We are sad to report that the Castell rooster has departed for that big chicken coop in the sky. Located between Mason and Llano, this nifty store offers kayaks and tubes for you to use on the lively Llano River, and it previously was the home of a rather amorous rooster with a strange attraction to bass. The late rooster has been replaced by a new one named Duke and Duke has a girlfriend named Henna Henpecker. No word yet on whether Duke prefers hens to bass so you will have to check in from time to time. This portion of the river is a real treat when the water levels are up, but if you fall out of your boat be careful because the river bed is granite. Typically, this part of the river is much better for paddling than it is for tubing so if you bring the boats out you shouldn’t have to worry about the black doughnuts. Check out the top drawer barbecue the General Store features on Saturdays — the brisket and ribs are mouth wateringly delicious. Starting in Llano, turn onto State Road 2768 from State Highway 29 and drive across the river to Castell. You might have to look twice for the store because it moved across the street from the old location. At the store you can inquire about fly fishing opportunities and the big kayak race that they have every year around late May. If you are going to be paddling in the area talk to the folks at the store about the river conditions because there are some stairstep rapids and some falls downstream that could catch you off guard. They also sell bait at the store, which is always a plus. Not a bier garden per se, but a great place to hang out and enjoy some cool ones.