Texas Road Trip Adventure

By Sam Webb

Day 1: Houston

Houston Space Center

I have just made it to Houston, TX. I woke up to very humid weather that had a nice wind to it. I instantly visited my first stop, the Houston space center. Houston at the space center you can see many shuttle crafts, a model of a spaceship, and even have lunch with a real astronaught! It's amazing to be in a percice model of a real spaceship. They are a lot taller in person. But I don't have all day, and next, I'm going to the Houston car art museum.

Houston Art Car Museum

The Houston art car museum is a very cool place for anyone to go to experience the culture of the city. While there, I saw many cars that all have a story of there art. The art and story of the city of Houston. Although the museum is small, it is a great place for any tourists to go. The museums mission is to raise awareness of everything cultural of Houston in an art from. Now, I'm visiting a natural site of Houston.

Buffalo Bayou

I'm visiting the 18000 year old river of Buffalo Bayou. It is a 53 mile long river flowing east and into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a slow moving river covered by shady trees. Sun shines on this shady river all 53 miles through! It is Houston's most interesting natural site and riding in it flat would take a long time down 53 miles. There are many walkways near it, and you can ride in it 53 miles down!
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Day 2: El Paso

National Border Patrol Museum

In El Paso, there are many places to visit. But the coolest Historical site is the National Border Patrol Museum. It is the only museum in the U.S. of it's kind and covers all history of the U.S. border patrol. From times all the way back to the old west, You'll be there for a while. I got a guided tour, so I got to see everything. Guns from so many different time periods. It's crazy the difference of hundreds of years in the guns we have made. There are many paintings there of historical events in El Paso. There are also many vehicles like jeep and helicopters "hands on"

Franklin Mountains State Park

The biggest and best park in Texas is the Franklin Mountains State park. It rises up to 7192 feet tall! Unlike most other parts of Texas, it is tall mountains. After entering, you would have no idea your in El Paso. The park is completely in city limits. The nature there is amazing. It has many small animals such as birds and lizards everywhere. There is camp sites if you'd want to go camping in this huge park. Along with birds and reptiles, there also small marbles. The sky is filled with many hawks, golden eagles, and even some falcons. At night it is home to many bats and owls. It is diverse from any other places in Texas. The vegetation is like that so of the northern Chihuahuan desert.

Ciudad Juarez

To completely understand the Hispanic heritage of the El Paso area I'm crossing the border to a Mexico border city Ciudad Juarez. there are many restaurants, boutiques, and the amazing cathedral of Our Lady Of Guadalupe, which is almost 350 years old! It's very dry in this area, and it gets little rainfall. It doesn't get super hot through the year, but it definitely feels hot. I only got to be here for what felt like a very short night. The food felt very similar to the rest of El Paso but nothing close to Dallas.
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Day 3: Fort Worth

Fort Worth Cultural District

Fort Worth is humid and can be wet. First, I will be going to the cultural district. It is a old school place a few minutes away from downtown Fort Worth. It has a border of paved bricks and trees. The area is crammed with everything you would think an old west city should look like. There are many theaters and art museums. The cultural district has many souvenir shops and lets you experience the oldness of the city. It shows the difference of it and it's close city partner, Dallas. Seeing downtown Fort Worth is amazing, there are some areas where you can buy a house and feel very luxurious.

Livestock Exchange Building

Next I will be visiting the Livestock Exchange Building. Located in the Fort Worth stockyards, it was built in 1902 as a center for cattle traders. It is now part of the North Fort Worth Historical Society Museum, which has artifacts from the beginning of development of Stockyards. It was the central location for all activity in the stockyards. Although it probably used to smell horrible because of the livestock, now it looked like a professional museum. This small thing is over all a big thing for this city that is young compared to other cities I've visited so far.

Fort Worth Nature Center

The Natural site I'm visiting is the Fort Worth Nature and Refuge canter. At 3621 acres, FWNC is one of the largest city owned nature centers in the U.S. There is over 20 miles of hiking trails! Going along all these trails gives access to many amazing natural wonders to be found in this area. I chose to get a guided trip from there education program so I could learn more about it. If you think you've been on any type of hike before, your wrong. with 3621 acres of land to cross, with my time I barely got to see anything though it was still amazing. This natural history of Fort Worth will always be preserved. You see so much wildlife there that you may have never seen before.

