Camels and Cowboys in the Texas Hill Country

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June 19, 2011

Kerrville and Bandera are two of the most fascinating townsin Texas Hill Country.

The historical significance of Camp Verde is that this was the location of the Camel Experiment —back in 1856, the camels purchased by then War Secretary, Jefferson Davis, arrived at Fort Camp Verde (about a mile from the current general store).  By the end of the civil war, the experiment was deemed a success in that the camels out-performed the horses and mules currently used by the Army. The nation, however, had turned its attention to reconstruction, so nothing more was done with the camel experiment.

On Wednesday Bandear hosts live entertainment and “open grills,” where you bring your own meat and cook it on their grills and they sell side dishes, such as baked potatoes, salad, and rolls.  It was a lot of fun, especially since we rode the Buckhorn bus instead of driving; the people on the bus sang songs during the ride there and back.

This time we wanted to spend some time wandering into the many shops in the town.  We noticed that they still had hitching posts at many of the businesses in town, and were told that it is not uncommon to see horses tied there by the cowboys who ride into town.  And, on weekends you will always find a rodeo and other cowboy activities, maybe even a reenactment of the shootout at the OK Corral.  One of the most interesting shops was the Gunslinger—a huge store filled with western clothes (including boots and hats), jewelry, furnishings, and accessories, with a knowledgeable and helpful sales staff.

After a few hours of shopping and some ice cream in the Bandera General Store at their old-fashioned soda bar (where we read the stories about all the ghost sightings in the store), we decided it was time to make our back to Kerrville.  Highway 16 is the alternate route for the return trip, and is a windy road with beautiful views of the Hill Country.

And, that is how I happened to spend the day learning about Cowboys and Camels while exploring the Texas Hill Country.


Leave a Reply


  1. Hoby


    No, I did not see or talk to any of the ghosts in Bandera. I think that it has been so hot and dry down here lately that even the ghosts are a bit lethargic…

  2. butterbean carpenter

    Howdy Hoby,

    Did you see or talk to any of the ‘ghosts’ in Bandera?? They are there!!! My brother talked to one after only 3 beers and a shot of tequila… Then the marshall made him go sit down under a tree and get some rest… He can get snockered smelling a cork !!!

    Glad you had a good time in the hill country… Thatz what itz all about down there and $$$$….

    Smooth roads, clear skies & balmy breezes !!!!!!!!