Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Texas

State 39:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is


Texas became the 28th state on December 29, 1845. The Capital is Austin.

Texas is the second largest state by area and unless you’ve driven through Texas it is hard to comprehend the size. Our Texas adventures have taken us through the Texas Panhandle, mesquite and cactus covered plains, the green rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country, and the beautiful Texas Gulf Coast. Along the way we camped by beautiful lakes, near the Gulf Coast, in the second largest canyon in the United States, and a quite a few places in between. As we drove around the back roads we saw canyons and creeks, dance halls and wineries, historic sites and ranches, quaint small towns and old homesteads, toured museums, made a few hikes, attended a fiddle fest and chuck wagon races, met wonderful Texans, and saw more wildflowers than I ever imagined.

The lighthouse trail at Palo Duro Canyon, Enchanted Rock, and the Devil’s Waterhole Trail at Inks Lake were some of our favorite hikes.

The official Texas Longhorn herd is divided between a few state parks. At Copper Breaks State Park and Palo Duro Canyon State Park we saw them up close.

We planned a spring trip to Texas so we could see the bluebonnets in bloom. Texas is the only place on earth where some of the bluebonnet varieties bloom naturally. There were also many other wildflowers along the way.

We found some wonderful places to camp. We especially enjoyed camping at many Texas State Parks.

Rain and fog couldn’t keep us from enjoying the three state parks and Padre Island National Seashore along the Texas Gulf Coast.

There are many varieties of birds along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Texas Horned Lizards, Cottontail Rabbits, mule deer, white tailed deer, prairie dogs, and wild turkeys are some of the wildlife I was able to capture.

Being serenaded, attending a fiddle fest, listening to music in a dance hall, touring the Buddy Holly museum, going to Luckenback, and seeing signs about Willie Nelson reminded us of how important music is to the Lone Star State.

For us, no trip to Texas would be complete without sampling some of their fantastic steaks and barbecue, especially the brisket.

In Paris, Texas we stopped to see the Eiffel Tower with a red  cowboy hat and attended chuck wagon races.

There were interesting things to see all around the state.

One of the best things about visiting Texas is meeting native Texans. Without fail, every  Texan we met was proud of their state and eager to share their favorite places to visit or where to find the best brisket. One woman I met had so many good suggestions about places to go I had to get a notebook out of the truck to take notes!

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina     South Dakota     Tennessee

Texas Wildflowers Spring 2015 gallery

During our trip through Texas in the spring of 2015 we were treated to splashes of color from the wildflowers blooming beside the roads, in fields, in the woods, and beside trails. We had timed our trip in hopes of seeing bluebonnets and weren’t disappointed. We were also treated to many other wildflowers including many I couldn’t identify.

I would love to get some help in identifying the unknown flowers! Please leave a comment if you know what any of these are, or if I have gotten any of the identifications wrong. Thank you!

Bluebonnets in Laredo, Texas

We hated to say goodbye to the Texas Gulf coast. Even with the overcast gray skies, fog and rain the whole time we were there we loved it. We knew we would miss the salt air and the sound of the waves from our campsite at Mustang Island but we had lots more of Texas to see.

Miles and Miles of Texas
Miles and Miles of Texas

Our journey from the Gulf took us across miles and miles of Texas to Laredo. On either side of the road were fields of cactus, mesquite and blooming Yucca plants. I spotted the tail of a wolf or coyote going into the brush on my side of the road. Henry and I both saw wild turkeys.

We arrived at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park on a beautiful, SUNNY Sunday afternoon. Finally, blue sky! The park was filled with families enjoying Sunday afternoon picnics.


One of the goals of this trip was to see the Texas bluebonnets in bloom. The state flower of Texas, the bluebonnets usually reach their peak in late March and early April. Texas is the only place in the world where two of the bluebonnet species are found growing naturally.

We didn’t expect to see any blooms until we were farther north in Texas but Mona Liza over at Lowe’s RV Adventures had spotted bluebonnets around Lake Casa Blanca before we arrived. Thanks to her I was on the lookout and found a small patch in the campground and one of the park rangers told us about a patch near one of the picnic areas in the park. The small field was covered with bluebonnets! What an unexpected treat to see bluebonnets so early in our trip!

We spent 2 nights in Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. Our site was a paved pull through with water and electric hookups, a picnic table under a covered shelter, and a fire ring. There were willows and other trees around our site and we could see the lake through the trees. There is a boat launch, fishing pier, and many picnic areas in the park. The park is located near the loop road and close to restaurants and shopping.