browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.
Our Great American Adventure Website Logo

Camp Wood, Texas…where time stands still!

Posted by on January 21, 2015

JANUARY 20, 2014


We crossed Camp Wood Creek several times during our drive in the country today.

A TOWN WHERE TIME STANDS STILL. If you enjoy going to the theater on Saturday night, don’t expect to make it happen in Camp Wood, Texas. About the best you can do is visit a biker-friendly bar called Harley’s Hideaway for some beers before having dinner at Two Fat Boys Barbecue. Or you can shoot some pool, throw darts or even do a bit of dancin’ at the Boots and Buckles Club. Only about 600 folks call this little hill country town home. It’s rural, back country Americana. Just the kind of place I’m always looking for as we travel.

GETTING THERE.  “Hey Pat,” I asked our neighbor at Buckhorn a few days ago, “what’s a good road trip to take on a sunny day around here?” Pat’s got a Harley. He’s lived in his casita here for years. I figured he’d point me in the right direction. He did. “Take the road from Kerrville to Medina and then drive along Ranch Road 337 through Vanderpool and Leakey to Camp Wood. It’s a great drive…takes you through some beautiful back country. You’ll see some huge ranches and even some exotic animals in the fields.” Turns out that Ranch Road 337 was voted “best road to ride” by readers of some motorcycle magazine. Since we don’t have a motorcycle but still wanted to  see some real back country, we decided to drive it with our Jeep. Loved it! None of the bikers we met along the way seemed to mind  sharing the road with us at all.


Our road trip took us west from Medina on Ranch Road 337. We drove through the little towns of Vanderpool and Leakey before arriving at Camp Wood. From there we took RR 335 north to 41, east to Texas Hwy. 10 and back to Buckhorn.

THE DRIVE. The drive is not for the faint of heart. The road follows canyons and climbs over mountains with more tight, twisty curves than a pretzel. Sharp turns, hills and scenic views abound. Bikers wave or nod as they pass. There’s a little roadside store here and there along the route…some dusty canned goods, chewing tobacco, cold beer and a few other “necessities.” A chest freezer that needs defrosting holds some old ice cream sandwiches. Maybe a gas pump out front. A scruffy-looking dog sleeps on the porch. Time slows to a crawl. Nobody’s in a hurry. Everyone chats about nothin’ much.

DON’T BE FOOLED. But don’t be fooled. There’s a subtle affluence not far removed from the road. Make no mistake about it. Many of the ranches are huge…thousands of acres. Pecan trees line the roads and partially obscure huge herds of longhorn cattle. Exotic animals dot some of the fields…at home here in the hill country but still keenly aware of me as I stop to take a photo. Ears “at the alert.” Ready to bolt if I make a loud noise or slam the car door. Wild game processing and taxidermy shops remind me that many of these animals aren’t pets. Hunters pay big trophy fees. There’s “big money” just removed from obvious view out here.


There’s some valuable ranch real estate behind entry gates like this. Many of these ranches are huge…hundreds of acres. 


Despite all appearances, this lawyer may have plenty of work. I’m sure some of the ranchers out here need his advice frequently. Looking at this picture makes me chuckle…a far cry different than the high-rise office building where I practiced law for three decades in San Diego.


This giraffe was quite a distance from the road, but I was able to get this shot using my telephoto lens. This isn’t a hunting ranch. The owner enjoys exotic animals, he’s got room for them and he can probably afford to do pretty much anything he chooses. Why not?


A little hill country humor: The sign says “Rust n Peace.”



The Hog Pen…a perfect place to stop for a bite to eat.


If you need anything for your road trip like dusty canned goods or some chewing tobacco, “The Old Timer” is just the place to stop.










Camp Wood’s one and only “Boots and Buckles Club.” Rodeo cowboys earn belt buckles, not blue ribbons. Did you know that?



If you want to get the local news, pick up a copy of the weekly “Hill Country Herald.” A gal is the publisher. Her motto is “A local girl reporting local news.”










One stop shopping at the Country Smokehouse: Game processing and storage, fresh meat market and a lunch counter. My chopped brisket sandwich was the best!



The Post Office in Vanderpool, Texas. It serves all 22 people who live in the town.










The road leading home, after a long day exploring the outback Texas Hill Country. 


The road trip to Camp Wood gave us a glimpse of true rural America and the folks who live there. Next time we’ll drive to Bandera…the Cowboy Capital of the World. Be sure to join us for that trip, won’t you?

Comments are closed.