Emma Meehan's Journey Across a State
Day One in College Station
I spent a couple hours touring and visiting the college. Throughout the whole tour, many, many students at the college were walking around. A&M is a huge public school with even more people than the University of Texas in Austin. The tour guide spent a very long time talking to me about how great the petroleum engineering program is there and also, Texas is known for its oil. (This is actually very important to me because I would like to study there and major in chemical engineering.) A little bit of my tour was ruined by rain; the Gulf Coastal Region gets more rain a year than any other region in Texas.
Once the rain had cleared and the skies were blue once again, I set out into Lick Creek Park for some hiking. Lick Creek Park is not centered very close to the school, so I took a quick ride in the car. At the park, I saw lots of nature; this region in Texas has more of what people would describe as 'nature', but the other regions just have different types.
After my quick visit, I was soon driving north up to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the entire country, Dallas, but on the way, Fuego Tortilla Grill, Tex-Mex food caught my eye and I pulled over, having a bite and then heading down the path to Dallas once again, passing by the College Station Cemetery on the way.
Next stop: Dallas
Day Two in Dallas
I drove to and explored the Trinity River Audubon Center. There were lots of animals, trees, nature and of course the river. Although it isn't technically a nature site because it is a building, its surroundings certainly are. The Trinity River Audubon Center was opened in 2008 and there is a large program trying to develop the area around it for more tourism around the river. I had my second hike on my trip there.
It was just another parade and celebration in Dallas where John F. Kennedy was born until the unthinkable happened; the president of the United States was shot and I went to where it all happened, Dealey Plaza. It all happened on November 22, 1963 at 12:30 PM. The sniper shot at Kennedy and it went through him then into a building. I was visiting the building where the bloody bullet was found.
After the sad tour of the horrible memories that happened in Dealey Plaza, I made my way to my next destination in Dallas: The Dallas World Aquarium, where my mood was completely boosted by seeing cute animals and children happy. They had a wide range of marine life. The location was very convenient because there were many restaurants within walking distance from it.
Next stop: Fort Worth
Day Two in Fort Worth
I started off by going to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, one of the most famous rodeos in Texas, where I saw bull riding, gun tricks, barrel racing, calf roping and many, many fried foods. It includes cowboy songs, trick riding and a throwback in Texas culture which used to be way more common than it is now, especially in large cities such as Fort Worth.
I then went to the Fort Worth Nature Center, the biggest and most well-known nature center in the city. It even has its own legend! People who've gone to it claim to have seen the Lake Worth Monster and tell others to go and see it and for them to hope they are lucky enough to view him. The rumors are that he is a gorilla-like creature except more fierce. I enjoyed the views and the lake before heading off to my next site.
I drove over to the Kimbell Art Museum, a well-known museum because of what it displays. It holds pieces by artists such as Velazquez, Goya, Monet, Picasso, Mondrian and Matisse, ranging from the third millennium B.C. to the mid twentieth century. I spent a while just admiring the works.
Next stop: Denton
Day 6 in Dalhart
Dalhart is home to the legendary ranch, XIT. XIT now has a museum but the ranch sadly does not operate anymore; it shut-down in 1912. The ranch consisted of 3,000,000 acres and it was right across the border from New Mexico. Many of its fields are still there today.
Day 7 in El Paso
(There are fees and raffles necessary to enter the Indian reservation.) Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is one of the two Indian reservations in Texas. If you ask pretty much any Indian living there where there favorite place to hang out in is, they will most likely tell you that the Chilicote Ranch is the place to be. The Native Americans have had this area to themselves since 1680...I don't think they were ever very fond about being pushed into small areas by settlers, but it sure was beautiful because of all of the mountains.
For lunch, I stopped at Indian Cliff Ranch Inc, home to one of the most well-known steakhouses in the area.
Next stop: Marfa
Day 8 in Marfa
Once taking a quick drive through downtown, I drove down to Big Bend National Park and took a tour with a group of other tourists. It is the largest protected area in the Chihuahuan Desert. After the tour, I took my own way and hiked for a bit, just admiring the views and nature.
I soon drove back up to downtown Marfa and ate at Food Shark, one of the most famous food trucks in western Texas, which serves Mediterranean food that has been a little 'American-ized' to make sure there are enough people in the area who would want to eat there.