David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
07/04  Texas Road Trip
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Texas Road Trip


Gasoline is for wimps.

Texas is a big place. Here's a piece of advice: If you ever find yourself driving through Western Texas and you see a gas station, fill up the tank! Don't be like me and be empty with 20 miles until the next town and not even sure if it's big enough to support a petrol-based economy.

Go To Lubbock -- I Dare You

My first stop in Texas was Lubbock. There are better places than Lubbock. In fact, if you look around where you're sitting right now, you can see one.

LOOK! It's Buddy Holly!

To be fare, Lubbock isn't a total cesspool. It doesn't smell bad. Texas Tech University is there; a fine looking campus. There's also a lot of signs dedicated to Buddy Holly.

Texans Love Fireworks

I found myself on a hill in MacKenzie park inside of Lubbock around 9:00 pm. Apparently, sometime in the next eight days the official fireworks were to begin. But Texas is the land of Bring Your Own Fireworks, so there was an abundance of entertainment during the wait.

Critter Roundup

If you want to see some wildlife, Texas is a good place to go. The western side of the state especially has a nice mix of both desert and grasslands critters.

  • Cows, cows and more cows.
  • Plenty of horses and burros and goats.
  • Birds: Ducks, geese, LGBs, LBBs, hawks, owls, vultures and those cool black birds.
  • Road runners
  • Prairie dogs
  • Rabbits: both your standard bunny rabbits and some great big ones with black-tipped ears that run really fast.
  • Lizards
  • Giant Cricket
  • Mice
  • Deer
  • Horny Toad
  • Snake
  • Huge centipedes
  • Tarantula
  • Something big with claws under the water
  • Turtles
  • Zebra

In some states, it's a popular sport to run over raccoons and opossum and armadillos and the like with your car. But when you come to Texas, you must think big. I saw more road-kill deer than anything else; and at least one road-kill cow.

Hiking In Somebody's Pasture

After leaving Lubbock, I struck out into the wild Texas ranch lands. Some of the pictures below might look impressive in scale, but know this: the only thing not big in most of Texas are the trees.

It's my suspension that I was trespassing while taking most of these pictures. However, one of the beautiful things about Texas is that there are very few "No Trespassing" notices. Unlike in the East where anything that looks like it should be hiked on has trails crisscrossing it, some of the places I visited in Texas are rarely, if ever, visited by people on foot.

The Quest To Get High

I spied Double Fork Mountain while cruising down the highway. I thought to myself, I don't have anything better to do, so why not climb up it? Let me tell you, climbing it is easy compared to getting there. It's hard to get lost in Texas, but it's nearly impossible to get where you're going sometimes. I drove 360 degrees around this mound in a spiraling fashion trying to get to its base. (It's also worth noting that up until this point, I was still entertaining the notion that I would finally take a trip in which I didn't utterly clobber the rental car.)

A storm just misses the mountain. Would this have stopped me from going up? Who knows.

The climb wasn't all that bad -- only 500 feet or so. I went a little faster than necessary because the sun was setting and I didn't want to come down in complete darkness. The top was narrow and extremely windy. Here's what it looks like from the top:

It Looks Like Virginia

The western side of Texas was scenic enough, but I'd already seen some desert this year. So I decided to see what the eastern side of the state looked like. Well, it looks like Virginia -- the boring part of Virginia. The only thing of real interest that I came across was a little storm.

Actually, this storm snuck up behind me while I was taking a nap (I didn't get too much sleep the night before). I thought about sitting where I was and watching it, but then I realized that my vehicle was the tallest structure in the near distance and this storm was packing a lot of lightning. So I moved. Suffice to say even this baby Texas storm was more impressive than any storm I've ever seen in Virginia.

Caddo National Grassland -- Where Texas Keeps All the Trees

Well, for the most part Texas is flat. But I saw on the map a little place called the Caddo National Grassland. Thought I to myself: This sounds like something that could be really flat. Easily bored by my fruitless attempt to photograph a true Texas Longhorn in Eastern Texas, I traveled up to this location (via Dallas rush-hour -- I never leave home without a helping of stupidity).

I was impressed. Not in three days of driving around Texas had I seen so many trees. Rolling hills of trees.









































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