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Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine November 2018

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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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United States
Texas Department of Transportation
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
travel, uninterrupted

My clearest memories of travel from my childhood tend to recall the simple moments. The start of vacation was always the same—my dad carrying me out to my grandparents’ motor home before dawn and settling me into the bed above the cab. When I woke up, we’d be well on our way, and I’d relish watching the road unfold in front of me from my new vantage point. Other highlights come back to me in blurs: collecting pine cones with my brother, playing cards with my mom, and listening to my dad’s scary stories before we drifted off to sleep each night. Now as a parent striving to foster a love of travel in my own kids, I worry about them missing out on some of the simpler pleasures. While useful,…

1 min.

Behind the Story During their tech-free road trip for “Lost in the Valley” (Page 30), writer Clayton Maxwell and photographer Kenny Braun—who mostly used film on this assignment—encountered some characters. One particular experience at the Rex Diner in McAllen made an impression on Maxwell. “After our chorizo and egg tacos, Kenny ran back to the car for his Hasselblad [camera], but we weren’t sure photography would be welcome,” she says. “But folks began pulling us aside to ask to have their photos taken. Even the organ player, Victor Chapa [above], who was cranking out tunes all morning, wanted to pose. So Kenny got busy shooting portraits. We have since printed some of the photographs, and I returned to Rex in October to hand-deliver them.” To see outtakes from the feature, follow…

2 min.

I would travel to Brownwood for the day just to eat at Underwood’s!Mary Salazar, San Antonio Extra Credit Your article about Junction and the Llano River [“Junction on the Fly,” October] stated “in an effort to restore the native population, the Texas Legislature named the Guadalupe bass the official state fish.” The process of designating a state fish started in the late 1980s when a third-grade class in Decatur discovered that Alaska had a state fish, and they wondered why Texas did not. They chose the Guadalupe bass because it was threatened, only found in Texas, and they thought it could be saved. Rep. Ric Williamson instructed them on the legislative process, and they supported his resolution to name the Guadalupe bass the state fish, which was endorsed by the Texas Parks…

1 min.
range roving

Rising from the Chihuahuan Desert north of Van Horn, the Guadalupe Mountains crest at the four highest elevations in the state—Guadalupe Peak, Bush Mountain, Shumard Peak, and Bartlett Peak. Though slightly shorter, El Capitan stands out as a distinctive limestone cliff towering some 3,000 feet above the road—making it a popular stop for photographers. The range contains some spectacular geological features, including part of the fossilized Capitan Reef, much of which can be seen within Guadalupe Mountains National Park.…

3 min.
san felipe

San Felipe, the hub of Stephen F. Austin’s original colony, may be the most historically significant Texas town you’ve never heard of. But that’s understandable: In 1836, residents burned San Felipe to the ground to keep it from the hands of the advancing Mexican army after the fall of the Alamo. The entire town—homes, taverns, one of the earliest print shops in Texas—was left in ashes, and few of its citizens returned. One important settler did return, however: Celia Allen, a freed slave who worked at her former owners’ bakery. Now, more than 180 years later, Allen’s great, great, great grandson Bobby Byars is the mayor of San Felipe—a position he’s held for 18 years. A lifelong resident, Byars helped lobby the state to construct a new museum at San Felipe…

14 min.
meanwhile, back at the ranch

My personal slice of Texas paradise lies 14 miles southwest of Austin, tucked into the idyllic canyon that cradles an immaculate stretch of Barton Creek. The Paisano Ranch is a 245-acre retreat owned by the University of Texas at Austin, and it has been awarding fellowships to a few select writers every year since 1967. My lucky number came up in 2010 when I spent three blissful summer months nestled in this sanctuary. I’m returning because, well, who wouldn’t want to return to paradise? Given the chance, I’m certain that Eve would have been rethinking the whole apple thing if it meant more time in Eden. But I have another reason for wanting to go back, besides my deep desire to plunge once again into a swimming hole so soul-rejuvenating that…