Don’t get me started on Dallas’ traffic. Don’t get me started on Austin’s… well a lot of things don’t get me started on about Austin.

I could probably get going pretty good on San Antonio, Houston and virtually every Texas city over 100,000 people, and probably 10,000 too.

But, before I continue, do know that if you are happy in any of the aforementioned places, good. Truly. It’s not always easy to find happiness. Finding it is wisdom. There are many people happier and wiser and holier than me in Houston or New York. Where you live is by no means the most defining aspect of your character. Not at all. So, please, don’t think I’m being contemptuous to you, your family, your life, etc.

I’m not.

Now, I mention why I can get going on Texas cities – and other things about Texas for sure – to express that I’m not partial to Texas to the point where my words expressing genuine and warranted partiality should be discounted. Got that?

If not, let me say the Texas Hill Country – especially around Enchanted Rock State Park – is one of the most beautiful and moving places I’ve seen.

The view from the top. As I’ll say below, pink granite swells up here and there various heights. As I’ll also say below, capturing the beauty felt through photos or words are maybe harder compared to other over-romanticized places. But I don’t care. I guess that’s the whole point of the blog.

And I’ve seen some beautiful places. I’ve been living at Sedona the past almost-8 years. I’ve seen many National Parks and National Forests out West, and even have my own personal rankings of them. The search for beauty has been a priority in my life the past while. I’m not saying I’ve lived wisely or better for this. I’m not saying anything other than I feel confident and qualified to say with conviction as to what I think a beautiful place is.

And I’m telling you Enchanted Rock State Park is a beautiful freakin’ place. Why?

Enchanted Rock is a domed up-swelling of granite in the Llano Uplift physiographic region of the Hill Country. Across this Llano Uplift pink granite surfaces in scattered outcroppings amid prickly pears, cedars and oaks. Some outcroppings are flat. Some are small hills. Some are Utah-esque formations, though much smaller. Regardless, no place is better to see the swirl of colors and big sky of Texas granite country – especially at sunset – than atop Enchanted Rock, as I did a couple days ago.

Now, of course, there are outcroppings of colorful granite elsewhere. There are prickly pears and oaks elsewhere. There are more photogenic horizons elsewhere. So what’s the big deal about this part of Texas really?

Maybe here words will fail me. Maybe I am too partial. But I don’t think so. That beauty is more than a poem or a painting.

It’s the low population allowing the Hills to be seen in its more natural state for many highway miles.

It’s the Gulf of Mexico’s humidity saturating the air to add a greenery to the land more permanent than Arizona wet seasons do. It’s the invigoration that that humidity can render too – as all people who have sweated intensely under the sun in Texas can attest to.

It’s also the proximity of the uniquely-rooted German culture of Fredericksburg nearby. It’s that Hill Country vibe of people being a little more real, laid-back and libertarian. (I’d also say the oft-heard sound of gunfire underscores that freedom feeling, as was so the other night.)

But, again, maybe my words fail me. Someone from Washington or New York could argue their lands have better American beauty – and what could I say to such a subjective concept?

Nonetheless, hiking the other day, and wincing as the bright sun soaked my shirt with sweat, and feeling nothing but invigoration to continue for hours, with pure gratitude for life, well, I’d say that if life brought me back to the Texas Hill Country, especially to around Fredericksburg, I’d be ok with God for this.

Again, this land is a unique American beauty.

However, in ending, I also must say I’d be a fool for not being ok with whatever God has planned. God knows what’s in my heart. He knows what’s in my mind. But he’s gotta be in charge, and wherever spot in Creation a man lays his head at night is not as important as other things the Good Lord would have us prioritize.

And that’s the million dollar question for me right now. What am I supposed to be doing with the time God has given me? What would he have me prioritize?

I’m gonna’ find out, and it’ll be fun.

Regardless, it feels good to be back in this part of Texas. Damn good… at least for a while.

A simple trail walking along granite and crushed granite. Today was a beautiful day.