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Written by Lois Rodriguez

13 Horses-JGS

Old Gonzo doesn’t want to trot. At first we thought it was because he didn’t like walking behind Chili Bean, my daughter’s horse, who apparently is suffering mild gastrointestinal woes. So our cowboy leader moves Gonzo to the front of the line. But still, Gonzo is a reluctant trotter.

54-55 BirdBoat

The Native Americans figured it out first, as far as we know.

On the shores of Aransas Bay, the Copanes made the most of coastal resources to support their lives as nomadic hunter-gatherers.

48 Pasta

My annual summer vacations to Port Aransas consist of two things: beach-bumming and restaurant-hopping, and I’m not sure which I look forward to more.


By the time you finish reading this paragraph, hundreds of glass-green waves will have completed crossing the Gulf of Mexico on their route to the Texas coast.

1639B Courthouse“I am loving the plains more than ever it seems—and the SKY— Anita, you’ve never seen SKY—it is wonderful.”


17On the northern fringe of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, McKinney’s historic character and natural amenities draw both tourists and a steady influx of new residents.

1839C-Parmount20080910 004 v2Abilene won readers’ praise for its small-town feel, state park, zoo, shopping, history, and restaurants, which range from classic barbecue joints to newcomers like Abi-Haus, which makes waves with craft cocktails and modern American fare.

19The beaches of Padre Island are so inviting that inland lakes have been known to import loads of Padre sand for their own waterfronts.

35 ButterflyThe beauty of Mission wasn’t lost on Tom Landry. In his 1990 autobiography, the legendary Dallas Cowboys coach reflected on his Rio Grande Valley hometown, where he’s now memorialized in a colorful downtown mural.

65 FigureThe desert canyonlands formed by the Rio Grande, Devil’s, and Pecos rivers may appear inhospitable to travelers driving west of Del Rio on US 90. Rugged limestone canyons cut through sun-drenched desert plains of thorny brush vegetation like sotol, lechuguilla, yucca, and prickly pear. But to hunter-gatherers some 4,000 years ago, this uninviting territory was a veritable garden.

BeesOn a steamy Saturday morning, I park my car alongside a rural road in Denton County. At a roadside check-in table, I’m handed a white zippered jumpsuit, elbow-length gloves, and a netted hat; not the smallest patch of skin will be left exposed.

22-23 DogTagsDuring the Civil War, soldiers were known to pin their names and addresses onto jackets or knapsacks in order to provide their identity should they perish in battle.

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