Texas Trail

Kimberly, Thompson Period 1

Day 1/8 Major

I'm going to go on an eight day adventure all through Texas. I'm going to go to major and minor cities in each region, learning about my each stop. Well I only have 8 days so I better get going on my first stop.

Ok. I finally finished my 4 and a half hour trip to San-Antonio (Gulf Coastal Plains) and boy is it different! I am so excited to be here! Let me tell you all what I see!

It's definitely April in this city! I see people all over San-Antonio celebrating the fiesta. The fiesta is a celebration honoring the people who fought in the Alamo. We'll I guess I have been talking about the Alamo a lot, so let me explain it. It all started on February 23, 1836. Present General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna angered the texans by launching an assault on the Alamo mission, killing all of the Texan defenders. This event was so cruel that it inspired the texans to join the Texas army. They wanted revenge to a point were they defeated the Mexican army. That was a bad time for San-Antonio in 1836.

Now that we're done with that... Oh I know let's go to the natural bridge caverns!!! There beautiful! But I might need to we're a pony tail because it's VERY humid, and it's still very active. Also duck and cover, there are lots of bats, and the last thing you want to do is to get pooped on by an upside down bat. It's also 180 feet under the ground. It's hard to wrap my head around that. We have one of the largest caverns in the US.

It is also black and white when it comes to climate. 2 main climates are dessert and tropical. It can get very dry and very humid. It doesn't rain much in the beginning of the year and the end of the year, but in the warmer/summer months it does rain a bit more compared to the other months. Speaking of warmer months the hottest months in San Antonio is July and August. Well I think I've had enough of this city. Let's move on to a minor city.

Day 2/8 Minor City

Well I'm here in Victoria now. We are still located in the Gulf Coastal Plains. It took me 2 hours and 17 minuets to get here from San-Antonio, and my back hurts. Maybe I should go sit down in one of there many theaters or visit the Nave art museum, they have art cars, and paintings by Marilyn Jolly and Carlos Donjan! Victoria has many theater performances and museums. They don't just have art museums either. They have science museums, history museums, and even MCB showcases to show the heritage of the region.

Now on to getting a better understating of history. I guess I can talk about Fort St. Louis. Explorer Robert Caveleir de La Salle in 1685 wanted to find the Mississippi river and see how far he can go up the river, but he had incorrect maps and navigation issues, so he missed the Mississippi river by 400 miles to the west, off to the gulf coast of Texas. During this error, it got even WORSE. They had to put up with crazed Native Americans, bad sickness, and harsh conditions. La Salle tried sending expeditions to look for it again, but did not succeed. But he did discover much of the Rio Grande and parts of east Texas. He was murdered on his last expedition to the Brazos River. Sad day.

Instead of keeping it depressing, lets talk about the natural sites! There aren't many but there is someplace called the Athey Nature Area! It is ten ACRES! That is a lot of land. Its taken care of by the conservator ship! The point of this area is to keep Victoria Beautiful! It is part of Victoria's park system to. This Area has many species of native Texas animals, plants, and trees! It is so beautiful with all of it green grass, beautiful bright colored flowers, and gravel side walks, and birds chirping, ok I should stop now.

Speaking of being out doors and stuff, let talk about climate. It's considered humid, and in the summer months June-August it is very hot, usually temperatures are more than 90 degrees F. The record is 111 F!! In the spring its mostly perfect or warm, and less humidity. Surprisingly, winter can be mild, but with that there can be HUGE cold fronts! The record is 9 degrees F! But it doesn't snow very often, at all. It snows maybe... every 11 years. In fact Victoria just had there first white Christmas in 2004! But it snowed A LOT. I mean were talking 12.5 inches!On the sever weather path... it happens sometimes. It's mostly from flooding. In rare times there are hurricanes.

Day 3/8 Major City

Now, we've completely moved on to a new region. The North Central Plains. But were visiting San Angelo in the Great Central Plains. I'm at a wonderful Ballet performance. The performance is quite famous, you might know it as the nut cracker! The San Angelo

civic Ballet started in 1983. They have advanced many Ballet performers to a high levee, making them very famous in San Angelo. They have 5 shows of the nut cracker per season to, so they work hard!

