World Photography Day was created on August 19, 2010, and I would hate to miss a chance of sharing some photos of Texas in all its glory this week. Of course, when you have more than 60,000 photos of the Lone Star State, the challenge becomes what do I choose.
I’ve decided to share photos of the
Texas Historical Commission’s Heritage Trail Regions. While it is extremely difficult, I’m only selecting two or three for each. They may not be my best photos but the locations left a big impression on me.
Narrowing down the photos of the Panhandle Plains is not an easy task. I could have included expected photos of
Palo Duro Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, or the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo. I could also include any number of places in Lubbock, like Texas Tech University, the Buddy Holly Statue, or the FiberMax Center for Discovery. Instead, I decided to share some of the lesser-known locations.
Tex statue in Conlen Tesla charging station along old Route 66 in Shamrock Booker exit sign I have to admit, I LOVE the Booker sign the most. When you only have a population of 1,421 and the road through town is almost a straight line, letting visitors know every single road that will get you to downtown is a pretty genius marketing move. Tex in Conlen was random and a “big” deal in a town of 69. The Tesla charging stations at the U Drop Inn in Shamrock are a nice contrast to the old truck along Route 66.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that my dream is to one day retire to the Mountain Trail Region of Texas, particularly near
Alpine. Where to begin with the beauty of this majestic area of the state? Rather than posting the mountains and town and city life, I decided this time to share a few of my animal sightings. If you want to read more about this area, check out my blog post covering Brewster County, the largest county in Texas.
Elk between Alpine and Fort Davis Wild Tom Turkey near Marfa Roadrunner catching a snake in Fort Davis My favorite in this list is of the roadrunner and snake. My husband, Dan, and I were hiking in Fort Davis and the roadrunner was in front of us on the trail. Suddenly, it jabbed its head into the grass and pulled out the snake. I had my camera ready and was able to snap the shot before it ran off with its meal for the day. I’m sure it’s a once in a lifetime shot and I count it among my favorite photos. I had to include the elk and turkey shots from my last trip to the region. The animal sightings are almost unlimited.
While I haven’t been to all of the communities along the Pecos Trail, I do have my favorites. This area has such a rich and interesting history.
Stonehenge Replica in Odessa Monahans Sandhill State Park in Monahans Pecos River Overlook at Pecos High Bridge in Comstock As an amateur photographer, I must say the Pecos River Overlook has never disappointed me so I’m naming it my favorite. That said, the Stonehenge Replica in Odessa and the sandhills in Monahans are close seconds.
Waco to College Station and all places in between, the Brazos Trail covers a number of cities and towns. Many of you may already know about the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station or the Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco. Some other communities in this region are lesser known but still interesting. In fact, I visited quite a few recently when my friend, Darla, and I took a road trip to see the Most Mispronounced Texas Towns and Cities.
Billy the Kid statue in Hico Bike fence in the Village of Salado Mexia Mural My first visit to Hico was for pie at the Koffee Cup Family Restaurant. I got a bonus when I discovered the Billy the Kid Museum. Their claim to fame is that outlaw Billy didn’t die in New Mexico but ended up in Hico where he lived to a ripe old age as Ollie “Brushy Bill” Richards. Is it true? I couldn’t tell you, but as the song lyrics go in the musical Gypsy, “get yourself a gimmick and you too can be a star.” I’m all for it so that’s why Billy’s statue is my choice for the Brazos Trail Region. I’ve spent some time at the Village of Salado and I suppose I’m drawn to the town because they continue to use “village” in their promotion of their community. I saw this bike fence when I was walking one morning and I loved it on first sight. And who doesn’t love a cute mural with cows on it. One of the most mispronounced towns in Texas, Mexia, deserved a shout out for this photos.
Since I also live in
San Angelo which is in the Forts Trail Region, I’m a bit biased to my community. I tried and set my personal feelings aside in order to share photos from this fantastic area of the state. You can also read about a recent trip I took along the Forts Trail here.
World’s Largest Steel Longhorn near Throckmorton San Saba River Nature Park San Angelo Riverwalk I couldn’t resist it. I had to include the Riverwalk in San Angelo, since it’s my view every day in my real job at the San Angelo Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Visitor Center. She’s a beauty and I’m choosing my town as the winner in the region. I discovered artist Joe Barrington’s Bridle Bit Bull near Throckmorton while driving the region a few months ago. You can see it for several miles before you arrive to find this random work of art on the top of a hill behind a fence. If it ever came to life, the bull could easily step over the fence so you’ve been warned. My final photo is in San Saba at the River Nature Park. It is a beautiful place to rest, relax, and rejuvenate when you need a break.
