Wherever I travel, I seek out independent bookstores. They help define a city’s character for me. That said, I don’t collect books. I don’t seek out first editions, limited-edition autographed copies, or obscure European folios. I buy books simply to read them, and I love reading more than almost any other activity in the world.
Seated on a large, flat rock along a tranquil section of the Guadalupe River, I hear the faint whoosh of my husband’s fly line as his cast cuts through the air. He’s fishing in front of me, hip-deep in the water. Behind me, two squirrels are chasing each other, rustling about in crinkly fallen leaves. I look up at a towering pecan tree next to me, relaxed by its occasional sway. This is the soothing soundtrack I look forward to every winter. I’m at Rio Guadalupe Resort in Sattler, reading a book at water’s edge, just steps away from my rented cottage for the week.
The view from High Lonesome Lane is remarkably empty. The narrow dirt road cuts through the southern High Plains, traversing the Rita Blanca National Grasslands in the northwest corner of the Texas Panhandle. An occasional hackberry tree or windmill breaks the prairie’s distant horizon. Grazing pronghorn, startled by the rarity of a passing car, dart along broken stretches of sagging barbed-wire fence. It’s conceivable to imagine what this territory would have been like in decades past, including when drought-ravaged settlers left their homes to escape the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Texas history runs deep, so to be the “oldest” anything in the state is a rather special feat. This notion is what inspired me to travel deep into the heart of the Piney Woods to the town of Nacogdoches, curious to see what adventure I could find in the “oldest town in Texas.”
If my husband, John, buys a gadget, he’s going to use it. Trust me. All the more if the gadget has to do with the outdoors. When the first GPSr (global position system receiver) device entered our home in 2006, I admit that I eyed the gizmo with skepticism, wondering if it would add to general travel claptrap. But the device won me over the first time we used it as a family. On a chilly December vacation to snowy Minnesota, John proposed an outdoor geocaching treasure hunt along a nature trail near his sister’s home. Of course the adults were game. But, the techno-intrigue even pried my sister-in-law’s teenage boys away from various screens and all-day vacation slumber. Our Texas girls—who don’t exactly cotton to cold weather—hiked for more than an hour deciphering clues on the GPS and uncovering the caches with their cousins.
A great magazine. Been subscribing since 1976. Look forward to it each month. -Kenneth Keath, TH Facebook Fan
In the January 2014 issue, writer Ramona Flume takes readers to Megg’s Cafe in Temple, a farmhouse-style eatery that sources much of its menu locally and draws crowds for its breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings. We wondered: What else is there to do in Temple? Turns out, there’s plenty. Here are three spots to get you started.