When I first met Tyler, he told me that his favorite holiday was the Fourth of July. Now don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating our wonderful country’s birthday just as much as the next person, but the Fourth of July isn’t necessarily the holiday most claim as their favorite, right?
Then I learned about Leakey.
Leakey (pronounced Lake-y) is a little town in the Hill Country with a population of around 400 people. It’s your quintessential small Texas town with locally owned mercantile shops and restaurants like The Hog Pen. But each year thousands of people flock to spend their summers here.
There’s hiking and nightly summer dances at Garner State Park, kayaking and tubing down the Frio River, cabins with campfires, and a view of the starry night sky that is unadulterated by city lights or high-rise buildings. The hills interfere with cell reception, and you get to experience a true disconnect from the rest of the buzzing world and take in the peaceful surroundings.
In the 60’s, T’s grandparents would come out to Leakey and camp in Garner State Park. Over time, this became a tradition as generations began to buy land and build property right off the Frio. Much like their parents, Tyler and his cousins would spend their summers here – skipping rocks, jumping off the rope swing into the chilly river, and hiking through the hills.
And so this is where I spent my Fourth of July.
We arrived Friday afternoon after everyone had gotten in town (we had an 8 hour drive, so we made a pit stop in Austin on Thursday). Everyone comes and goes throughout the day, but most of the family hangs out by the river.
There are plenty of inner tubes and chairs for lounging in and out of the water…
We spent the entire day laughing and relaxing and spending time with family.
Saturday morning everyone gathered around the main street in town to watch Leakey’s Fourth of July parade.
It has been over 50 years since Tyler’s grandparents stepped foot in this part of Texas, which means it has been over 50 years of families gathering here to share memories and create lifelong traditions. And there will be even more generations to come. I am grateful to be able to spend time in a place that is so important to my husband and his family. For me, on a holiday that celebrates freedom, there’s something incredibly special about the freedom that comes with letting go and surrendering to the peace and beauty that is Leakey.