It is great to make new friends during our travels, but as they tend to live a long way off, getting to see them is a problem, so if we have the chance to include their home town in our travels, or if we find that we are visiting the same place at the same time as someone else, then we like to take the opportunity. It was good to catch up with Emily this way.
After just catching up on news and having a few drinks on the first evening, Emily had planned a trip out to lunch for our full day with her. But not just to a local place. She was flying us to lunch at a BBQ pit fifty miles away in Llano.
At the Georgetown airstrip, we stopped to look at the Devil Dog. This is one of the few remaining Patrol Bomber J (PBJ) B-25 bombers from WWII. The PPJs were surplus to the US Navy requirements, so the US Marines took them instead.
The most famous bombing raid for these B-25s was the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on 1 April 1942. Led by Lt Col James Doolittle, this was a retaliation against Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbour. The raid was completed, but the cost was most of the bombers being crash landed in China.
We climbed up inside, trying to imagine being in the plane with a full crew and trying to survive in enemy skies. We couldn't see it being a pleasant experience.
While in the hangar, we noticed a wall covered in old t-shirts and shirts, all with messages written on them. Emily explained that traditionally when you complete your pilot license, they take the shirt you are wearing and add it to the wall. So if you are learning to fly here, remember not to wear your favourite shirt that day!
It didn't take long to fly to Llano. It wasn't exactly a scenic flight, as there wasn't much to look at on the ground, but it gave us a good idea of just how much open space there is in Texas.
We picked up one of the courtesy cars that the BBQ leaves at the airport specifically for people like us flying in to go and eat there for the short drive into town. And driving through Llano, you could feel the difference from the other places we had been to. We were in cowboy country now, with the saddle shops and other such businesses in full evidence.
Of course even a little bit of them amounted to quite a large meal, so we were somewhat full by the end of it, but it was very tasty indeed. The brisket beef in particular was excellent. This would certainly be a place worth making a detour to if you are anywhere near the area.