Wednesday, August 23, 2006

An Early Morning Jaunt

Xana and I played hooky for about two hours this morning. Our plan was to end up in Elgin to pick up her new supply of nutritional supplement from the vet. That would have been 40 minutes tops and not nearly enough of a distraction from my recent routine of work, work, work. I decided to do a little volunteer work for FindAGrave on the way.

So, we headed for Elgin by way of Cedar Creek. (Really, you can get there from there.) Our first stop was at the Lower Cedar Creek Cemetery to get a photo of Thomas Smith's grave. That was quickly accomplished, so we decided to go for another photo at the Jones Cemetery. We headed north, kinda sorta in the direction of Elgin. We veered off Highway 21 onto Ranch Road 1209, took a left on Ranch Road 969. In about 15 minutes we reached 1704, which would have taken us directly to Elgin, but Jones Cemetery was in the Hornsby Bend area, so we kept going.

Now this is where it started to get a little out of the way. I had no idea just where this Jones Cemetery was and it turned out to be over the county line into Travis County, about a hair before you get to Ranch Road 973. Really, I could have just headed on into the office at this point. It would have made more sense. Except that I had all my work lying on the bed at home waiting for me to get back from my little Elgin errand.

The Jones Cemetery lies at the end of a little road lined with run down mobile homes, chicken houses, cars on blocks and junk yard dogs. Not exactly the kind of area I like to hit when I'm making cemetery visits. But I was on a mission. So with one eye on the neighborhood and the other eye reading tombstones as quickly as possible, I found my target and got the job done.

The Jones Cemetery turned out to be about 6 cemeteries in one location. I wasn't so surprised to find a dividing fence between the Spanish and Anglo sections. I was surprised to find many subdivisions within the Anglo section, each surrounded by its own fence with its own gate and sign. It gave all the appearance of a bunch of families that lived in the same area but just couldn't get along, even in death. It was unique and I've seen a lot of cemeteries.

We never saw anyone else, but we heard lots of pounding sounds from a nearby shed and fussy chickens in a nearby coop. We were glad to finish our task and turn our attention back to that original Elgin errand. We drove the remaining mile to 973 and turned toward Manor. From there it was an easy jump onto Highway 290 and we finally got to Elgin. (See you can get there from Cedar Creek.)

At Elgin we got a boost of good news. Xana's weight has held steady for a whole month. This is a very good development. We were so pleased we decided to take the long way back to Bastrop. (Oh, come on. At this point it was almost inevitable.)

So we headed out 1704 to drive through the Coon Neck community on the way back to Ranch Road 969. I decided if we saw any cemetery signs, I would stop and get photos of the gates to post online. We came across four cemeteries enroute that I had never before visited: McShane Memorial Garden (which had a whole 5 graves, so naturally I took photos of all of them), Youngs Prairie (which had two gates very securely padlocked against any visitors), the Spier Cemetery, and the Colorado Chapel Cemetery.

We finally rolled back in our driveway a little over two hours from the time we had left. It was a nice break - a chance to drive through the countryside and see some of Bastrop and Travis Counties that I had never had reason to visit before. It was a lot easier to hit the pile of work waiting for me after a little early morning jaunt.

And Xana's doing ok for now.


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