The world today is a rat race and the rats are winning, as the old saying goes. From time to time we all need a place to escape to, to recharge the old batteries and not have to travel too far from home. I have found such a place. Lost Maples State Natural Area near Vanderpool in the Hill Country. It's a 5 to 6 hour drive from Dallas, depending on the route you take. Personally, I would take I-35 South to Highway 16 and head west to Vanderpool. Wild Texas' website tells us that "Lost Maples is "Located along the Sabinal River in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, 2,208-acre Lost Maples State Natural Area is an inspiring mixture of sheer limestone cliffs, deep canyons, dense woodlands, and numerous clear streams." Numerous clear streams? I'm in. Fish.Fear.Me. As I was looking for info on Lost Maples, I came across a website belonging to Brian Greenstone. Brian has some great tips for you so you'll have a game plan before you leave home. Remember, luck favors a prepared mind. The mad rush of summer vacation season is coming up, so a trip to Lost Maples during the week (weekends would be too busy for me) would be ideal for fishin' and camping in the 2200+ acre park, especially since the kids will have a break from school for a while. On the way home you could make a planned stop in San Antonio for some Mexican food and a visit to Texas' version of the Vatican, the Alamo. What a great trip to make. Lost Maples State Natural Area ain't so lost after all. Thank goodness.