We have had some great visits with friends along the way, the Rosens in Springfield, the Glassmans in Nashville, and Mitchell Johnston at The Clear Creek Ranch is no exception.
The drive from Austin to just outside of Menard Texas is really cool because we were able to drive through The Texas Hill Country which is beautiful this time of year with all of the wild flowers in bloom. We drove through Johnson City, Fredricksburg, Mason and Menard. When we pulled up to The Ranch, Mitchell was waiting with a big Texas welcoming smile.
I was very excited to show the family this great wilderness wonderland that I was able to visit a couple of years earlier with my friends Dicky and Marc on a guys weekend, but I also didn’t want to get too excited and create lofty expectations for everyone. No worries though as they loved it too.
Mitch took us for a quick walk around the actual Clear Creek itself, a natural spring that produces significant fresh water on a continual basis. Then he took us on the traditional welta, or driving tour around the 1000 acres that make up the Ranch. We saw the exotic “Axis” deer, white tail deer, fish, and went off roading on an armadillo chase, even the wild horses couldn’t drag us away from walking the retaining wall out into the middle of the upper pond, where we saw a beaver lodge.
Mitchell was very sensitive to our big city lives and didn’t want to suggest any target practice, but when I brought it up he was happy to go “plinking” with a 22 and a 410 shotgun. We all had a blast shooting up the dump area, but I think even more so on the 4 wheel ATV that we all got to ride.
We settled in for the evening for some Mitch Johnston specialty Big Mixed Meat Grill, ranch style, it was a great transition to a mesquite inspired campfire jam. The stars are unbelievable as they seem to hang so low to the ground, and have that same invigorating clarity as up at Camp Ojibwa in Eagle River, WI.
The next morning Aidan and Charlie woke up really early and the three of us went fishing and ATV riding, then I made a big breakfast for all before departing for San Antonio. What a great time, and excellent hospitality. Thanks Mitch.