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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Texas Road Trip Fun by @JoanReeves

I hate to be trite, but there really is no place like home. At the end of this post, you'll find the musical soundtrack to our vacation, along with the YouTube link so you can listen to what we listened to as we drove.

After taking a Texas Road Trip vacation, and driving all the way from Houston to Colorado, I was delighted at the prospect of sleeping in my own bed last night.

From Texas to Colorado

Okay, we truly are road warriors. Most people in Texas are the same because Texas is a big state.

By the time we arrived home, our odometer showed 1,925.5 miles! Of course, that was pretty much 1,925 miles of fun for us, and we may have taken 1,925 photographs too!

Texas has some beautiful architecture, and it's shown in the county courthouses and old churches. Of course, it makes the trip longer every time I say, "Stop. I want a picture of that."

The Hill County Courthouse takes up a square block. Many of the Texas county courthouses do.

The monument in front of the courthouse memorializes those who fought the World War.

When it was erected, there had been only one World War.

Another favorite subject for my camera lens is the water tower. I've got dozens of pictures of water towers from the one painted like a watermelon in Luling, Texas, to the rusty old ones emblazoned with "Seniors...of whatever year."

I made notes about every town we went through because these small towns with their oddities will find their way into my books. Oddities like The Drunken Pig bar, the ranch names and brand symbol on the gateway cross bars, the huge wind farms throughout the sparsely populated areas of Texas, and Rest Areas that are also labeled tornado shelters.

Texas to New Mexico to Colorado

Our destination was my younger brother's home in Colorado. That's it on the left, peeking above the trees on his property.

His home is at an elevation of nearly 8,700 feet. From the road, there are, I think, 5 switchbacks to get up to the house.

In case you don't know, a switchback is usually a 180 degree bend in a road leading up the side of a mountain. At a couple of the switchbacks there were huge piles of boulders, with each one taller than a person.

You can stand on his front deck and look across the valley to the snow-covered rugged peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, 14 miles away.

The Sangre de Cristo is the southern range of the Rocky Mountains. The peaks—most of them 13,000 to 14,000+ in elevation—all have names, and all the locals can point to each peak and tell you the name.

My brother called me a couple of weeks before we left and said he was standing on his deck and watching it snow in the mountains.

We spent the week with him, driving through the mountains and valleys, and I took pictures.

While he drove us to Bishop's Castle or to various other sites like Good Hope Gulch, my imagination was busy playing "what if."

What if a woman found herself kidnapped and hidden away in an isolated cabin in the mountains? What if she escaped? What would she encounter if she tried to make her way down a mountain? Would it even be possible?

Grand Finale

The grand finale of our trip was the High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival.

Billed as "one of America's premier bluegrass events in the heart of Colorado's Wet Mountain Valley," it's held every year at the Bluff and Summit Park in Westcliffe, Colorado.

Oh my goodness. That was so much fun. If you're like me and love jsut about every genre of music, you should go to this Bluegrass Festival.

I discovered musical groups that were totally awesome such as Savage Hearts, a trio of women, and Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, shown above. Wow. Original music...amazing instrumentation...awesome vocals. Seriously. Wow.

Soundtrack for Texas Driving

Of course as a music lover, I put together a soundtrack for our Texas Road Trip. I'm sharing it here with the YouTube link so you can take a listen.

Amarillo by Morning by George Strait

Luckenbach, Texas by Waylon Jennings

Waltz Across Texas by Willie Nelson

If You're Gonna Play in Texas by Alabama

God Blessed Texas by Little Texas

Galveston by Glen Campbell

Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind by George Strait

Texas When I Die by Tanya Tucker

All My Ex's Live in Texas by George Strait

Girls from Texas by Pat Green featuring Lyle Lovett

My Texas by Josh Abbott Band

Dance Time in Texas by George Strait

Miles and Miles of Texas by Asleep at the Wheel

I Can't See Texas from Here by George Strait

What I Like About Texas by Gary Nunn

Blame It On Texas by Mark Chestnutt

Red Neck Mother by Jerry Jeff Walker

This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away by George Strait

San Antonio Stroll by Tanya Tucker

Bob Wills Is Still the King by Waylon Jennings

Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys by Waylon and Willie

If It Wasn't for Texas by George Strait

You Never Even Called Me By My Name by David Allan Coe

Write This Down by George Strait

The Yellow Rose of Texas by Michael Martin Murphey

You'll Never Take Texas Out Of Me by Waylon Jennings

Codigo by George Strait

There's a Little Bit of Everything in Texas by Willie Nelson

That's My Story

That's my vacation story which seems to be mostly about Texas landmarks, photographs, family, imagination, and music.

Joan ReevesKeeping Romance Alive…One Sexy Book at a Time—is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All of her stories have the underlying premise that it's never too late to live happily ever after.

Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband. They divide their time between a book-cluttered home in Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch at night, look up at the star-studded sky, and listen to the coyotes howl.

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  1. My husband and I are flying back to Fort Worth at the end of the month. My oldest son flies with the Texas Air Guard and is being promoted. Texas is truly a unique state, and every time we visit, we learn something new..and eat something different. And, the music? Well, who doesn't like George Strait and Willie Nelson and all the wonderful country music? Fun post!

  2. Thanks, Judy Ann. We took lots of road trips when the kids were small, and we all sang along with whatever was playing. It's a family thing.

  3. Thank you for the grand tour to places I've never been. I've not been any farther west than east Kansas, so this was a treat. I love the ideas for books swarming in your head. And I like your song list. Thank you for sharing. I hope some day to venture in that direction.

    1. Thanks, Laurean. Sorry to be so tardy in responding. I've had an enforced leave of absence from the computer (from my chiropractor). Good to be easing back online.


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