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.
Starting the Lighthouse Trail
At the Summit of Enchanted Rock
View of the Lighthouse from the trail the first overlook
Devil’s Waterhole Trail at Inks Lake
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.
One of the official Texas Longhorn herd, at Copper Breaks State Park
Part of the official Texas Longhorn herd at Copper Breaks State Park
Longhorn kiss at Copper Breaks State Park
T-Bone, one of the Texas Longhorns
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.
Texas Bluebonnets in Laredo
Bluebonnets beside boot topped fence
Unknown wildflower beside a rest area in the Texas Plains
Bluebonnets at Lake Arrowhead
Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush along Park Road 4
Texas Bluebonnets in Laredo
Bull Thistle, Copper Breaks State Park
Wildflower growing along the road
Prickly Pear Cactus, Copper Breaks State Park
Wildflowers at Padre Island National Seashore
Bluebonnets near Stonewall, Texas
We found some wonderful places to camp. We especially enjoyed camping at many Texas State Parks.
Palo Duro Canyon
Copper Breaks State Park
Green all around at Lake Arrowhead
Relaxing behind our campsite at Inks Lake State Park, Burnett, Texas
Rain and fog couldn’t keep us from enjoying the three state parks and Padre Island National Seashore along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Sand Dunes at Mustang Island State Park
Hazy day at Padre Island National Seashore
Morning sky from our site at Goose Island State Park
Sunrise over the Gulf at Galveston Island State Park
There are many varieties of birds along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Sandhill crane and Whooping crane near Goose Island State Park
White Pelicans, Goose Island State Park
Whooping cranes, near Goose Island State Park
Roseate Spoonbills and Egret,Goose Island State Park
Great Blue Heron near Goose Island State Park
Whooping Cranes and Sandhill cranes near Goose Island State Park
Mallards at Inks Lake
Sandpiper with a tasty crab
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.
Texas Horned Lizard, Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Mountain Cottontail, Copper Breaks State Park
Wild Turkeys, Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Mule Deer, Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Prairie Dog, Lake Arrowhead State Park
We saw deer almost every day at Cranes Mill Campground
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.
We were serenaded with a Bob Wills classic while we enjoyed our steak at the Big Texan
Llano Fiddle Fest 2015
Buddy Holly Statue and West Texas Hall of Fame
Gruene Hall is one of the oldest dance halls in Texas
Gotta love Texas
For us, no trip to Texas would be complete without sampling some of their fantastic steaks and barbecue, especially the brisket.
Cooper’s Barbeque in Llano, Texas
Salt Lick Barbeque
Chopped brisket sandwich at Triple J Chop House, Lubbock
Brisket Sandwich at the Branding Iron in Wichita Falls
The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo
In Paris, Texas we stopped to see the Eiffel Tower with a red cowboy hat and attended chuck wagon races.
Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas
Start of a Chuck Wagon Race
Spectators at the Chuck Wagon Races
There were interesting things to see all around the state.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo
The Big Tree in Goose Island State Park in Texas is a 1000 year old live oak
A common sight in the Texas Plains
At the LBJ Ranch
Big Blue Crab in Rockport, Texas
Sculpture at the entrance to a ranch
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