Thanks for the replies. Sorry to hear the drought problems continue. I thought the Hill Country was a great place for touring, bluebonnets or not. We enjoyed all the LBJ sites, the shops and restaurants at Fredericksburg, the barbecue places, the wineries, and of course Luchenback, where we felt no pain.
I've read the earlier posts for I-10 travelers headed west through Texas. Everyone says avoid Austin (assuming you're not there for the great times and sightseeing), and I respect those opinions but am still leaning toward going through the south end of Austin via Hwy 71 and
290 into the Hill Country, which would be nice to see again. This would be on a Monday, probably mid-day. Is the 71/290 route really so horrible? Is San Antonio that much easier or quicker? Should I just detour through Oklahoma or Kansas or through the Panama Canal? Any advice welcome from those who know the score. (I am a well-experienced driver and navigator but do like to have as much advance information as possible.) Thanks!