on the phone asking the Walmart if they allowed overnight parking – we were wary since our last overnight parking scare in Austin.While we waited for management to get on the phone, Kasey and I watched an older lady wheel her cart right past our van, and directly into the white truck beside us.
“Uh, Dan, did you see that?”
She unloaded the contents of her cart into the truck, exchanging conversation with the man inside, and when she turned to see our license plate, her face lit up with a big smile.
“Oooh, British Columbia!!!”
We were astounded. We knew we were out of place down here in the desert, but we never expected anyone to recognize our license plate. In fact, when we say we’re from British Columbia, most Americans we have talked to look at us dumbfounded… She waddled over to my window as I rolled it down.
“So how long will you be staying with us?” She inquired sweetly.
Kasey and I didn’t know what to say, so we stammered, and fumbled – and probably sounded insane.
“Oh, um, probably at night – we were gonna stay in the parking lot here and-…”
“Oh, that’s nonsense, you can come stay with us! It’s too loud to sleep here with the trucks driving by, and besides, you need a shower and some clean clothes.” I’m sure my jaw dropped at this point.
I never thought people like this existed in the real world. You know who I mean, the Mrs. Doubtfires of the world, without the cross-dressing. We felt like Cinderella, and this was our fairy-godmother come to prepare us for the ball.
“Uhm, are you sure? That would be amazing!” We replied.
(Kasey had just had a reply from the manager of the Walmart saying they don’t allow overnight parking.)
“Okay! Just follow us. But be prepared to drive slow, my husband takes his time when he drives - he doesn’t like to rush.”
We said “Okay” and with a smile she tottered off to put away her cart, and she was in the truck. We fired Clemmie up and followed behind them. They led us through town and down a back road when Kasey asked me,
“…Dan, is this how horror movies happen?”
We passed a church and a school, so I figured we were in the clear -
“I think we’re okay sweets,”
Those concerns were totally forgotten when we rolled up to their house – a humble little bungalow home near an elementary school, a little front lawn and neighbours on every side.
“Just pull up beside the house, you can plug in if you’d like - but make sure you come on in and sit down with us,” she called, waving as she got out of the truck.
We were really taken aback. Who were these sweet, caring people that brought us back to their place, and seemed to care about nothing more than making sure we were comfortable?
We parked Clementine and got our bed cleared off and ready. It was relatively warm, probably only going down to about 3 or 4 degrees Celsius overnight. We changed into some cleaner clothes and walked into the house. We were greeted by 4 excited little pups, who immediately mauled us with love.
“I wish we had a bed for you two, but we do have a bathroom and a laundry room if you need it.” She took us on a tour of their beautiful little abode.
Kathryn and Mark were their names, and they were the sweetest couple we’ve ever encountered. They had done some travelling themselves, moving from the Pacific Coast all the way out to Fredricksburg, TX. They regaled us with stories of their own travels, and the places we should check out on this last leg of our trip. Kathryn and Kasey spoke at long length about knitting and crocheting, while Mark and I discussed different routes we could take and his past travels through Canada in a Volkswagen Superbug. (He broke down once just outside of Winnipeg, just like we did.)
We thought we had recharged in Austin, truly. River was an amazing host, and we needed the stop to get through the rest of the trip. However, the stop in Fredricksburg really recharged us. After Austin, we were happy to find a more or less direct route back home to Kelowna, BC. After this stop with Mark and Kathryn however, We wanted to complete this trip – we didn’t want to go home anymore. Kathryn and Mark really inspired us to make the best of this trip, and really reaffirmed our love and trust for people in this world. It’s really a shame that we don’t have any pictures with this great couple.
We shared e-mail addresses, and they gave us their phone number and their mailing address, and we promised to send them postcards along the way. After a quick round of thank-yous, hugs, and goodbyes, we were on our way. First thing was first though, it was Dr. Martin Luther King day, and we needed a coffee. We rolled into the Java Ranch on the main street of Fredricksburg.
Java Ranch in Fredricksburg, TX. Kasey and I decided this is the kind of coffeeshop we want to run.
What a cool little stop in a cool little town. Fredricksburg was comparable to Kelowna in a lot of ways. It was a little tourist town settled originally by a German community, and since has developed into a little paradise of B&Bs and Wineries. It’s a great little spot, and somewhere we intend to revisit.
With good coffee in hand, we were on our way, and we were gonna make a push for New Mexico today.
Our little German gazelle, Clementine, galloping across Texas.
Kathryn and Mark, you two are amazing, inspiring human beings, and Kasey and I wish all of the best to you. We hope to be back to visit soon!
Next Issue: Tiger Moon checks out Carlsbad Caverns, and what’s funky in Roswell, New Mexico…