Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine May 2020

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

1 min.
road trip dreamin’

Normally this time of year is a busy one for travel throughout the state—families make a beeline for their favorite stretch of coast, road-trippers plot the best routes to take in the bounty of seasonal wildflowers, and adventurers head out to West Texas to hike in the Big Bend. When our staff planned this month’s Road Trip issue, we did so with anticipation for all the fun excursions it would inspire our readers to take this summer. As I write this on March 31, all of that has changed—for Texans, and for the entire country. Our greatest concern now is the safety of our readers and communities. As cities and counties across the state issue shelter-in-place orders and the governor’s office limits social gatherings due to COVID-19, we encourage all of…

1 min.
behind the story

The key to a good adventure story, according to contributing writer Pam LeBlanc, “is having things go wrong.” It’s a good thing, then, that there was no shortage of misadventures during her travels for this issue’s “Caving Texas” (Page 56) and “River’s Edge” (Page 23). The latter required “six months of training and crawling through mud and lugging a boat over log jams and getting dirty and not sleeping.” The former found her facing her fear of heights with a bat stuck in her pant leg. (She called Dell Medical Center to inquire about the health risks associated with her bat experience, and after she finished telling the story, the woman on the other end asked, “Is this Pam LeBlanc?”) LeBlanc was a columnist at the Austin American-Statesman covering the…

1 min.
featured contributors

Natalia Sylvester Born in Lima, Peru, the award-winning Austin writer has been on the move for much of her life. Her experiences inspired her essay “Where I Once Belonged” (Page 14) in which she explores the meaning of home. “The more I write, the more I realize I’m obsessed with the idea of place and how we move among places,” Sylvester says. “How the experience of migrating across borders, state lines, and cities changes us.” Sylvester is the author of the recently released young-adult novel Running and two previous novels, Chasing the Sun and Everyone Knows You Go Home, which won an International Latino Book Award and the 2019 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction. H. Drew Blackburn For this month’s Speaking of Texas (Page 83), the Dallas-based writer spoke…

3 min.

I loved the adventure issue. My kids and I spent many weekends at Hueco Tanks and the Franklin Mountains, and I have spent much time in Big Bend with my kids and along River Road and elsewhere in the park. It brings me back to where I need to return again.Steve Shelburne, Austin Pepper Steaks Used the author’s recipe at home [“In Pursuit of Pepper Steak,” April]. Turned out to be a great meal. Can’t wait to travel to the Frio River Valley and try this at a restaurant. Steve Honea, Fredericksburg That is not what I grew up calling pepper steak in Ennis. We used round steak, cut into pieces, seared, then pan braised (covered) with water, chopped bell peppers and onions, and a little cornstarch. Cooked a few more minutes to make…

1 min.
a widow’s rest

Nearly two decades after Davy Crockett was killed in the Battle of the Alamo, his second wife, Elizabeth Crockett, moved from Tennessee to the North Texas town of Acton to claim a land grant. When she died in 1860, her relatives interred her in the Acton Cemetery, where a statue was erected in 1911. Her grave later became the Acton State Historic Site, the smallest historic site in Texas. “I spent a few minutes there thinking about what it must have been like once she realized her husband had sacrificed himself for Texas,” says Sean Fitzgerald, a Dallas-based photographer. “I like how the wind had spread the flag out perfectly with just a bit of ripple in the fabric to suggest the turbulence of those times.” Upon news of her…

3 min.

Joan Smith is immersed in Henderson’s past. As chairwoman of the Rusk County Historical Commission, Smith works in the Depot Museum complex, her office stuffed with historical files. “Many of the folks who live in Henderson are descendants of people who came here in the early years to fight for independence, to live in the republic, or to settle in a state newly admitted to the union,” says Smith, whose own pioneer great-great-grandfather is buried in nearby Pig Eye Cemetery. A former middle school art teacher, Smith leads local history tours, dons period attire for the Heritage Syrup Festival, and sings in the annual East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention, which preserves the a cappella traditions of old-time religious music. Thanks to Smith and others like her, Henderson’s heritage shines…