Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine February 2019

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

2 min.
texas' gift to the nation

Seventy-five years ago this summer, the country was gripped by news of the Allied invasion of Nazioccupied Europe. But even at the height of the conflict, the commander-in-chief could not resist turning his attention, at least for a few minutes, to West Texas. On June 6, 1944, President Roosevelt met with a Texas delegation to discuss the future of what would become Big Bend National Park. Six days later, he signed legislation establishing it, capping a decades-long effort to preserve a state and national treasure. “It’s pretty profound that during the D-Day invasion, when the world’s on fire and no one knew what the outcome would be, there were forward-thinking people who knew we would need special places like this once we were through those difficult times,” says Tom VandenBerg, the…

1 min.
behind the scenes

“Big Bend in Black & White” (Page 28) spotlights Rob Decker’s photos of Big Bend National Park. Decker, who studied under Ansel Adams, is currently on a mission to photograph all of the United States’ national parks. He also creates WPA-style promotional posters for the parks based off his photos. (His posters are available for purchase on national-park-posters.com. Decker donates 10 percent of profits to park conservancies and associations.) So far, he’s snapped 43 of the 60 national parks, and plans to visit Denali in Alaska, Congaree in South Carolina, Isle Royale in Michigan, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri—the newest national park—in 2019. Decker, who visited and shot Big Bend in 2017, says, “My experience at Big Bend reminded me that you have to spend as much…

2 min.

Maybe it’s because I come from a longtime Texas family, but I never was told I couldn’t do something because I was female. The thought is completely foreign to me. And that includes road trips. Carlotta Barnes, Dallas Dozens of Delia’s I met Delia when she would load dozens of tamales in the trunk of her car and take them to doctors’ offices [“Wrapped in Love,” December]. The doctors loved her tamales so much that during Christmas, they would order up to 100 dozen for staff members in the hospitals. Yes, she started making the tamales in a tiny kitchen. I’m so very proud of her. Gloria Martinez, McAllen Solo Sojourns I cannot explain why Sarah Hepola’s piece [“Go West, Young Woman,” December] was so moving to me, but I can offer some examples: With phrases…

3 min.

When writer and historian Scott Zesch walks through the central square of Mason, everybody he meets has something to say, a question to ask, or a handshake to offer. You’re likely to be a familiar fellow around town when your great-great grandfather settled in the area from Germany in the mid-1850s, you went to Mason High School, and you’re known for throwing rollicking chili parties. First settled as a fort in 1851, Mason formed as a community of Old World settlers scratching out a new life in harsh Comanche country. Zesch brings this history to life in his award-winning book, The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier, which chronicles the lives of nine kidnapped children, including his great-great-great uncle Adolph Korn. Here Zesch, who…

12 min.
around the bend

Seven years ago, I thought of Texas primarily as an obstacle, a mind-numbingly long stretch of highway between Baltimore, where I was coming from, and Los Angeles, where I was going. I was at a peculiar junction in my life, trying to figure out where I wanted to live. Because most of my work was online, it could’ve been anywhere, and that was intimidating but also liberating. California seemed like the kind of place a young woman trying to make a life for herself might go. When I started driving through the Big Bend region of Texas, I quickly revised my opinion about a state I had previously dismissed. The sky in far West Texas astonished me. Not just because of its beauty—though that was certainly a factor—but, even more so,…

4 min.
beyond the basin

Jaw-dropping hikes like the Window Trail and South Rim draw visitors back to Big Bend National Park year after year. But with 1,252 square miles to roam, the park also teems with trails less traveled. Many visitors stick to five or six popular trails, but for hikers who want to go farther, go wilder, and get off the beaten path, park officials recommend these four secluded options. 1 Ernst Tinaja A slow and bumpy 5-mile drive on Old Ore Road is just a prelude to a hike through the hottest and driest part of the park to reach this out-of-the-way oasis. But the payoff is worth it: a deep pool of water surrounded by swirling orange rock formations embedded with fossils of prehistoric oysters and other geologic humdingers. The road to the trailhead…