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A Trip Down the Pedernales River Is Filled with Family Fun and Local Heritage

From olive oil to beer, and science to history, good times in Johnson City, Stonewall, and Dripping Springs
Written by Daniel Blue Tyx. Photographs by Tom McCarthy Jr..

Falling for the Pedernales

Rising from crystalline springs west of Fredericksburg, the Pedernales River meanders just 106 miles through the Hill Country before emptying into Lake Travis. Yet within its short course, the river crosses a multitude of landscapes, from rolling ranchland to steep limestone canyons. Each topography in turn has its own story to tell, from 10,000-year-old artifacts to hardscrabble German settlements and the birthplace of the nation’s 36th president.
“Here is where I would always return, to the Pedernales River, the course of my childhood,” reminisced Lyndon B. Johnson in a quote inscribed at his namesake state park and historic site. Another LBJ quote on a nearby plaque reinforces the Pedernales’ influence, not just on the former president, but on its inhabitants throughout time: “It is impossible to live on this land without being a part of it, and without being shaped by its qualities.” Click the image above to continue reading.

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