Famous Springs Flowing into the Blanco River, Líl Arkansas Camp, near Wimberley
|Líl Arkansas Camp was a natural oasis where the water was abundant and the land untamed. A large spring gushed from a hillside cold and clear and plunged over a cliff into the Blanco River. Sadly, it is no more. A rift developed in the family as to the rightful heirs. On one of my last visits to the camp I met the grandson and new owner. He told me that he owed $1 million to his lawyer and was being forced to sell most of LíL Arkansas Camp or have it all sold to the highest bidder on the Hays County Courthouse steps.
On my very last visit I took my son along, promising him he could do a little fishing while I looked for photos. I knew of an alluvial bank with dense trees and some large bass lurking nearby. However, when we arrived it was all gone. The trees had been cut and the bountiful alluvial soils bulldozed. A large sprinkler system had been installed where abundant wildflowers once grew. All around me was mindless destruction. Even the ancient Cypress Tree stumps in the river had been removed. I had often seen Little Green Herons and Kingfishers perched on these while they fished and patrolled their part of the Blanco River. Now the trees were gone, the fish were gone and the birds were gone. As I stomped around getting angrier, a pickup arrived and the new caretaker of this destruction informed me I was trespassing and I had better leave or he was going to call the sheriff. I asked him how and why this beautiful land had been destroyed and by whom. He replied that the new owner, a tobacco lawyer from Houston who had been recently featured on 60 minutes, had wanted to clean up the place. It was his land and he could do what he wanted. I asked the caretaker if he was from around these parts and what he thought of this. He looked down at the ground, shuffled his boots and assured me he had lived around here all his life. He was briefly disconcerted at my question but recovered and said, ďThe first bulldozer had been vandalized, set on fire, and the tobacco lawyer just wanted to be a good neighbor. I had better leave or I was going to jail.Ē Líl Arkansas Camp was unique, rare and special and is now gone.