Giant cross monument, Groom, Texas
Heading east from Amarillo on I-40 in the Texas panhandle you will come to a giant cross at Groom on the south side of the Interstate. Do take a few minutes and stop. There is more to it. The story of Jesus' Passion is told in several stations. It is quite uplifting, and you will be glad you stopped.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Religious Travel
- Road Trip
Fort Duncan Museum: Eagle Pass, Texas
Fort Duncan was established in 1849, as one of five posts along the Texas/Mexico border on the Rio Grande. The town of Eagle Pass, Texas, owes it's existance to the fort, which was occupied by 3 companies of the 1st Infantry regiment. During the Civil War, the post was under control of Confederate troops of the Frontier Regiment. Federal troops reoccupied the fort in 1868, and it remained under military authority until 1916. Today, many restored stone buildings form the center of a municipal park, including this one which houses the Fort Davis Museum.
The free museum, which is open afternoons from 1-4, is rather limited in its exhibits. To me, the most interesting thing in the museum was the curator, an elderly man in a wheel-chair, who was very knowledgeable and interesting to talk with. He stirred my dander when he called General Robert E. Lee, leader of the Confederate army, a traitor. General Lee had served at Fort Duncan when he was Captain Lee, in the earlier years of his military service. I consider Lee one of the finest men who has ever served his country - first the United States of America, and then the Confederate States of America. The curator and I agreed to disagree concerning Robert E. Lee, and then had an enjoyable conversation.
310 Bliss Street
Eagle Pass, Texas 38852Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Texas Blue Star Memorial Highways
The National Garden Clubs, Inc. have had a program in place to honor service men and women since 1945. It's the Blue Star Memorial Program, and it began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War 11. The following year the National Council of State Garden Clubs, as it was called at the time, adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.
Big Bend Country
Texas is a large diverse landscape in which you can go through the heat of the desert on one side, to the cold biting freeze of the Piney Woods.
If you only get the opportunity to see one of the regions of Texas, you are missing out on the reason we are who we are.
One of the very good travel events calendars for the region comes from Texas Highways Magazine, and it is seperated into several different areas.
The desert area listed in this link is to the Big Bend country, which includes El Paso and Alpine, among others.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Road Trip
Parrots in Fort Worth
A few years ago I hear about some parrots that lived on the west side of our city.
I thought this could not be true. Parrots like it where it is warm year around.
We drove over to where they were supposed to be living and sure enough there was a bunch of birds there with a big condo looking nest.
The birds are Monk Parakeets that started out as someones pet. Now there are several in the area.Related to:
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
The 45,187 acres which comprise Laguna Atascosa (Muddy Lagoon in Spanish) is the wildest place along the South Texas coast. The landscape is a unique blending of temperate, subtropical, costal and desert habitats. Many Mexican plants and animal life reach the northern edge of their range here, while migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes fly down for the mild winters. The refuge is a mecca for birders and naturalists because of the unique mix of wildlife that is found nowhere else.
We spent a lovely March morning hiking here and sighted many rare birds and animals, including some we had never seen before. These included crested caracara, roadrunner, plain chachalala, green jay, white tipped dove, great kiskadee, and black-bellied whistling duck. A total of 410 bird species have been recorded here, more than at any other National Wildlife Refuge in America. In the mammal department we hoped to see the elusive and endangered ocelot which inhabits the thickets. Instead we were pleased to have a very close sighting of the rare long-tailed weasel.
Tour roads in the refuge are open daily from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is closed June - Sept.
To reach Laguna Atascosa , from Harlingen go east on FM 106 to Rio Hondo, then continue east for 14 miles until you dead end at Buena Vista Road. Turn left (north) on Buena Vista and the Visitor Center will be in three miles.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Palestine has an abundance of historical building and homes, over 1800 in all and second only to Galveston. The Texas State Railroad also is quite an attraction there with antique steam engines and cars operating from March through to October on a 25.5 mile route to Rusk (and return). The trip is through dense East Texas woodlands and hardwood creek bottoms and is especially lovely during Spring when the Dogwood trees are blooming and in Autumn when the turning of the trees.
Other attractions around Palestine are the Engeling Wildlife Management Area which is in the northern part of the county. Lake Palestine, is a reservoir of 25,500 surface acres on the Neches River which provides the county with water. Nasa's National Scientific Balloon Facility is also just outside of Palestine.
The old downtown area (Old Town Palestine) is filled with architecture from the 1800’s and the area is currently being rejuvenated. There are many antique stores and specialty shops to browse through as well as restaurants and a candle factory.
Athens is 73 miles south east of Dallas and is the largest city and county seat of Henderson County. Indians inhabited the area during prehistoric times. Over time, fossil remains of extinct horses and camels have been unearthed as well as pottery and remnants of an aboriginal culture which existed along the Trinity River thousands of years ago.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is just outside of Athens. The center is an innovative aquarium and hatchery complex with over 300,000 gallons of aquaria. You can explore the secret habitat of a Hill Country stream or stroll through an underwater world surrounded by lunker largemouth bass, or check out the American alligator in its natural environment.
The New York, TX Cheesecake home is here. Their cheesecakes are excellent and the recipe is said to be a century old Pennsylvania-Dutch and one which has been handed down from generation to generation.
