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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 27 Jul 12 - 0 Comments

Texas Travels

Texas, as you may have heard, is a pretty big place.

It covers a landmass that has multiple environments and wonders, some natural and some man made by the population of this huge state. Deserts, big cities, miles of beautiful coast and open farmlands and oil fields make up a diverse collection of areas that combine to make something definitely more then the individual areas alone.

Recently I had the opportunity to make a trip away from the water and into the heart of the state, all the way into Dallas as a matter of fact. This got me to thinking about how much there is to see in the state, as well as the people that populate those areas.

The first thing I saw as I snaked my way through towns like Bay City was the miles and miles of enchanting coast land that make our local area. Also, depending on the town, there were the architectural wonders of the past, the like of which is closer then you may think if you head over to the buildings on Port Lavaca’s Main Street area or the remains of days gone by in Indianola. These are buildings and dwellings that have stood the test of time, some for close to a hundred years.

All of those sights were followed by miles and miles of open land as I approached Houston, which besides being the place the astronauts used to call when they had a problem is also the largest city in Texas as well as the fourth largest in the country. Houston is one of four entries the state makes in the top ten biggest cities in the union, a feat that really displays the vastness of the Lone Star State.

Houston itself was as busy as any other big metropolitan city I’ve seen, like Chicago or Phoenix, but dealing with the people there you also still got that sense of Texas charm and style that makes the former republic so unique in it’s ways. It was also a bit of a culture shock when coming from a town with a population of thirteen thousand or so people, even for a guy who came from right outside Chicago. I guess seven months of peace and quiet is enough to make sirens and planes rattle anyone’s nerves.

From H-Town it was on to Dallas, but of course if you have ever looked at a map of our favorite state then you will know that the drive between Houston and Dallas is a bit of a trek in and of itself. Going along I-45 through such towns as Huntsville and Corisicana, the state makes it gradual shift from coastal paradise to an open expanse of farmlands and ranches that at one time were forests and plains. If you have yet to experience a cross country trip by car or bus then you are missing out on the slow drive that causes you to really reflect on how small you are compared to the rest of the world and how many places there are yet to be explored.

Arriving in Dallas was a very exhausting leg of my trip but I have to admit that I am glad I did it at night as my arrival was in the heart of the downtown area of the Big D, right off Main Street across from the Bank of America tower, glowing green with it’s Argon tubing. It felt like I had arrived in the future from an old science fiction film, everything aglow.

This is where my most recent (but surely not the last) journey through Texas ends, but I cannot feel properly finished describing Texas’ diversity and complexity of climates without noting that in high school I had the pleasure of living in the city of El Paso Texas, which many of you may know is much further west, right on the edge of the western panhandle on the border between the United States and Mexico.

Here you find yourself in an environment of sand and heat, with a culture much more influenced by it’s close relationship with Mexico. For me it is a testament to the way that Texas really can surprise you with what you may find within it’s borders. Remember when they say things are ‘bigger in Texas’, they mean it and mean it well.

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