I'm wondering about the history of this country. Let me ask someone. Ok this guy named John is going to take the history part from here. "It all started in the year 1632, when Jumano people inhabited San Angelo. There culture succeeded! But it was really founded of San Angelo by European Americans in 1867. This was when Fort Concho was biult to protect the fronteir from crazy people threats. P.s. this was home to the Buffalo Soldiers. Any way, then this dude named Bartholomew J. DeWitt founded the village of Santa Angela by the North Concho rivers. Then the name was adventualy changed to San Angelo in 1883, because the US postal service told them to, because it was incorrect in Spanish. The town Bacame a trade center, for the farmers and settlers close by. It then was designated as the county seat. Because of that, the toen started to grow. This was in the 1880s. I guess people enjoyed the railroads. It even was the regions transportation spot! Another reason San Angelo was populateing is because after the ttuberculosis out break in the US, many Patince came, because at the time the only thing docotrs could say is rest in dry, warm climates.

After all of that info, we might as well teak a break and go to the San Angelo state park! It is very natural. People do all kinds of stuff there! They go camping, horse back riding, mountain biking, etc. This park holds the Javelina pond, were you can get tons of fish! There is wild life here to! Turkeys, deer, etc. Of cource these animals are hunted. This park also helped with flood controll!

I'm sweating out here! It is SO hot! People say on avarege it reaches 100 degrees or higher at least 18 times a year. But in winter, its the complete opposite! It FRRRREEEEZZZZINNNGGGG! It at least gets to below freezinge 50 times, just only in the winter season! Talk about extreme climates! And it rains, sometimes. On avarege 21.25 inches! See you in the next minor city!!!

Minor city Day 4/8

Next stop Graham! We are still in the North Central Plains. Graham is to be known as a western city, cultural wise. It also carries concert series, regional theater productions, they still have there historic theaters (2), and art galleries and museums! They also have a library with over 50,000 books! Back in the day the National theater only produced black and white silent movies, but I guess it is because it was in 1919.

Lets move on to history. The first settlers were the brothers Gustavus and Edwin in 1871. They moved here after the civil war. After that more families came and settled down. As new families started coming the brothers started building homes and making the county more civilized. In 1876 the first courthouse was built. There was even hotels and stores! Edwin Graham died in 1899, his body was brought back to Graham for it to be buried. His wife and her son still funded and improved the city, after her husband died. His wife died in 1929. Ever since then the population kept growing! It tripled than about doubled, over time though.

Ok, lets talk about nature! So there isn't much to talk about nature in Graham but... There are the twin Mountains! People actually live up in the mountains! There are even streets and blocks! People really use the land around them. There is also more land for sale, like maybe for horses, cattle, that kind of thing.

I guess were talking about nature so lets talk about climate! It can get pretty darn hot in the summer! The average high is 97 degrees F! And in the Winter it can get down to on average 30 F! Brrrrrrr. it rains about 31.45 inches, and snows maybe 1 inch. Well That's all I have! Thank you! Lets move on to a Major city, in a different region.

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Graham National Theater

Major Day 5/8

Now we are in a different region. The Great plains! The major city that we are visiting is Odessa! You wont believe this! They built a replica of William Shakespeare's Globe theater! Through out the year they host and preform community performances, and the hold the annual Shakespeare festival! In the festival, what they do is do ongoing performances by Shakespeare! It is pretty cool! If you haven't noticed, I'm a theater kind of gal!

Let see the history of this City! Odessa was founded in 1881 because it was used as a water place or stop, and cattle shopping. There first post office opened in 1885. Then in 1927 it was known as a city. People started to come and populate because of the oil they had. And now we have Odessa! It was pretty simple.

In the nature aspect... There's a Meteor Crater Hike! They say the crater has been here for 50,000 years! Scientist drilled a 165 ft deep shaft because there looking for meteor pieces! I still cant believe that, that crater has been there for 50,000 years! It's very interesting!

Now lets talk about the climate here. Well there elevation is... about 2,922 ft. That's a lot! There average rainfall is 13.6, which is not much compared to the average of the US (36.5 inches) so from this information I could say it dryer here. And its also hotter than most places. The average high in the summer is 95. But it can get down to 30 in January. There sunny day average is higher to. 256 to 205! It only rains on average 39 days compared to the US with 100! If it snows at all it will only snow 0.8 inches. I like snow and rain, so this isn't a good place for me to be in for long! See you in my next minor city!

Minor Day 6/8

We are still in The great Plains, and we are going to visit the minor city Snyder! Lets go to the Western Swing Festival! They have fiddling shows, and even have western songs! They also have amazing food! It’s full out cowboy/girl! Its pretty good stuff if you want to be a western supporter for a little bit! Oh. I forgot the Texas Steel Guitar Jamboree! thats really cool. Come and visit it sometime!

