Surprisingly, many places in Central Texas have Germanic names. In the mid 1800's, a large group of German intellectuals immigrated here to escape political and religious hegemony. Known as "Freethinkers", they encouraged personal responsibility and evaluation, democratic discussion of issues, and equal rights for all. They thrived in Texas until the Civil War, when they opposed slavery and succession. They were persecuted for their Union sympathies and many departed Texas. The Freethinkers left their legacy in historic buildings, names of places, democratic institutions, and their example of intellectual freedom. They were in the right place at the wrong time. Who can't relate to that?
On the way to Austin I had the rare opportunity to be a hero. I passed a goat that had pushed it's horned head through a wire fence and was hopelessly stuck like Pooh and the honey jar. The goat was scared of me and uncooperative, but eventually I freed it. It ran away unappreciative! Austin is a marvelous city with a river, beauty, history, the capital, and a hot nightlife. At dusk tonight I watched a million bats depart the Congress St Bridge to hunt insects for the night. They still are creepy. Nice to have a few days of rest.