Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine April 2015

Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, encourages recreational travel within Texas and tells the Texas story to readers around the world. Renowned for its photography, statewide events coverage, top weekend excursions, off-the-beaten path discoveries, and scenic destinations, Texas Highways helps readers discover the treasures of the Lone Star State.

United States
Texas Department of Transportation
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
follow the flowers!

The arrival of wild flowers just seems to set the world right. Whether it’s budding Big Bend bluebonnets or an early pop of wine cups, these beacons of the season bring with them the promise of lush landscapes and longer days. They lead us from winter’s nip to spring’s warm breezes. As minister and author Thomas Wentworth Higginson wrote in April Days in 1861, “The first wild-flower of the spring is like land after sea.” This month, we welcome a new crop of bloomers with our annual wild flower special—16 pages of eye-popping images by photographers tried and new. And writer Melissa Gaskill follows the flowers on four wild flower drives in unexpected locales across the state, from the Brazosport area along our mid-coast to Fort Davis and surrounds out west.…

3 min.

OUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE MONTH... Fire and bacon: Two of my favorite things. Alise Mullins, Austin We adopted a highway! Thanks @DMWT_ Program & @TexasHighways for your making #Texas beautiful. That’s music to our ears. @KerrFolkFest [Kerrville Folk Festival] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter Grandpa Cookie I enjoyed your excellent article on chuck wagons in the March issue, which made me think of my late grandfather, Louis Hart. He had a reputation as a superb chuck-wagon cook, starting from his life as a Texas cowboy. He grew up working cattle outside Brownwood and Valley Mills, working later on a ranch at Honey Grove before moving to what was then Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, and marrying Grandma. Cattle drives hardly died out in the 1880s, although they were much shorter in duration as the railroads…

5 min.
birds of a feather

The attendant hands each kid a backpack stuffed with guidebooks, binoculars, and art supplies. Crayons in hand, they record our day’s sightings. AS SOON AS HE SEES THE BOARDWALK, MY FOUR year-old son Benjamin Byrd—“Byrdie” for short—takes o -year-old legs will carry her. “An ibis!” he shouts, already on the observation deck, having climbed a few fence rungs to take in the panoramic view of the pond. Meanwhile, I scan the water’s surface, trying to see an ibis among the hundreds of waterfowl. Finally, there it is: the glossy wader with the unmistakable downward-curved bill. Like many children on the autism spectrum, Byrdie is inclined toward highly specific interests. And ever since he pulled down an unused Birds of Texas guide from the bookshelf and asked me and my wife Laura to…

6 min.
pineapple express

OVER LUNCH WITH SOME NEW friends from Laredo last spring, I learned of an event in the Gateway City that piqued my interest—the annual International Sister Cities Festival, which brings nearly 200 Mexican artisans to Laredo to sell their wares and show off their traditions. “It’s a big shopping party and my favorite event of the year,” one friend confided. There was a time when I made frequent trips to Laredo to shop at the city’s import stores, explore the markets and restaurants across the Rio Grande in Mexico, and people-watch in the plaza fronting Laredo’s historic La Posada Hotel. When dinnertime came around, I’d load up on $2 tacos at places like Taco Palenque, a fast-casual Laredo-based Tex-Mex chain that has one of my all-time-favorite condiment bars—complete with not only…

5 min.
it’s no secret

STATELY SYMBOLISM A stained-glass window at the temple’s entry depicts the first formal Masonic meeting in Texas, held in March 1835 at the “Masonic Charter Oak” near Brazoria. AS I WATCHED NEIL ARMSTRONG AND BUZZ ALDRIN plant the American flag on the moon in the summer of 1969, I had no idea that Aldrin was also laying ceremonial claim to the mysterious orb on behalf of an enigmatic group of my fellow Texans. I learned about that part of the Apollo 11 mission on a recent visit to the Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Waco, state headquarters for the fraternal order and home of a museum and library documenting Masonic history in Texas. The Masons trace their Lone Star roots to 1835 and boast such influential members as all four Republic of…

4 min.
rockin’ reimers ranch

The park is an outdoorsman’s paradise, attracting visitors looking to disappear for the day into the calming vibe of the Texas Hill Country. MY FINGERS WERE CRAMPING BUT MY LEGS weren’t shaking … yet. I had a solid foothold but a somewhat questionable grip on a quarter-inch ledge of limestone about 25 feet above the ground. I repeated the words “don’t look down” in my head, afraid of what a momentary lapse in focus might do to my already struggling strength. “How you doing up there?” my buddy Branndon yelled from below, holding the other end of my rope (and consequently my life) in his hands. Branndon had convinced me to attempt this climb; one well beyond my previous experience. “I blame you for everything!” I yelled back. He laughed. Branndon and I…