Today was time for another daytrip so we headed out a little before10 am, but didn’t go far, only a few miles north on US71 to our first stop, the Industrial Country Market. We’ve passed this place a bunch of times, but never stopped. But blog reader Rob Nixon said we really needed to check the place out. And he was right.
Take a hardware store, a toy store, a gadget store, a solar power supply store, and an ammo store, then throw in water and hydroponic vegetable gardens, add a lot of garden art and solar panels, run the whole thing completely off the grid, and you’ve got the Industrial Country Market.
You could actually spend hours walking up and down the aisles of the ‘non-general, general store’.
Toys, clothing, jewelry. ammo.
Spices, electronics, tools, puppets, 1500 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverters. and more.
And outside you find all sorts of gardens and plants.
As well as a forest of Bottle Trees.
Water gardens with fountains and waterfalls.
And ingenious art gardens made from a little bit of everything.
Even a number of hydroponic gardens growing vegetables and ornamental plants.
And it’s all run completely off the electrical grid.
These 24 volt batteries come from telephone company Central Offices, which is why your landline phone keeps working even when the power is out. It’s all powered from the phone office.
These and other solar panels provide an amazing 25KW of both 120VAC and 240VAC electrical power
Jan and I really enjoyed our visit and we’ll probably go back again the next time we’re in the area.
Our next stop was a few more miles up the road at Hruska’s.
We’ve been stopping here for a long time and have watched the place grow into what it is today, a major operation. The place started out as general store/market in 1912 and has been in the family ever since. And they still have the best kolaches around.
Jan and I stopped for a couple of kolaches, but we noticed a lot of locals having their double-cheeseburgers, and it turns out that Texas Monthly Magazine says they have one of the best burgers in the state. Hopefully we can check them out before we leave.
Then it was back on the road, heading up to Brenham and the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory Tour. We’ve been trying to take this tour for almost 35 years and we finally made it.
The problem was that the tour is only given Monday through Friday, and it seems we were always up that way on the weekend.
Unfortunately I can’t show you any pictures because they don’t allow photos on the tour, but they do give you free ice cream at the end, so no pictures for you, but free ice cream for us.
That sound fair.
One of the most interesting facts given on the tour is that this one plant (they have two more. one in Sylacauga, AL, and one in Broken Arrow, OK) uses the milk from 60,000 cows . . . a day. Now that’s squeezing a lot of cows.
After finishing up our ice cream (Jan had Rocky Mountain Road and I had Salt Caramel Vanilla) we head back toward home, but in a roundabout way, via Giddings, rather than the most direct way.
But going this way let us stop off at the Buc-ee’s there for a bathroom break and some of their Cranberry Nut muffins to bring home.
But the day wasn’t over yet. We had timed things so that we would be back at Peter’s BBQ in Ellinger about 4:30. Just in time for our last shot at their great Friday Night BBQ and Seafood Buffet. As always, really, really good.
Tomorrow looks to be a work-around-the-rig day.
Thought for the Day:
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought." – Basho, 17th Century Japanese Poet
Filed under: Uncategorized |