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Day 4: Amarillo

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Amarillo isn't as hilly as El Paso, but it definitely is a lot more than east Texas. The Amarillo climate is sunny for most days and gets 20In of rainfall a year.

The first place I will be visiting is the second largest canyon in the country. Only behind the Grand Canyon. I will be going around it on foot, so I can expire nice it all slowly. I went down many hiking trails and also biking trails with the bike I rented there. The best part about it is the nature study and watch area. It's the part of the canyon that has the most nature and wildlife. You could also go horseback riding in the huge canyon, but I didn't have time to do that. But I did see many horseback riders pass me. Eventually I made it to the top of the canyon, and the top view looking down is amazing.

Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

The historical site I am visiting is the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. It is Texas's largest historical site and it has so many things to do. With exhibits based on 14,000 years ago, and a life sized old time pioneer town. One of the best art exhibits in Texas, with pictures made 14,000 years ago. There are many exhibits on petroleum history, because Texas has much of it. It has new exhibits coming out every month. But my favorite one is the life sized recreation of a pioneer town. Having the feeling that your actually there is awesome to me, and that's why I think it's the coolest. Even with all the exhibits I went to, there are still many, many more to visit.

Cadillac Ranch

The Cultural Site I will be visiting is Cadillac Ranch. It is public art sculptures located in Amarillo. It consists of Cadillac cars stuck in the ground head first. It was created by two architects who really liked Cadillac cars. Although it's located on a private property, it is suggested that you go through an unlocked gate and visit them. People bring spray paint, and spray them to make them look colorful. Over time they have changed from there original color to an amazing hoard of graffiti. It is visible from a highway which looks on to the private property. Cadillac Ranch has been recognized by Pixar's Cars movie made in 2006. It depicts a Cadillac Ranch as a mountain range.
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Day 5: Pasadena

Pasadena Heritage Park and Museum

The climate of Pasadena isn't cold but it has an average of 80 degrees. It gets very little rain and never gets more than 4in of rain a month. The Heritage Park and Museum is a great opportunity to learn and see the rich history off this old city. First thing you see is the many antiques from the old settlers of the city. You can also hear truly amazing stories about the history of the city and how it became the growing city that it is. I learned that Pasadena started as a small agricultural outpost over a century ago. But by far the most important thing about this city that is overlooked by many is that Pasadena is the birthplace of free Texas. The city was named after Pasadena, California, because of it's similarities in nature and look. Although the city is relatively young, the artifacts shown are from back when Pasadena was first discovered by settlers.

Galveston Bay

My next site Galveston Bay is connected to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a mix of ocean water and fresh water so it holds many animals. It used to be a major shipping center until recently when it wasn't needed anymore. After the shortage of needs for a port, it was reopened and now produces the second most sea food in the nation only behind Chesapeake. The Bay is fed by the Trinity River and the San Jacnito River. The bay covers 600 square miles and spreads through much of Galveston. Because of the mixed waters it gives a big home to marine life such as crab, shrimp, oysters, and many different fish. The different channels provide habitats for bottle nose Dolphins that feed on fish life. The surrounding freshwater lakes are home to many craw fish. Animals on the wet lands around the area include alligators and bobcats. The birds that surround the area are the yellow rail, purple gallinule, and the pelican. The climate is very humid and sunny and summer temperatures surpass 90 degrees often. It gets over 40in of rainfall yearly, it rarely snows.

Pasadena Convention Center

The Pasadena convention center is the heart of everything that goes on in the city of Pasadena. It holds everything that comes to the city. From trade shows to conventions, festivals, sporting events, farm shows, or anything else. But most of all the Pasadena convention center is home to everything cultural and agricultural in the area. The Pasadena convention center also homes rodeos that holds up to 4000 seats. It also has over 100 acres with parking, restrooms, electrical outlets, and water connections. The Pasadena convention center was modeled off the Pasadena convention center in California. Which the city is named after.
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Day 6: Borger

Hutchinson county historical museum

The Hutchinson Historical Museum is a museum that has a mission to preserve everything historical in Hutchinson county area. The museum collects, preserves, and exhibits principally the artifacts, materials, photographs, ephemera, and everything else that has to do with early development of the county. I learned that Hutchinson county used to be a huge oil town in. The early 1920s. Although it's not huge on oil now, it is still one of the areas main money makers. I also learned that farming and ranching is huge in the area and dominated the economy for over 40 years from 1900 to 1940. The population was 721 in 1920 and rose to over 15000 with the oil boom in the mid 1920s. Farming and ranching are still a huge part of the economy today and drive it forward as the city hopes to get greater.

