Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine April 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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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
conquering the unknown

I have never been an adventurous traveler. My ideal trips involve spending time in places with the words “spa,” “museum,” or “fine dining” in their names. But traveling with my kids, who love exploring the outdoors, and my husband, whose idea of a perfect vacation involves backpacking the remotest parts of Big Bend, has pushed me outside of my comfort zone more than a few times. Good thing, because there’s so much of Texas’ beauty I would have missed by sticking to familiar settings. This issue is devoted to adventurous travel and the way it shifts our perspectives on the world and our-selves. We asked Sarah Hepola, our new writer-at-large, to step outside of her Dallas environs and go rock climbing at Hueco Tanks State Park in El Paso. She chronicles…

2 min.
behind the story

Writer-at-Large Joe Nick Patoski has covered the Texas music scene and its ever-evolving landscape since he was a college student in the 1970s. His experience and insight on the subject shaped his reporting for “In Time with Texas” (Page 80), which explores the influence the state has on its musicians, like Houston’s The Suffers (above). “Most places don’t have a sense of self as Texas does,” the Wimberley-based writer says. “Texans are natural-born storytellers.” One thing that unites all the musicians he interviewed is that “they’re distinctive,” Patoski says. “These are not followers; these are creators and leaders.” Although Patoski doesn’t make music himself, he fully believes in the power of a good song. “To me, music is the finest art of Texas because everyone understands it,” he says. “It’s…

3 min.
readers respond merge

Snake Sense I spent my first 37 years in South and West Texas, so I am somewhat adept at dealing with snakes. Your article [“The Wild Snakes of Texas,” March] should be useful to young folks and newcomers, especially the list of dos and don’ts. Item 5 about teaching kids to use a stick to probe for snakes in places they can’t quite see is right on. But you dropped the ball on item 4, suggesting that a 5-year-old should be taught to get down on hands and knees to look for something under a bush “to check for snakes before she reaches for it.” That would be downright dangerous. Art Simpson, Laramie, Wyoming The article on snakes mistakenly says that nonvenomous water snakes swim with their heads above the water while venomous…

1 min.
fit for a queen

Located near the Hill Country town of Boerne, Cave Without a Name has wowed visitors since its 1939 opening with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, soda straws, and other spectacular formations. The display can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to photography, says Kenny Braun, who took this picture in January. “It’s such a unique and unfamiliar environment that everything looks good at first,” he says. “One has to stay mentally focused and try to distill the experience into a good photo that people can relate to.” For this picture, Braun chose a wide-angle perspective featuring two visitors to capture the size and feel of the Queen’s Throne Room, which also serves as a venue for musical performances.…

3 min.

Kenneth Henneke is the kind of guy who greets visitors to the Hallettsville Knights of Columbus Hall with a slice of apple strudel and a twinkle in his eye. The KC Hall is a home away from home for Henneke, who’s been part of the Catholic fraternal service organization for 60 of his 80 years. Raised in a German farming family, Henneke is the proprietor of Henneke Fish Hatchery, a family business that supplies catfish, bass, and perch. The hatchery grew out of his love for fishing and “underbanking,” or using bare hands to pull catfish from their river burrows. When he’s not handling fish or playing dominoes, Henneke helps organize KC Hall events like the Texas State Championship Domino Tournament and the Texas State Championship Fiddlers Frolics, which he…

15 min.
twinkling object

I I’m a quixotic traveler, more drawn to a new place when I’ve been beguiled ahead of time by a story about my destination. That story might come from a novel, or it could be biographical, concerning a singular person who lived in the place or passed through—a widowed queen wandering around the castle, a down-on-his-luck explorer scoping the rapids. Really the more romantic—cliché, even—the better. Why is it, I’ve wondered, that I most enjoy travel when I can tie that kind of tale to it? To me, it seems like a small failing, but a failing all the same, the impulse to lean on a narrative rather than appreciate a place directly. Last fall this tendency took me to the McDonald Observatory in far West Texas. It was my second…