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Written by Texas Highways

Riders crossing the Rio Grande while filming Lonesome Dove. Photo: Bill Wittliff, Courtesy of The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University

In 1985, Bill Wittliff was four years away from mega-success as screenwriter and executive producer of the beloved miniseries Lonesome Dove when he got a phone call from the former assistant of J. Frank Dobie, the pioneering folklorist who’d died two decades earlier. “Would you be interested in buying Dr. D’s desk?” his assistant asked.

Illustrated map of Laredo

A stroll across the San Agustín Plaza, just a few hundred feet from the Rio Grande in downtown Laredo, feels like a passage across both space and time. Sit on a bench in the shade of the ornate stone gazebo, next to sago palms and neatly trimmed hedges, and you could be in the town square of any classical Mexican city. Survey the 19th-century gothic revival cathedral and even older colonial homes around the plaza’s perimeter, and you can’t help but be transported back hundreds of years.

Rayann Shudde and Terri Archer, owners of Hippie Chic's River Shack

When Terri Archer and Rayann Shudde purchased one and a half acres near Garner State Park in 2015, they intended to open a business renting out tubes for lazy floats on the Frio River in Concan. One day, their landscaper commented on the lack of good food in the area, Archer recalls: “He said he put himself through college flipping burgers out here and suggested we do the same.”

Stuffed animals mounted on the walls inside the Buckhorn Saloon

The “Buckarita” at San Antonio’s Buckhorn Saloon serves up the kick you’d expect from a mix of Cuervo 1800 Tequila, Grand Gala, and prickly pear juice. Looking around at all the horns, antlers, and stuffed critters on the saloon walls, however, an imbiber might fear their drink so potent that they’re seeing things. Not to worry, pilgrim. That beast mounted near the antique back bar that looks like a cross between a buffalo and a Longhorn? It actually is a crossbred buffalo-Longhorn.

Exterior of the Stagecoach Inn

Salado’s Stagecoach Inn, founded in 1861, was one of the state’s oldest continually operating hotels until it closed for restoration in 2015, although it may be known best for the hushpuppies served at the inn’s restaurant.

Art on the walls inside Art of 12

Herb Smith, one of the many artists who call Wimberley home, fell in love with the village during an encounter with the Blanco River in 1974.

A kayak on the Angelina River

Paul Smith, co-owner of La Paz Bed and Breakfast in Jasper, turns his pontoon boat off the main stretch of the Angelina River, where his inn is stationed, into an offshoot called Ward’s Branch.

Inside the Bend Store

Bob Fullerton, known to most as “Bad Bob,” was hunting wasps the first time I visited the general store he owned in the rural village of Bend, just upriver from Colorado Bend State Park. Fullerton didn’t use bug spray or a tennis racket. Instead, he took a BB gun in hand as he stalked the winged insects colonizing the eaves of Bad Bob’s Bend Store. Past the front screen door and the cedar posts that hold up the building’s rusted metal roof, he pumped his gun and took aim in the vicinity of firewood being sold by the bundle.

Sunset on the Pecos River

When you launch a kayak on the lower Pecos River, you’ve made a five-day date with Mother Nature.

Fireworks at Addison Kaboom Town

Everything's bigger in Texas, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to celebrating our nation’s independence. We've compiled the ultimate guide—more than 100 events—to help you plan the perfect red, white, and blue holiday weekend.

Texas Book Festival Poster 2018

Readers rejoice: the Texas Book Festival recently announced the guest authors for its 2018 event. The writers combine for a diverse lineup that will draw in every type of reader, from young adult fiction addicts to nonfiction obsessives, and pave the way for dialogues on tough issues, from race to addiction to natural disasters.

Sotol in a glass

2 oz. Desert Door Original Sotol
.3/4 oz. fresh
grapefruit juice
.1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
.1/4 oz. agave nectar
Splash of grapefruit soda

Combine all ingredients except soda into shaker.
Add ice and shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds, then fine strain in a rocks glass with fresh ice, and top with soda. 
Garnish with a grapefruit wheel. 

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