We took Highway 32 from Blanco to San Marcos. About halfway, near the little community of Fischer, is a scenic area known as the "Devil's Backbone." We pulled into a roadside park on the north side of the highway and enjoyed the view.
|View along the "Devil's Backbone" on an overcast and occasionally rainy day.|
There are 2 outlet malls located just south of San Marcos along I-35: San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets. These are large outlet malls, much larger than the ones we've shopped before in places such as Conroe, Hillsboro, and Terrell. We spent most of our time at the Tanger mall because it had the stores we were most interested in. We were disappointed, though, in the prices. These were not outlet prices. Now, everything is normally higher in the Austin area, and I guess the same goes for outlet malls. But the thing I like about outlet stores is that I can find the precise size of pants I like. Most department stores usually carry pants with inseams in the even numbers. The best fit for me is an inseam of 31, and it's very difficult to find this size in normal stores. I was able to find some pants in the Haggar store in my exact size, so that made the trip worthwhile for me.
We ended up spending only 2 hours or so at the mall before we moved on. Just down the road in New Braunfels is a Camping World, and we wanted to stop in and check on some chairs and other things related to camping. We ended up buying only some step covers.
Since we were in New Braunfels, I had a hankering for some chile, so we went downtown to the Phoenix Saloon, which we visited a little over a year ago (See "New Braunfels, Texas"). This time, we sampled a large bowl of their sirloin-based chile with a double shot of fire. It was good. I thought it had the right amount of heat for me. I don't like really spicy food, but I do like some burn, especially in the back of my throat. My fire-eater wife, though, thought it was a bit mild. Next time, she can try the "Ring of Fire".
From New Braunfels, we took Highway 46 west back to US 281, then followed that highway north to Blanco.