Of all the States we have visited, one of those we least thought we would spend much time in was Texas. We had both “been” to Texas before, and although the people here were always very friendly, neither one of us had seen much here that we thought would bring us back. What we found out is that Texas, like California only even more so, is so big that you haven’t really “been” to Texas until you have traveled thousands of miles through all types of terrain.
We also found that the people here are not only very friendly, they have a ribald sense of humor, love to eat, drink and party together, and make everyone feel at home.
We ended up in Texas for two reasons. One, you kind of have to go through it to get from Louisiana to New Mexico. Two, we had been invited to the tiny town of Cat Spring by the owner of a 650 acre ranch that also operates as a very unique Bed & Breakfast. Scattered across the acreage is a plethora of small cabins, cottages, and farmhouses available for guests. Each one is tastefully done in variety of themes, and guests come here to get a taste of ranch life and away from the big city. The ranch owner who is interested in returning a portion of the ranch to a more natural prairie state, and “greening” up her operations had invited us to visit and discuss a possible consulting position as she moves forward with her project. The opportunity to spend some time on the ranch and discuss the possibilities for the future was very tempting, so after spending the holidays in New Mexico with my family, we headed back to Texas.
The ranch is situated in the bucolic rolling prairie lands that begin at the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Studded with massive live oaks and dotted with ponds, the ranch is currently home to a small herd of cattle, some horses, chickens, peacocks, geese, goats, a pot-bellied pig, dogs and cats, along with a few emu, antelope, bison, a kangaroo, and even a camel. The long-term plan that they are working on is to remove the cattle and restore the pastures to their native prairie grasses and wildflowers. This is a process that is slowly gaining popularity in Texas, a place where cattle are king, and an exciting trend for the future. The ranch owner also wants to establish a wildlife preserve here where some of the native species such as fox and quail can return and flourish.
Sitting halfway between Austin and Houston, Cat Spring is a tiny little town with only one stop sign, a Post Office, a couple of Antique stores, and Carol’s at Cat Spring, an incongruous gourmet restaurant operated by the owner of the ranch. This would become our home and the source of our adventures for the next three months.