Athens also lays claim to being the place who invited the Hamburger back in the 1880s and presented to the 'world' at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
Mineola lies in the East Texas Piney Woods area, around 80 miles east of Dallas in Wood County. Broad Street is the main street (Hwy 80) and is lined with old stores with varied pasts. There are many historic buildings and homes in the town and number of which have been turned into wonderful Bed and Breakfasts.
Mineola is known as the 'Gateway to the Lake Country'. There are many lakes in the surrounding areas providing good fishing and recreational activities. The area also has some good pottery stores. There are a lot of good local craftsmen, artists. Musicians, writers and other artists in the area.
Driving : Mineola is right at the connection of Hwy 80 and Hwy 69 in East Texas Piney Woods area.
Hwy 80 runs east to west and Hwy 69 runs north to south.
From Dallas take US80 east through Terrell and straight into Broad Street, Mineola.
Bonham is one of the oldest towns in Texas, some will tell you it is THE oldest. It is certainly the oldest in the Red River Valley region. Bonham is famous for Sam Rayburn, the town's most illustrious son. A statesman, congressman and a major influence of the 20th century. From 1906 he held elective office for 55 consecutive years and was elected 24 times to the US House of Representatives. His house and a Museum holds many items from those years and very much worth a visit. The Fannin County Museum is also worth a visit where you can see prehistoric fossils and a mammoth’s tooth found in the area. Fort English is a replica of the original settlement that existed in 1837 which later became Bonham – named after James Butler Bonham was a hero of the Alamo. He was amazing in that he left the Alamo twice during the siege to try and gain aid from Gonzales for the besieged force and also to return to escort volunteers back to the Alamo. Unfortunately after his second return to the Alamo, he was killed. He is believed to have died manning one of the cannons in the interior of the Alamo chapel.
From Dallas - take Hwy 75 North to McKinney, then Hwy. 121 North to Bonham, Hwy. 56 East.
Greenville is 60 miles Northwest of Dallas in a county which consists of approximately 840 miles of Texas Blackland Prairie.
Greenville was a leading cotton marketing location and the American Cotton Museum takes you through the history and development of the cotton industry in Hunts County. The town also honours it’s local and national wartime hero – Audie Murphy. Most people would know of him as an old time actor but it was surprising to me to find out that Audie was the US’s most decorated soldier in WWII. He is honoured with a memorial outside the Courthouse, as well his life and achievements are proudly displayed at the American Cotton Museum.
The town of Ennis is south east of Dallas metroplex and in its early days, earned a ‘wild west’ reputation with its 13 saloons and six beer halls. It became a stop off place for outlaws such as Cole Younger’s gang and Sam Bass’s gang. In 1873 Czech immigrants started arriving and their influence is still strong in the region today.
The Ennis area is known for their spring showing of bluebonnets and some 42 miles of trails which have been created there to drive around. The Texas Legislature named them “The Official Bluebonnet Trail of Texas.” Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas.
Glen Rose is southwest of Dallas/Fort Worth and is right at the edge of the Hill Country. In the early days because of the wooded areas, Moonshiners were able to hide their stills during prohibition and Glen Rose became known as the ‘Whiskey Woods Capital’ of Texas.
In the 1930s, dinosaur tracks were uncovered by the formation of the Paluxy River. In the river bed in Dinosaur Valley State Park you can see the evidence of the dinosaur footprints made some 110 million years ago. The Creation Evidence Museum offers displays of dinosaur footprints, artefacts and fossils from the archaeological digs in the area.
Another big attraction in Glen Rose is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. In my opinion this is well worth the side trip. You can take a scenic drive through 1,500 acres of large pasture land and wooded hills viewing some 1,100 exotic, threatened and endangered animals. Fossil Rim is world renown for its leadership in areas of conservation and education. They have managed to save several endangered species from extinction. They have many educational programs for school children and their internship program is one of the best known in the country.
Georgetown is in the centre of Williamson County, about 26 miles north of Austin and is known as the Red Poppy Capital of Texas. The flowers came to Georgetown almost 80 years ago when a WWI soldier fighting in Europe sent his mother in Georgetown a packet of red poppy seeds from Flanders Field. She planted them and the seeds have propagated over the years. The Red Poppy Festival is held on the square on the first weekend in April.
There is also the Inner Space Cavern – Georgetown's most popular attraction which is a cave that was discovered in 1963 when drilling crew working on an Interstate Highway 35 drilled into one of the large rooms of the cavern which is over 80,000 years in the making. Remains of the Ice Age Mastodons, wolves and sabre-tooth cats have been found within the eroded limestone structure.
Forney is surprisingly known as being the “Antique Capital of Texas” with more than 150 dealers in the area. There is quite a strip of them running parallel to Hwy 80 with all kinds of imaginable bits and pieces.
Forney itself is quite a quaint little town with some great old style homes but the outer areas are fast being developed and it won’t be a small town for much longer. is only 20 miles east of Dallas.
Nice hotel on the Riverwalk. A bit pricey. Customer service was lacking at the front desk.more
From the moment I arrived at the hotel from IAH, people and staff couldnt be friendly enough. I was...more
Close to Downtown Dallas in the Uptown district. Close to lots of tourist attractions. It does have...more
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