Texas Department of Transportation

Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine July 2019

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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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
summer escapes

When it comes to iconic Texas summer destinations, the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the prime Garner State Park campsite. With the population of Texas continuing to grow by 1,000 people a day, some of the state’s most sought-after vacation spots are booked five months to a year in advance. But, luckily, there are plenty of equally enjoyable summer diversions for the more spontaneous-minded travelers. Behind on summer vacation planning? Check out our Procrastinator’s Guide to Summer at texashighways.com A few weeks ago I planned to spend time with a close friend who’s moving to Colorado next month. We wanted to stay somewhere quiet and peaceful and by the water, and our last-minute search led us to a rustic log cabin in Burnet along the shores of Lake…

1 min.
behind the story

In “Ghosts of Pine Island” (Page 14), Wes Ferguson writes about his unlikely friendship with Danny Tidwell (above), a semi-reformed outlaw fisherman and hunter who lived on an island of the Sabine River. Ferguson was working on a book about the Sabine, Running the River, nearly a decade ago when he learned of Tidwell from retired Panola County Game Warden Tom Gallenbach. “Don’t tell him the game warden sent you,” Gallenbach warned with a chuckle. “He doesn’t like us too much.” To get in touch with Danny, Ferguson was told to leave a note on the windshield of Danny’s wife Marcia’s Ford Explorer, which she’d parked in the woods at the public boat launch closest to their camp. “Danny called me a few days later, and we arranged to meet…

1 min.
featured contributors

Kayt Sukel Based outside Houston, Sukel visited Austin to write “Under the Bridge” (Page 30) about seeing the city’s famous bats via kayak. “Nothing will really prepare you for seeing the bats emerge from the bridge—it’s just an awesome natural phenomenon,” she says. Sukel is the author of two books, This is Your Brain on Sex (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and The Art of Risk (National Geographic Books, 2016). Paula Forbes The Austin-based writer penned “Same As It Ever Was” (Page 67) about historic restaurant Cisco’s in East Austin. She says she enjoyed working on the story, “because, really, any excuse to eat migas.” Her work has appeared in GQ, Real Simple, and Lucky Peach. Forbes’ The Austin Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from Deep in the Heart of Texas is out now from…

2 min.

Indianola Roots Amanda Ward’s article [“Indianola, Onward,” June] was meaningful to me as it paralleled my German ancestors’ immigration to America in 1751. My ancestors settled in Pennsylvania, and it took 209 years and seven generations for this descendant to finally arrive in Texas! The story is a reminder that most Americans are descendants of immigrants, many of whom were seeking a better life. Frank Reisch, Dallas Camping Family I grew up tent camping, and I still love it [“A Beginners Guide to Camping,” May]. Now that I live in New England, we don’t worry about spiders and snakes, but we often encounter bears and frigid nights, and it almost always rains during set-up or break-down. No matter the challenges, I’m always grateful for the time as a family. On one trip, I said…

1 min.
devil’s playground

A lot of lore surrounds the naming of Devil’s Waterhole along a northeast branch of Inks Lake State Park near Burnet: One legend says the land's previous owner was known to curse loudly whenever his wagon got stuck crossing it, while others believe Native Americans originally named it for its warmer waters. While the source of the name is unconfirmed, there’s no question that it’s a popular natural swimming area for daredevils. It can only be reached from inside the park by either hiking the quarter-mile Devil’s Waterhole Trail or by paddling along Inks Lake. Upon arrival, hikers and paddlers are greeted by the park’s metamorphic rock, Valley Spring Gneiss, with ledges rising up to 40 feet above the water. For more hidden gem lakes, turn to Page 38.…

3 min.

Astroll through downtown Weslaco feels like a visit to a bygone era, when department stores and hardware shops in Spanish colonial buildings lined the streets. Founded in 1919, Weslaco grew into a farming hub, famous as the home of the ruby red grapefruit and 1015 onion. The same mild climate that attracted farmers makes Weslaco a hotspot today for winter Texans—typically retirees from cold climates—and birders, who come to see Rio Grande Valley specialties like the green jay. When the town slows down in the summer, locals refresh with icy raspas and beach trips to nearby South Padre Island. Weslaco native Joe Vidales encounters all types of visitors in his role as a volunteer at the Weslaco Museum. After a 17-year stint teaching psychology in Washington state, Vidales returned in 2010,…