From North Austin: take Airport Boulevard south till it becomes
US 183, go straight.
From South Austin: take Ben White (TX 71) east under IH 35 to Burleson Road, turn right and get to US 183.
In a nutshell: You’re driving south on 183 to Luling, where you’ll go straight onto TX 80. You DON’T TURN till you get to the Rancho gate.
00.0 - Propane store, 183 / Burleson Road intersection—Zero your mileage here and head south on US 183.
0.2 - Onion Creek - Begins in the Hill Country near Henly, cascades through McKinney Falls State Park, where it’s fed by Williamson Creek a few miles to the west, and flows into the Colorado River downstream of Austin.
1.8 - Plaza Mexico arena - Small hills behind are all that’s left of Pilot Knob, the only extinct volcano around. Down the long slope is the fertile Blackland Prairie, a tall-grass region extending from south of San Antonio to the Illinois Corn Belt.
2.4 - historical marker (missing) - More information about the Knob.
2.6 - Dry Creek - North Fork, then South; begins just to the west, flows northeast under TX 71 to the Colorado; famous for floods.
4.6 - San Francisco Church - Mission-style in stone with grotto. Just beyond is Creedmoor-Maha water-supply tank serving two small towns to the east and west.
5.2 - Mustang Ridge - Separate incorporated city. Optionally merge here with Texas Toll 130, a complete monstrosity—fast, but for a price.
8.7 - Maha Ridge - Separates Maha Creek from Cedar Creek.
10.3 - county line - From Travis into Caldwell.
10.6 - a prairie home - Erlich House: pyramid roof, dormers, porch, square shape - great!
11.0 - TX 21 overpass (no turn) - Now a modern highway, it’s the Old San Antonio Road, earliest thoroughfare in Texas. Originally connected Nacogdoches to Presidio San Juan Bautiste (near Eagle Pass) via Béxar; blazed by Louis J. de Saint-Denis in 1714.
12.3 - Mendoza - Village near headwaters of Cedar Creek, named for an early settler.
13.5 - LCRA lines - High-voltage electricity from Fayette power plant; former Bluebonnet Farm.
15.5 - basin-boundary ridge - Divides Colorado and Guadalupe river watersheds; view of microwave transmission tower atop Lone Man Mountain, 25 miles W. Low hills to the southeast are the Iron Mountains, which trend southwestward through your ultimate destination, Belmont.
16.5 - FM 1185 - (no turn) - At road to Lytton Springs, enter Post Oak Savanna. Despite utter destruction of woods to your left, you can still perceive the namesake trees and the region’s boundary.
18.6 - Main Fork of Plum Creek - Begins near Kyle, flows into San Marcos River below Luling. Site of horrific Comanche/Texian running battle in 1840.
20.3 - Lockhart - North city limit; TX 130 veers SW.
21.2 - Kreutz Market - Excellent barbecue; Union Pacific RR overpass, Town Creek, cane break.
21.5 - town square - View of 1890s Victorian courthouse, domed Clark Library beyond.
22.4 - FM 20 (no turn) - To Lockhart State Park, built 1930s by Civilian Conservation Corps.
24.1 - South city limit, bye Lockhart - halfway there!
25.6 - Clear Fork of Plum Creek - Begins southeast of Kyle, flows through Lockhart State Park.
26.8 - FM 671 (no turn) - Alternate route to Luling through Joliet and Mineral Springs.
27.7 - former Rest Area - On the right
28.9 - former Rest Area - On the left
30.8 - West Fork of Plum Creek - Double bridge; up hill on left is what used to be a emu farm.
32.9 - Carter Airport - Luling is within aroma—hold your nose!
33.6 - ridge - Luling panorama
36.1 - Oil City - Davis Log House, antique derrick
36.3 - Southern Pacific RR - TX 80 S (go straight, DO NOT TURN!!!) - Named for a rail company president’s wife, the town fronts the tracks. Site of annual Watermelon Thump in June. Note decorated pump jacks.
37.3 - San Marcos River - South city limit, Guadalupe County line, with Zedler’s Mill’s horizontal water wheel on your right and the bunker-like city park bathhouse to the left.
38.6 - IH 10 overpass (no turn) - From Florida to California, the most southern coast-to-coast interstate.
41.4 - Smith Creek - Flows northeast into the San Marcos.
41.8 - county line - Enter Gonzales County; note pavement and speed-limit change.
44.2 - ridge top - Divides San Marcos and Guadalupe river basins.
44.6 - Dillworth community - Spring on left almost always flows; pink building on right is old rural Black school house.
44.9 - St. James Church - founded and pastored years ago by Jesus Garcia, father of James Garcia, current RRR leasee.
45.7 - Neasloney Wildlife Management Area - operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife, with nature trail.
47.8 - Four-way stop (no turn) - Up slope to right is Belmont, home of Belmont Social Club and fair barbecue.
48.5 - Guadalupe River - “Watercourse of the Wolf,” rises in the Edwards Plateau from two forks above Hunt in Kerr County.
48.7 - Rancho Richey Refuge - Turn right at second gate (past Gate One). Look for the big vinyl sign and flagging. At this Main Gate, call Howie for access instructions. Welcome!