A Virtual Weekend Vacation – The Introduction

While I REALLY love to travel and could probably do it almost every day, my real job and my budget don’t always make that an option. I sell San Angelo as a destination for visitors in my real job, so travel is in my blood.

The beautiful Visitor Center in San Angelo along the Concho River and my work home. Not a bad view, don’t you think? Come for a visit and see for yourself!

The past seven months have been a tough time for the travel and tourism industry around the world. Texas has suffered much like other states but since I’m a Native Texan and live here, I’ve seen the challenges front and center.

Those of you following me from the beginning will remember reading about my perimeter tour with my friends Morgan and Debra in June. If you want to learn more about that trip, go back to my earliest blog posts and you can relive our trip. Or watch it on YouTube on the Texas Country Reporter channel. They shared our story and it’s a lot of fun.

So this weekend, I thought I’d do something a little different. Since I’m unable to physically travel right now, I’m taking a virtual road trip and I’m virtually touring the Texas Lakes Trail Region, a participant in the Texas Historical Commission‘s Texas Heritage Trails Program. The region is made up of 31 counties in north central Texas, so it’s not a small area. In fact, the furthest west portion of the trail, Vernon, is 264 miles from the furthest east portion of the trail, Athens. To put that in perspective, it’s further than the distance from New York City to Washington, D.C.

Outline of the Texas Lakes Trail Region.

No trip would be complete without someone to enjoy it with you, even a virtual trip. So I’ve reached out to two of my friends and colleagues who are familiar with the trails – Sarah Page, Heritage Tourism Program Coordinator for the Texas Historical Commission, and Jill Jordan, Executive Director of the Texas Lakes Trail Region. Follow the commission and the region on Facebook so that you can learn more about these programs.

Tonight, I’m virtually driving from San Angelo to Vernon, our first stop on the tour that will begin tomorrow morning. I hope Virtual Sarah and Virtual Jill are morning people.

From Vernon, we’ll head east through some of the same communities we visited on our perimeter tour, with our last eastern stop in beautiful Paris. We’ll head south to Athens and then west to Cranfills Gap. Our travels will continue north to Bridgeport then west to Seymour before finishing back in Vernon. While this is the perimeter of the Lakes Trail Region, we’ll also give a lot of shout outs to the cities on the interior. We wish we could visit all of them but that’s not possible, even virtually, so make sure to explore the Lakes Trail further. Once this trip is finished, I’m hoping I’ll be able to tour the remaining nine trails, whether virtually or personally.

When I started the original quest in June, it was to share just how big Texas is. I’m hoping our virtual tour of North Central Texas will give you yet more perspective on the vastness of the great Lone Star State and the place I call home.

Looking forward to sharing our virtual story. Safe travels!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanne Nichols says:

    So how do you do a virtual drive ? This sounds like fun!

    1. diannbayes says:

      Hi, Joanne. I’m using an app we used when we drove the perimeter. It’s called Track My Tour https://trackmytour.com/W6hp5

      I lay out the trip with the time it takes to actually drive it. Of course, if you’re in a car, your stops will be longer so the times can be changed. We’re virtually stopping along the way to share what’s in the trail region.

Leave a Reply