On November 14th, in what turned out to be a gorgeous autumn day, Austinites put on their boots for an adventure and braced for the two-hour drive to Bailli Lael and Chevalier Obie Hasty’s Hill Country ranch. Following the well-loved path through the Texas Wine Country to the quaint German town of Fredericksburg (where many chose to spend the weekend), members were excited to escape city and suburban life to breathe the fresh air of the open country. Crossing cattle guards, and passing massive clusters of prickly pear cactus and granite outcroppings, we reached the iron gate of Enchanted Vista. The three-mile long dirt driveway took us to their charming ranch home and outdoor pavilion where we would settle in for a socially-distanced gathering.
Waiting for us after the long drive were iced cold beers and wine and housemade prickly pear tea. Pitmaster Obie fired up the smoker twelve hours early to prepare for the luncheon and the brisket was wonderfully tender and the sausage tasty. Lael prepared all the traditional sides including Queen Beans, Scooter’s Potato Salad, her signature cole slaw with raisins and sugared pecans. Dessert was adorable stamped sugar cookies, glazed and festive for the fall season.
Incredibly replete from the noontime feast, attendees sat down and opened their wallets for the rip-roaring auction that followed. John Wade, Gastonomique Provincial Honoraire from the San Antonio Bailliage and auctioneer extraordinaire, led the group through bids on select choice wines. The pièce de resistance, however, was the chance for eight lucky people to bid on an in-home dinner prepared by Chef Rȏtisseur Steve Mannion. The bidding was so robust that Chef Steve offered two dinners instead so there were 16 lucky people!
Ten-year pins were awarded by Bailli Lael Hasty to Dame Adela Aguilar, Officier Honoraire Debra Larson and Vice Chancelier-Argentier Honoraire Steve Larson. Following the presentations, there was plenty of time to socialize and enjoy being together again. For those in comfortable shoes, it was time to explore some of the 60-acre ranch with a scenic walk with views of the iconic hiking trail, Enchanted Rock, and was well worth the trip. With many thanks to our hosts for the great escape and for now, Happy Trails to You.