Lake Meredith

Lake Meredith is one of the most hidden and unknown lakes in Texas. Not only does it home hundreds of different animal species, but it is almost as if it is a hidden oasis. It is looked down on like a haven from grassy fields above. The river has cut 200ft canyons, where humans have lived for over 13000 years. It is a place where the first humans lived and survived for longer periods of time. There are many fishing areas, like I said before, the nature in the lake just never ends. Not only does the nature thrive in the water, but there are also many deer and others in the spread forests. You can get a tour of the whole location at the center and shop, so you can get a more in depth experience.
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Day 7: Kileen

1st Cavalry Division Museum

Killeen gets an average of about 30in of rainfall a year. It gets semi hot, but not close to as hot as places like El Paso. The 1st Cavalry Division Museum is a museum that has everything western and also everything modern. At first, you see the outdoor exhibits that have vehicles like armored vehicles and air crafts. They have touched the division in a unique way that added more importance to the site. All research is done by volunteers. This is because the museum doesn't have a staff to do so. It holds amazing military artifacts all the way from 1855. You can but a Lewis and Clark travel trunk to carry your very own artifacts with you! To make sure I got the full experience, I got a guided tour. Also I got to meet a first team soldier right when I walked in the door! This museum is amazing and has more sites coming each year.

Miller Springs Nature Center

The miller springs nature center gets you into nature more than any other nature site I have visited. There are many wild animals,and even fossils that you can see right on the riverbed. There are many different areas to visit. The nature area is more of a watch area where you can walk with only a pathway to move around on. But that's why there are other places to go on. There are hiking trails with bridges around them. On the bridges there are open spaces where you can really look at the nature. But not only that, if you like both, you can go on the nature hiking trails. All around you see footprints and other signs of nature and also many moving ponds down into the lake.

Belton Expo Center

The Belton Expo Center is the perfect area for anything you want to do. It holds everything you could think of. From hockey games then ice skating after the game, to concerts, and rodeos too! From shows and conventions of boats, sales, sporting events, arts and crafts, gun shows, and horses. Not only can it hold that but it's home to banquets, ice skating, and any other special event you could think of that goes on in Killeen. But best of all, it is home to the central Texas State Fair! About 25% of the events that go on in the Expo Center are agricultural events. The city of Killeen really takes pride in it's city, it's history, and most of all, it's culture.
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Day 8: Socorro

Magoffin State Historic Site

The Magoffin State Historic Site is a historical site based off the Magoffin family who settled much of Texas and also was highly involved in the military. Joseph Magoffin was the co-founder of the state bank and owned it for over 40 years. He also served as a county judge. He served four terms of mayor. His wife was a social leader and a catholic donations helper. They together had two children. When they moved into the area in 1877, El Paso was a small town. There house was noticeably big as they were very rich by then. The couple was well known in the city because of all the guests they got. Just learning that was almost enough for me but that was just the start of the whole museum!

Guadalape mountains

The Guadalupe Mountains have some of the coolest mountain sides I've ever seen. This is because on the side of the mountain you can see exposed fossils from the eroded mountains. It has extensive hiking trails and many wildlife to see much different from what I've been seeing before. Instead of the insects and mammals there are many more reptiles other than the alligators. This is because it has a much more warmer climate that rarely gets any rain. This extensive mountain/hill way is huge and very unseen by most.

Mount Cristo Rey

Mount Cristo Rey is a huge shrine to Christ and it serves as a shrine to many people. It serves to thousands of faithful in the Western Texas and southern New Mexico area. This amazing monument was mad and dedicated in 1940 although the statue looks amazing. Almost 200 acres were purchased in 1933 to buy this area and it was promised by a priest that it would come as long as every single person in the church was there helping build it. It was blessed in 1934. In 1937 the bishop got his friend to help build as he was a constructor and it was behind on the due date. In 1939 the base was completed and by the end of 1939 it was completed. It is truly amazing walking up the mountain on a long hike to see the amazing statue of Christ. Many people praise it and it is a very important landmark for many families.
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