Last day of November and first morning of my South Llano trip.
Time for some hiking!
First on the agenda is a jaunt up the new trail for the obligatory stop at the scenic overlook.
Out there, just below the horizon on the left side, is the town of Junction, just about 5 miles away. Close enough that I can just barely see the endless parade of trucks passing out there on I-10.
That white pyramidical triangle near the center is a rock cut for the highway, US-377. Traveling southwest out of Junction, pop 2500, it runs along the far side of South Llano River for 25 miles before crossing to finally climb out of the valley, then runs another 20 miles across the ridges to Rocksprings, pop 1100.
Between the highway and me are the pastures and tree-groves of one or two of the working ranches taking advantage of the river and its valley.
Unfortunately, like farming, ranching is not a high-earning endeavor and many require the support of day-jobs to make a go of things. That means that this somewhat remote highway actually experiences the rural version of a rush-hour every morning, and though the campground is a straight-line mile and a half from the highway, the acoustics of the valley means that each one of those vehicles can be heard going by, especially when the air is cold and dense. But not to worry. Where I'm headed, back up in the ridges and canyons to the south, the only "highway" sounds are the skittering of feet running away from me. (They run away most the time but - well, you'll see)