Saturday, June 13, 2009

My favorite river

The Guadalupe River in Texas is my favorite place to set a story. On its 432 mile trip to the Gulf of Mexico the cold, green water meanders through sheer cliffs of limestone, passes through fields of shrub cedar and live oaks and provides sustenance for pecan and peach groves. And that’s just the flora and fauna. On the human side you can discover dance halls dating from the 19th century, swimming holes that are deep and cold, floating block parties and world class ski jumping competitions.

The Guadalupe starts it journey high in the Texas Hill Country and flows past some of the oldest summer camps in the country. From there it wanders down to historic Gruene where you can spend the day tubing and the night two-stepping in Texas’s oldest dance hall. This is where George Strait and Lyle Lovett got their start. BTW - it was also the setting for my third book, Somewhere Down in Texas. When I visualized the hero in that story I imagined a cross between George and Tim McGraw.

Then the river meanders toward Seguin, my home town. As a kid I spent so much time in the water I’m surprised I didn’t grow web feet. My September 2007 book, Summer After Summer incorporated many memories from those lazy, hazy summer days of swimming, skiing and sunbathing.

But like most things there’s a downside – and in this case it’s flooding. Texans know that when Mother Nature decides to pitch a hissy they sit up and take notice. I know several people, including my brother, who returned home after a flood to find nothing but a slab foundation or water up to the eaves of their house. My February 2010 book, Hill Country Hero features a river rescue.

So here’s wishing I was spending my Saturday “toobing” my way to New Braunfels while sipping on an icy Shiner Bock.

Have a happy summer,

Ann DeFee
Top Gun Dad, HAR, October 2009
Hill Country Hero, HAR, February 2010


Catherine said...

Hi Ann,
It was lovely reading about your childhood on the Guadalupe. Sounds enchanted and I absolutely loved the photos - it seems to have an olde world charm about it. I didn't expect Texas to look that green and tranquil for some reason (can you tell I haven't been there yet?)
Great meeting you in San Francisco and hope we can catch up in DC.:-)

Estella said...

Looks like a very nice area.

Pamela Stone said...

Absolutely one of my favorite places. I love the Hill Country and the Guadulupe. We had lunch at the Grist Mill in Gruene about a month ago. Love it.