So a friend of mine and I hopped in a rental truck the other day and started driving east. After driving for a week and covering over 3,000 miles of America along the way, we ran into the biggest road block of the trip: the Atlantic Ocean. We had cheated death enough on the road that we figured we had better not try our luck testing the sea-worthiness of the Penske truck so we called it quits and started unpacking in Stafford, VA. That’s right, after six years in SoCal it is time for this family to move. As a result of the “staggered” family move out east, I was able to make the trip with a good friend of mine and make some fun stops along the way.
After 1,200 miles of freeway and a quick stop in El Paso, TX, we arrived at the first “destination” of the trip, Ox Ranch, just outside of Uvalde, Texas. The absolute highlight of the trip, Ox Ranch is a 18,000 acre ranch in Texas Hill Country. We enjoyed some fantastic Texas hospitality and spent some time with a good buddy’s family riding 4x4s, drinking beer, and watching the animals in awe. If it is big and not from around here, Ox Ranch has got it. Axis Deer, Pere David’s, a massive reg stag, addax, blackbuck, blesbok, wildebeest, water buffalo, kangaroos, zebras…. the list doesn’t end. All with the exception of the four giraffes and camel roam free and eat feed from your hand. The wildest encounters were with the massive watusi… all 1,600 pounds and ten feet of horns of them. I will forever be looking for another excuse to be in the middle of Texas so I can visit again.
After Uvalde, we headed to Austin to enjoy the city side of Texas for a few days. Great food and great people! Next we would stop in Shreveport for crawfish and then turn north to Nashville for live music and more good eats. The final stop was in Lexington, KY, which would not have been nearly as exciting except for the dozens of good bourbon distilleries within a stones throw of the city. Maker’s Mark was a bit off the beaten trail but it was worth the trip. The handful of photos and the hand dipped bottle of bourbon (dipped by me) that I took away from the place don’t do the painstakingly slow process done all by hand justice.
After we left Lexington in the mirror, we rolled up to the new place I call home… for now.