11 Jun Deep in the Heart of Texas…
More or less a week after my first blog post, I return with more details about my exploits here at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The stars do shine brighter here in central Texas, though I suspect it is because of a lack of light pollution. In any case, it’s been another great week here in Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch, and I thought I’d tell y’all about the two locations I work at.
The first site I started at was Johnson City, where LBJ grew up. Despite some rumors that he had the city renamed after himself, his ego was, in fact, not that big; instead, it was named after his ancestors, which I suspect still pleased him. Here in Johnson City, people are kind, helpful, and very welcoming. It’s a relatively small city, but the peacefulness and tranquility of the town give me plenty of opportunities to catch up on my reading outside in a nice summer breeze. There’s a trail not far from where I’m staying, and I often walk in the afternoon while I listen to a podcast or just enjoy the scenery.
The main attraction out here is the Texas White House out at the LBJ Ranch. LBJ definitely loved this place, and the rangers who take care of it similarly try to preserve the history and beauty of the national park. One of the most beautiful sights before going into the park is the winding Pedernales River, which blends amazingly into the background. It provides a nice view as you drive along the other side of the river before you go into the park.
Along the way, you’ll likely encounter some bovine friends who will often block the road, if only for a few moments while they cross to get dinner on the green grass. There are dozens of these cattle all across the ranch, so you’re never too far from hearing “moo” off in the background.
Pulling up to the Texas White House is a pretty impressive sight, especially with the airplane LBJ used to fly out to the ranch parked outside the front station. While the park itself is impressive, the Texas White House itself is really a great respite from the heat. Inside, you’ll find everything almost exactly as it was during the 1960s, when Johnson used it as both a resting spot and a political center. One of my favorite things to do after the day is done is to go and sit on a swinging chair next to the river along the ranch, and read before I head back to Johnson City.
So far, I love this place and all the breathtaking sights it offers. The prairie sky really is wide and high here in the Hill Country, and the stars are bright at night. It’s truly a magnificent place in the world where nature is at its most beautiful, and I can’t wait to keep working out here for the remainder of my internship.