Snyder was named after a buffalo hunter named William Henry Snyder. at first he built a trading post in 1878. Because of that it interested hunters so they decided to come, and then a small settlement started around the post that he built! The county was supposed to be put on a map in 1882 but didn’t until 1884 because it wasn’t organized yet. The population grew to 600 in 1892 because there now was a school, 2 churches, 2 banks and 2 weekly newspapers. The population grew even more in 1907, 2,514, because Snyder was granted a city charter. And then population took a huge jump in 1948, 12,000 compared to 2,514! This happened because oil was discovered in this area! People wanted to become rich! Again it jumped. TO 16000 I guess people were finding out about the oil!

There aren’t any natural sites I can find in Snyder, but… Lubbock is close enough. In Lubbock there is the Prairie Dog Town! If you enter this place, there’s prairie dogs everywere! These friendly creatures can be visited from all ages! If you bring popcorn, mcdonalds french fries, or M&M’s, trust me they will come out! They are all so CUTE!

Lets talk climate now. The average high is 75.7 degrees F. The average low is 49 F! It rains a lot compared to most of the great plains, 22.39 inches of rain fall. It only snows about 1.6 inches a year.

Major Day 7/8

We have now moved on to the great plains. We are going to be visiting El Paso. You know the routine, lets talk about culture. Theirs this one festival called Fiesta de las Flores. It is one of the oldest Hispanic Festival in the south west. It is three days long, and is on Labor Day Weekend. It's point is to show El Paso's Hispanic Heritage and culture. Every year this festival attracts 20000 to 30000 visitors. Some things they do in the festival is crowning of the queen, Fiesta parade, Military appreciation day, and live entertainment! This place also has over 80 booths of Hispanic styled fair stuff to sell! This place sounds absolutely awesome!

The first people to settle here was thousands of years ago. The small village El paso was used as a temporary base for the Spanish Governance, (owned by New Mexico). It was one of the largest settlements in new mexico, until... We (USA) took it (nicely) (Compromise of 1850). El Paso county wan't actually a county until 1850, which is still pretty early. After this happened the US Made a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the 32 parallel. Then more to the west a settlement on the Coons Rancho called Franklin became the center of the future El Paso. About a year later pioneer Anson Mills made his dreams come true and named it El Paso. El paso eventually had the same number of Hispanics as Americans.

A Natural Site is Franklin Mountain State Park. People do all sorts of out door activities there! Hicking, biking, walking, etc! Its 37 miles big of pure dessert wilderness. 125 miles of trails. Camping space and all. It's big. There are even tourist there! You even have to make reservations to go on a tour. Classy.

Now to Climate. It has more of a dessert climate. Hot summers, little humidity, and dry winters. It barely rains to. Only 9.6 inches a year! In the summer there is a lot of mild sever weather. Flash flooding, sever Thunder storms, and hail. There is 302 days of sunshine a year. Because of this its called the sunny city. There are even sand storms. It also does snow in the winter, not sure on the average. As you can see this city has severe weather. Now on to a minor city.

Minor Day 8/8

Sadly this is our very last trip in our adventure around texas. But let sum up our adventure by visiting Marfa. We are still in the Mountains and Basins region. For some culture… Oh there’s the Marfa Lights! It’s right outside of Donald Judd and modern art. Infact, I think Marfa’s most famous for the Marfa Lights! They are clearly visible at night time, when it’s pitch black. You can even see them from a bit of a distance! They have different lighting patterns: They split apart, melt together, reappear, and disappear! It’s really cool! The first record of them is all the way back in 1883! There’s even a festival about them! It’s called the Marfa Lights Festival! These light have even been on live TV, TV shows, and obviously the internet. Now thats cool!

Now lets talk about history!

Marfa was found in the earlier 1880’s. Marfa is the name of the town because it was the name of a wife of a railroad executive. The town populated in the 1920’s. Did you know that Marfa was a training place for thousands of pilots in world war 2? Thats so cool!

Now for nature! I’m so excited to talk about this because it’s so cool! It’s called the Big Bend Ranch State Park! This park has 238 miles of trails! Is’nt that crazy?! People go hiking, biking, horseback riding, etc! It’s so cool! Then there’s 70 miles of dirt roads for big four wheeler’s! There’s even 5,500 feet of airstrip! that means you can fly! It’s so cool. Pretty Obviously this is Texas Biggest state park! So cool!

Now for climate! Marfa has Hot summers! The record is 106! The average is 76.5! Marfa also has freezing winters! The record is -2 F! The average low of the year is 42.8. The average snowfall is 2.2 inches. Thank you for going on this adventure with me bye!