Written by Texas Highways
In the remote reaches of West Texas lies one of the most pristine rivers in the Southwest United States. Surrounded by cacti and rocks, the Devils River snakes through the Chihuahuan Desert like a ribbon of turquoise blue, eventually flowing into Lake Amistad. And for experienced paddlers looking for an off-the-grid adventure, this trip is absolutely heavenly.
Arguably the most monumental date in the history of recorded music in Texas was November 23, 1936, when Robert Johnson created the template for electric blues, which became rock-and-roll, in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio.
As a road-trip enthusiast with more than a few miles on my trusty Honda, one of my favorite things about traversing this expansive state is discovering new roadside stops, particularly of the edible persuasion.
Founded in the 1850s, the town of Dripping Springs—just west of the booming city of Austin—hosts so many weddings that the Texas Legislature last year designated it as the “official Wedding Capital of Texas.” But many people these days know the Dripping Springs area for its surprising concentration of distilleries, breweries, and other drinks-related businesses that allow visitors to taste beer, cider, and spirits right from the source.
Sure, it’s fun to hand-feed giraffes through the sunroof, but there are other important reasons why Texas drive-through wildlife parks matter.
Okay, I admit it. I still like to play Cowboys and Indians. I’m fascinated by vintage images of frontier days and the Old West. The modern world with all its geegaws and gadgets is stimulating and fun, but my imagination really sings when it wanders into the territory that cowboy balladeer Don Edwards has described as “west of yesterday.”
For Clint Orms, belt buckles are more than just accessories. The silversmith sees them as a vestige of Western tradition—tools to be used and enjoyed, and then passed along as family heirlooms.
"Clayton, look at this moth” shouts the poet Sharon Olds, calling to me across the green lawn in front of the concert hall at Round Top’s Festival Institute. Despite having just met her, I am not surprised to have one of the world’s most renowned contemporary poets call out to me about a moth on a car.
The cotton boll in my hand feels light and delicate, and I easily see how it could translate into the soft, comfy shirt I’m wearing. But, then—ouch!—a sharp burr pricks my hand.
Down in the Rio Grande Valley, there’s something about springtime, when the palm trees sway in the southerly breeze and even the cacti are blooming, that calls us out into the great outdoors. Pull out your sunglasses, hats, and hiking boots: Here are some recommended activities, roughly ordered from one end of the Valley to the other.
"'Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” wrote 19th-Century American poet Emily Dickinson in the opening line of her poem of the same name.
This phrase came to mind as I boarded a tour bus before dawn last April during Galveston FeatherFest and Nature PhotoFest.