Texas is where I want to be. And so I'll go there. Texas brings to mind cowboys and huge cattle ranches. Well, they are there and so is a lot more. I've been temporarily outside so I've got a fire going here. Pull up a log after you get something warm to drink. My horse is happy to be back outside and free, too. All the usual materials are here. I have computer links and my handy, dandy travel guide. If you are ready to explore, then we on our way to Texas.

The term "six flags over Texas" represents the fact that several nations ruled this area over time. And that does not include the Native American tribes that were there before European countries laid claim. First was Spain, France, and then Mexico. Then Texas gained their independence and became the Republic of Texas. After joining the United States as the 28th state, they seceded from the Union to join the Confederate States of America until rejoining the U.S. Whew!

Texas is known as the Lone Star State because they were at one time a country and independent of all other countries. The state fruit is Texas red grapefruit. Texas loves mammals. There are 3 official mammals; the official mammal is Texas longhorn cattle, the small mammal is the armadillo, and the flying mammal is the Mexican free-tailed bat. The state plant is the prickly-pear cactus.

The Gulf Coast Region is along the Gulf of  Mexico. There are about 625 miles of coastline for water lovers. The warm gulf waters just invite you to come in for a swim. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to see whooping cranes in the winter. San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in Deer Park is where Texas won its independence from Mexico. Spindletop is the first oil well in Texas.

The Big Bend Country Region is filled with sites you think of when you think of Texas. You'll see rolling tumbleweeds, scrub brush, cactus, and miles of hot, sandy plains. Normally very dry looking, it will explode with plant life after a bit of rain. Big Bend National Park is about the size of Rhode Island. Hiking or riding a horse allows you to observe wildlife and plants of Texas. One of the largest oak forests in the country is found in Monahans Sandhills State Park.

Admission to Texas State Parks is free for children and there are a lot of activities geared to the younger members of the family. And a good family adventure is geocaching. The Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge is at participating parks. They issue a Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge Passport. You can record you treasure findings and learn about the park.

No trip to Texas would be complete without visiting the Alamo. The Alamo was originally a small Spanish Mission or church. After a time it was used as a fortification to defend against native attacks. Santa Anna, leader of the Mexican Armies, led the attack on Texians who had entered the Alamo to fight the Mexicans. There were civilian men, usually slaves, and women and children in the Alamo. 

Santa Anna's troops finally gained entrance into the Alamo and killed all the soldiers there, with the possible exception of two. One young boy was killed when he was mistaken for a fighter. The women and children were taken to safety and relocated. "Remember the Alamo" was the battle cry until the Texians beat the Mexican armies and sent them back to Mexico.

Texas has caverns, mesas, plains, rivers and lakes, forests... you name it. There are so many historic sites. Some are from various armed conflicts. Some have to do with the rich mineral and fossil deposits. Some are ghostly. And all are full of the beauty of nature. Plan your trip using the links below and let me know what you wanted to see first. I'm going to visit Granbury, where they claim outlaws went to hide after they were supposedly killed. I'm going to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park for the trails, a hawk tower, and numerous other outdoor activities. Then I'll spend a night looking for the spooky Marfa Lights.