Taking a Fall Road Trip Through the Texas Hill Country in the Mazda CX-3
It’s fall, the Texas weather is almost crisp, some leaves have started to turn color and it’s time for taking a fall road trip. And the 2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring is just the car to road trip in. It’s got just enough room for several bags, boots for some music hall night-life and field gear to do a little hiking and wildlife watching. The rear fold down seats were an option if we needed more room.
The trip was to a small town in the northern Hill Country of Texas called San Saba. Getting there it was mostly small back roads that are as twisty turny as a rattler slithering across the road. No worries though, we didn’t see any of those fanged creatures on this trip. We did see a lot of beautiful hilly countryside, with horse and cattle ranches the size of, well, Texas. We also had the opportunity to see several Texas White-Tail Deer grazing with the cows. This weekend is the start of deer hunting season so I have to wonder if the deer are trying to hide amoungst the cattle.
We also had the pleasure of traveling over several streams and rivers that all look in good shape, as far as water, for a change. The lakes around Austin and Horseshoe Bay looked filled as well. The trip from San Antonio to San Saba is about 160 miles and the CX-3 was humming along and getting good gas mileage, right around 31 miles to the gallon. I had driven the 2017 CX-3 about a year ago and this car has an active driving display right over the steering wheel that pops up when you turn it on. In the 2017 I found this pop-up window to be a little annoying and wasn’t sure what it was really for other than telling me when I was getting to close to the vehicle in front of me. On the 2018, it seems to have been improved upon quite a bit. The monitor is linked to the Mazda Radar Cruise Control so it will not only maintain vehicle speed but it will also monitor the following distance of the vehicle in front of you using the radar sensor. Just set your speed and it will maintain a safe following distance without having to turn off cruise control. It will let you know the speed limit by showing speed signs and also let you know at a glance if you are going the speed limit. Why is this important you ask? Well sometimes on back roads, as these are, you can go a long way before seeing a speed limit sign, and you don’t want to be surprised by a State Trooper around the next bend in the road. This Mazda Grand Touring kept us in the safety zone.
The 18-inch alloy wheels were great for those twisty turny roads as well as the gravel ones. And there were several gravel ones! One such gravel road took us to a couple of San Saba’s historic sites. One that I had heard about and had to see was the Wedding Oak tree. Legend has it that this matrimonial oak was used by Indians who wanted to get married under her sprawling branches. Settlers to the area followed the tradition. This humongous oak is pretty impressive at almost 20 feet in diameter.
Just down from the Wedding Oak is another historical site, the Beveridge Bridge, one of only a few pre-1940 suspension bridges in Texas. Built in 1896, the bridge has had damage due to flooding over the years. Some of the structure of the bridge is original, most significant being the towers however even with alterations, this bridge is still a good example of bridge construction from around the turn of the century. You can’t drive the bridge, but you can walk it to cross the San Saba river.
We checked out the Mill Pond and Water Wheel with the last of the fall vegetation in bloom and the fall colors in the background. The new Ceramic Metallic Parchment color really stood out in the Fall colors, don’t you think?
After a long day of sight seeing we parked at the Dofflemyer Hotel and went up to our room to freshen up before heading over to the Wedding Oak Winery for a tour of the winery and a little taste of their award winning wine.
Saturday morning it was time to have breakfast and head back to San Antonio to pick up our furry friends from Camp Bow Wow. Then it was time to unload our shopping finds. We seemed to have picked up a lot of pecan treats. “Did I mention that San Saba is the Pecan Capital of the World”? Thank goodness the Mazda CX-3 has those fold down seats!
A word of caution: this sporty little touring car may lead to spontaneous excursions like the one we just got back from!
**Full Disclosure: I was given the Mazda CX-3 for one week in exchange for my review. But not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.
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