Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine May 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.

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Texas Department of Transportation
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
an oasis renewed

Sometimes the best summer moments are unplanned—a spontaneous road trip, a lazy day at the lake, or an impromptu backyard barbecue. But some of our state’s most memorable summer diversions require advance planning. Balmorhea State Park's star attraction, the pool, reopened March 1 after being closed nearly 10 months for repairs, and visitors are already returning in droves to cool off in the aquamarine water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. With day-use passes now capped at 900 to protect the natural environment of the West Texas oasis, summer travelers should plan to reserve their spots ahead of time using the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s new online booking system at texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com. While repairs to the park’s Civilian Conservation Corps-built motel, campground, historic pergola, and septic system are ongoing, the 1.3-acre…

1 min.
behind the story

Whenever Texas Highways publishes a story about naturally growing flora, we always include a caveat: Due to Texas’ unpredictable weather, results may vary. This also applies to our feature “Just Peachy!” (Page 38) about the top peach-producing counties, which writer John Lumpkin originally reported during the 2018 peach season. In early March 2019, a deep freeze blanketed much of the state, leading Lumpkin to follow-up with the growers he interviewed. For the sweet freestone varieties that draw Texans to roadside stands, the trees had not blossomed and, in fact, may have been helped by the frigid dips. “We prayed that God would blanket our farm and protect the tender buds and delay blooms for the ones that had not popped,” said Elizabeth Johnson, co-manager of Cooper Farms in Fairfield. She…

1 min.
featured contributors

Andrew Sansom Sansom wrote about a conservation ranch in Johnson City (Page 58) and its passionate steward, J. David Bamberger. “It isn’t often that you have a chance to write about one of your personal heroes and, for me, it has been a privilege to be inspired [by him] over the last 40 or so years,” Sansom says. He has served as executive director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and the Texas Nature Conservancy. He is also the author of eight books. Jason Stanford The Austin-based writer penned a heartfelt essay about taking his son, Henry, to visit Texas A&M University (Page 16). “One thing I’ve learned about fatherhood is that you’ll get sick of all the short drives…

3 min.

I served a total of 22 years in the U.S. Army and took photos all over the world. But this one of my wife, Elsa, taken on US 66 in 1958 remains a favorite. We are now celebrating 62 years of blissful marriage. - Manuel Quezada, El Paso ENCHANTED ROCK FAIRY SHRIMP When the puddles dried up one year, I sat down in the crater to look at the moss. The park volunteer gave me a huge talking to about the shrimp. I had no idea! Oops! Sarah Shaheen, Fort Worth Enchanted Rock was my first geology field trip in college… yep, there’s a nice view from the top. Bob Gibson, Argyle It’s quite amazing how water can be so plentiful on top of this monolith. Jeff Henry, Bend, Oregon Greetings from Switzerland For about 25 years, we have been…

3 min.

Roy Eaton’s earliest memory of the Wise County Messenger was his parents eagerly awaiting its Thursday delivery during World War II for news about local servicemen. “Many were our friends and neighbors,” recalls Roy, who would leave the family ranch near Decatur for college, become a TV news anchor in Fort Worth, marry his high school sweetheart, Jeannine Eaton, and return with her in 1973 to buy the weekly newspaper his parents read. Decatur was born in 1856 when the Texas Legislature created Wise County and directed the establishment of a county seat. The town benefited from three transportation eras—cattle drives on the nearby Chisholm Trail in the 1860s, the arrival of the Fort Worth and Denver Railway in 1882, and the route of the Meridian Highway from Mexico to Canada…

13 min.
to hook ’em, or to gig ’em?

The night before I take my oldest son to visit Texas A&M, my wife comes home to find me watching The Blind Side. It’s the scene where the Ohers are dropping off their son Michael at Ole Miss. Sandra Bullock is all business to cover her emotions. She’s not crying, but I am. “What are you?” asks my wife, who’s worried I’m intentionally inflicting misery on myself. “An emotional cutter?” She knows how much I’ve been looking forward to, and dreading, college visits with my oldest son, Henry. He’s 18 now and ready to go to college. I’m not ready to let him go, but I want to do this for him, to be the parent who helps him explore his options. I’ve been waiting for my turn to do this…