Having lived in a few cities in the Lakes Trail Region of the state, I’m pretty familiar with it. I also took a
virtual road trip last year to highlight what there is to see and do.
Chisholm Trail Mural in Sundance Square in Fort Worth International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame in Arlington Elizabeth Crockett gravesite at Acton State Historic Site I’m a HUGE fan of the city of Fort Worth, having lived there for nearly 10 years, so I felt strongly I had to include a photo from there. The Chisholm Trail is important to the history of the city so I chose the mural in Sundance Square. The other two photos are locations I’m certain most people don’t know about, like the International Bowling Museum in Arlington. The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers tend to get the majority of the attention so sharing the fact that the city also has a museum dedicated to bowling was the right thing to do. The most interesting photo to me is the statue at the gravesite of Elizabeth Crockett, the wife of Alamo hero David Crockett. It’s located in the smallest state park in Texas, just outside of Granbury. Because of her place in history, I choose Elizabeth’s grave as my favorite in this group.
Another region in which I’ve spent a lot of time is the Hill Country. My husband and I lived in
Buda and Cedar Park, I worked in Austin, and we’ve RV’d throughout the region as Eccentric Nomads.
Pennybacker (360) Bridge in Austin Young cowboy at rodeo in Bandera Welcome sign in Hondo While the state capitol is beautiful, I enjoyed climbing to capture this picture of the Pennybacker Bridge in Austin to take this shot. I’ve also enjoyed going to the rodeo in Bandera and I was lucky to get this photo of a youngster, hat in hand, dreaming of becoming a cowboy or bull rider. The winner of this region is Hondo. If people don’t laugh when they read this sign when driving through town, they have no sense of humor.
Only a few months ago, I took a trip around the Independence Trail and I learned so much about the history of Texas that I didn’t know.
Mission San Jose in San Antonio Washington-on-the-Brazos 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and a cruise ship in Galveston I have seldom visited San Antonio without stopping by the Alamo, but I chose a picture of Mission San Jose, as I believe this site offers a clearer picture of the missions. I also find the Tall Ship ELISSA in Galveston to be fascinating. However, this Native Texan visited the “ Birthplace of Texas” at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for the first time this year when I explored the Independence Trail, so it wins as my favorite for 2021.
Dan and I spent a few months in the valley of Texas when we
RV’d for a year. The area is so different from anything I’d experienced in Texas, since I’d never spent a lot of time there.
Sunrise at South Padre Island One the beach on Mustang Island in Corpus Christi Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen I’m a sucker for a beautiful sunrise or sunset and the Tropical Trail Region is always there to offer the most beautiful sites in the state, especially along the Gulf Coast on South Padre Island and Mustang Island. And I probably have more photos of sunrises and sunsets than anything else, but the birding photo from McAllen is my winner for the region. Can you see the bird in the photo? It’s a common pauraque. Fascinating!
A majority of my early years were spent in this region of the state in the towns of
Livingston, Huntsville, Laneville, Chester, Corrigan, Tyler, Trinity, and Indian Springs. The piney woods are amazing with their tall pines shooting into the sky, row by row.
Lone Star Monument & Historical Flag Park in Conroe Footprints in the Sand in Carthage Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange I chose three pictures I love from the Forest Trail, as these places were such a pleasant surprise. The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park in Conroe features the Texian holding the Texas flag while surrounded by the 13 flags that flew in Texas. I saw the Footprints in the Sand monument in Carthage when I was on my perimeter tour of the state last June. It is absolutely stunning. My final photo in this region is from Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange. I’ve visited here around a half dozen times and it never disappoints. It features the best of the region with areas to attract nesting birds, alligators, and more. Well worth a visit so I choose the gardens as my favorite photo. Official World Headquarters of How Big Is Texas
The 10 regions of the Texas Heritage Trails are spectacular. When I’m not able to travel, I spend a lot of time in my backyard at the Official World Headquarters of How Big Is Texas. I would be remiss to not include a few pictures. While it’s only been the headquarters since May of this year, I’ve managed to capture some pretty nice shots of the tiny building with a big message.
Since the headquarters faces the east, we get a number of great sunsets behind her so those tend to be the ones I like to share. I’ll have to go with the closeup of my porch with the door, red mailbox, and red phone as a favorite. My husband built the headquarters, originally as his outdoor storage shed, and helped build everything including the sign so I wanted to give him a shout out for his hard work. If you aren’t following my Facebook page, I recommend it as I give updates on the Official World Headquarters pretty often.
Here’s to many more World Photography Days to highlight the beauty of the great state of Texas. Until we see you again, Sadie and I wish you safe travels from our small piece of the world to yours.