Last Tuesday was my 37th wedding anniversary and I took my wife on a day long trip through the Hill Country of Texas. We planned on visiting some of our favorite towns and restaurants while taking in all the spring flowers. After a pleasant time in Fredericksburg we headed up Highway 16 to Llano and decided to drive the Willow City Loop which is a County Road that winds through private ranches and is famous for the wild flowers there. At both ends of the road are big signs with orange streamers telling visitors that the land on either side of the road is private property and not to trespass. It also said do not pull over and stop or block traffic on the road. The signs also warn that trespassers may be prosecuted. Pretty simple but apparently not for hundreds of folks that must be too stupid to read or understand simple statements. We saw literally hundreds of people pulled over on the side of the road taking pictures and many of the women were picking flowers. At one creek crossing people had pulled their vehicles over in the creek bed to park and were wading the creek while another member of the party was setting up a tripod to take pictures while standing under a private property keep off sign with orange tape streaming in the wind. So many vehicles had pulled over in some areas that the vegetation was completely gone and will not grow back for years. People were driving the narrow county road at five miles per hour stacking traffic up behind them for hundreds of yards, many not even trying to stay on the right side of the road but driving down the center until they had to move over when meeting traffic. Some of the traffic was from the ranches that were trying to go about life and go to town or coming back with supplies and were forced to drive behind these people that thought the whole place was just for them. Several times traffic came to a complete stop as some idiot would stop in the middle of the road to take a picture or let passengers in the vehicle jump out and run onto private property to take pictures.
My first thoughts were these people must be from somewhere else and could not be Texans for surely they would not act like this, but then I noticed that nine out of ten license plates were Texas plates so at least they live here. Have we become such a selfish group of people that we really believe that the laws are for everyone else, just not us? Or is it we no longer respect anyone else or their property? This all took place on a weekday, I would hate to imagine what it is like on a weekend. Can you imagine trying to cope with all this on your only road to and from town?
The drive was beautiful but I did not enjoy it. I was ashamed of my fellow Texans.
I did not take any pictures so none are included. If you would like to see the flowers and many of the trespassing people standing out on private land with smiles on their faces while trespassing just go to Google images and type in Willow City Loop.
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