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Wildflowers along Texas 71 near Ellinger. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

For the enlightened and adventurous traveler, serendipity transforms every trip: Hiking a new trail and rounding a bend to encounter an unexpected vista, journeying to a destination you’ve heard about—or visiting a familiar place with someone who’s never been—without an agenda. Or, in the case of pursuing Texas wildflowers, finding yourself surprised with the splashes and brushstrokes of red, blue, orange, and purple that appear in the landscape.

Published in TRAVEL

At Barrington Living History Farm, interpreter Mark Sanders helps visitors learn about 19th-century life. (Photo by Will Van Overbeek)

One morning recently, a young tour guide was steering a group of visitors through the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, explaining the ways that the company makes the dream-food that Time magazine has called "the best ice cream in the world." Her descriptions were going smoothly until she made a statement that dropped the jaw of a man in the group. "Beg your pardon, young lady," the man interrupted. "Did you say it takes the milk of FIFTEEN THOUSAND cows to make one day's supply of ice cream?" He sounded incredulous and skeptical at the same time. He was having trouble getting a mental picture of that many cows. "No, sir, I'm sorry if it sounded that way," she replied. "It's FIFTY thousand cows."

Published in TRAVEL
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