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Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine December 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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Texas Department of Transportation
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
holiday joy

On my son’s third birthday last year, he received a gift we’ll probably never top: snow in Austin. The 4-inch snowfall provided enough white powder for all the winter fun he’d only seen in cartoons or picture books until then. For two magical hours, he ran around our yard making snowballs and snow angels and catching snowflakes on his tongue. Nearly a year later, he still brings it up on a regular basis—the night so cemented in his mind, I’m betting it’ll be one of his first recallable memories. The toys and clothes he got for gifts that year, not so much. There’s a reason experiences like this loom so large in our minds. According to Raj Raghunathan, a professor of marketing at the University of Texas and author of If…

1 min.
behind the story

We were knee-deep in producing this issue in October when news broke of the historic flooding that deluged the Llano and Colorado rivers. The flooding caused wide-ranging destruction, prompting Senior Editor Matt Joyce to check in with The Antlers Inn in Kingsland, one of five historic hotels he profiled in “Railroad Hotels” (Page 50). The 117-year-old Antlers sits about 100 yards from the Lake LBJ shoreline. “People from all over the United States have called, wanting to know how we fared,” reported LaVelle Haynes, the Antlers’ senior front desk clerk, a few days after the flood. “I was happy to tell them that we did just fine.” Not that it was all business as usual. The flood reached the foot of one of the Antlers’ cabins and left behind boats…

2 min.
readers respond merge

When Texas Highways arrives at the post office in this little Arkansas town, I grab a beer, sit on my front porch, and begin my trip of nostalgia through your pages of beauty and memory.Melinda Reynolds, Gravette, Arkansas New Look When the November issue arrived in my mailbox, I have to admit my initial reaction was “Uh-oh … they’ve gone and changed it.” But, to my delight, I am enjoying all the modifications, including the maps with the stories and the new format for events. I’m looking forward to years of worthwhile reading. Alicia Rueda, Brenham Living History I enjoyed reading Sarah Bird’s rhapsody on the Paisano Ranch [“Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch,” November]. Being a living historian, I was also glad to see her attention to such a historic figure as Cathy Williams. One…

3 min.
san elizario

As he guides walking tours of San Elizario, Al Borrego paints a vivid picture of the town’s 400 years of borderland adventure and enterprise. On Main Street, Borrego describes the day in 1598 when explorer Juan de Oñate marched through with an expedition of 500 colonists. Outside the immaculate San Elizario presidio chapel, Borrego explains how the community was actually south of the Rio Grande until an 1829 flood realigned the river. At the Old El Paso County Jail Museum, he recounts how in 1876, Billy the Kid liberated a jailed associate without firing a shot. San Elizario grew up as a Spanish military fort and farming village, about 20 miles southeast of El Paso. Acequias lace the town like veins, irrigating crop fields and adding to the Southwestern feel of…

14 min.
go west, young woman

One sunny morning in July, on an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday, I slide into the driver’s seat of my car and head south. I pull onto the highway, a map of Texas in the passenger seat, like an ancient rune from a time before GPS, and I watch as the billboards turn unfamiliar and disappear. Big-box stores and strip malls turn to metal silos, oil refineries, and wheat fields. Every human deserves to know they can make their own way—especially women, who are often told the opposite. I wonder if my longheld insistence that I can travel alone isn’t partly the influence of Texas. I wonder if such a small act of freedom will be unfathomable to future generations. You know, when robots have taken over and no one actually drives anymore, and…

6 min.
dos amigos

The Texas badlands east of the Pecos River and along the state’s border with Mexico bristle in thorn-covered plateaus and jagged limestone canyons. But after spring rains, the country often reveals a softer side, blushing with Texas sage blooms. The sage grows on both sides of the Rio Grande, clinging to crevices, thriving among the flats, and populating the rocky shores of Amistad Reservoir, home to Amistad National Recreation Area and ground zero for the most important shared resource in badlands territory—water. Amistad—“friendship” in Spanish—blurs the two countries together, submerging the border beneath several hundred feet of water, a uniformity replicated by nearby Del Rio and its sister city, Acuña. Like Amistad’s natural world, the two communities meld into one. “There’s no boundary here because things come and go in nature,” says…