Friday, November 2, 2012

Asian Eyes' USA - Texas LBJ Ranch

              Oct/6/2012: I plan to visit Fredericksburg in the heart of Texas Cowboy land for Oktoberfest  Before that I plan a detour to the ranch birth place of USA 36th President - Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park. I set off alone in my rented Toyota Yaris from National Car Rental, relying on my GPS to guide me. I drove south past Austin city, and took a right turn towards Fredericksburg.  Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is an United States National Historical Park in central Texas about 50 miles west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The park protects the birthplace, home, ranch, and final resting place of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th. President of the United States. During Johnson's administration, the LBJ Ranch house was known as the Texas White House. I passed through Johnson City, which was the boyhood home of President Johnson and his grandparent's log cabin settlement and proceeded straight to LBJ Ranch Visitor Center. Before one starts the tour of the ranch, one has to get a permit from the ranger in visitor center. The permit was free and good for a day and paste onto the passenger's side windscreen. 
               LBJ Ranch is located roughly 14 miles west of Johnson City along the north side of the Pedernales River. Among the sites preserved at the Ranch are the President's first school, birthplace, Texas White House and the Johnson Family Cemetery. The land south of the Pedernales River is operated as Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. To see the LBJ Ranch, visitors take a self-guided auto driving tour from State Park visitor centre; a permit is required. After getting my permit, I was allowed to roam the ranch freely. The park was authorized on December 2, 1969, as Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Site and was re-designated as a National Historical Park on December 28, 1980. Present holdings are approximately 1,570 acres, 674 acres of which are federal. I visited the ranch, Johnson's family cemetery, his rebuilt birth place house, his school and museum among other attraction. 
          This visit to LBJ Ranch was my closest contact with an American president. Here are some pictures I took while at LBJ ranch:   

Blanco County, Texas and Gillespie County, Texas, USA.

Fees: Free. 
Driving permits are good only for the day of issue

A banner promoting LBJ Ranch outside the visitor center
A portrait of LBJ at the visitor center
LBJ's Cowboy boot, hat and saddle on display at the visitor center
Presents of Ceremonial Axe and Walking stick from Native American tribe to LBJ on display at LBJ visitor center
Gift shop at LBJ Ranch visitor center that sells all things LBJ - books, mugs, paintings, and t-shirts.
The welcome sign at the entrance to LBJ Ranch
One of the many cows resting below an oak tree in the ranch. The ranch still produce many good beef.
Air force 1 that flown LBJ during his tenure as America 36th President, now on display in LBJ Ranch
Johnson family cemetery within LBJ ranch that includes that of LBJ, his wife and family members.
Herein lies LBJ within Johnson family cemetery, a stone throw away from his rebuild birth house
Entrance to LBJ rebuild birth house, no. 348, with rugged wood gate and full of old oak trees

An oak tree laden with oaks at the compound of LBJ's rebuild birth house. This may be LBJ daily view when he lifted up his head when he was still young.

LBJ's rebuild birth house in the Ranch. It was in good condition and almost exact to the time when he was young.
Perdenales River served as past time playground during LBJ's early days. He caught fish from this very river.
LBJ started school at aged 4 at this school just outside LBJ ranch. He was so small when he started school that he sat on teacher's lap as the desk was too big for him.  

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