Contemplating a Roadtrip with Katy


There are a few businesses near us that capitalize on our geography calling themselves a form of the expression “Tip Of Texas”  or “Tip O Texas”  For good reason.  Los Fresnos is latitude 26.0717 N while Miami is 25.7617.  We are precisely as far South as the Fort Lauderdale Airport.

When you live in the Tip of Texas it’s a long way to anywhere.  Which is fine with us, but if you want to go wandering from there get ready for a long drive!

With a plan for Katy and Mike to bring some of our stored furniture down at the end of January we’re looking for some plans for places to spend a little time and the options are daunting. We think we’ve settled on a rough plan but I want to take a moment to chat about this humongous state

texas-regionsSome other time we’ll talk about comparative state sizes, but for now look at the way the Texas Dept of Tourism divides the state.  You’ll note that these “regions” are convenience regions. A visit to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website will quickly show you that there are many more specific ways of dividing up the state based on geology, climate, plant life, etc.  But for my purpose these 7 will serve nicely.

Here at the Tip we are still in the Gulf Coast region and we share a lot with the likes of Galveston and Corpus Christi and South Padre Island.  For example — we get a fair bit of fog here at least this time of year.  And we get some of that haze that sometimes goes along with coastal areas.   But with a huge western backdrop of landmass we also get cooler weather than, say, Fort Lauderdale our Eastern Cousin.

texas-subregions
Nothing’s simple here. The regions even have SUB-regions this place is so large!

I’m a Texas novice.  I admit that.  I drove through a lot in my trucking days.  I drove through a lot in my photo days.  I never succeeded in wrapping my head around the distances, the travel times, or the geographical variations.  For example, it’s common, I’m coming to realize for people to talk more in terms of how many hours to get some place, rather than miles.  With higher speed limits (My poor CR-V has never gone so fast in it’s life!) the grass doesn’t grow under a texans wheels…. they are spinning way too rapidly!

We have made recent (the last 5 years) trips through the Gulf Coast, the Piney Woods and Prairies and Lakes regions.  The piney woods seem the most Wisconsin like — if I were looking for a place that resembled “home”, but we are not.  San Antonio is down there in the South Texas Plains. As best I can tell, Austin is “in” Hill Country.  It’s all names in my brain right now, I don’t have a real visual recall of different parts of Texas yet.  Which shouldn’t be surprising — I’m sure some lifelong residents of Texas never get to that point — nor do they need to.  It’s just my way of coping with geography.

By not moving to Texas until this point in life we have given ourselves a home base from which we can put on a lot of miles while getting to know our sort-of-new-home.  It might happen that our spontaneous wanderings are more confined to one state than they would have been if we had taken an apartment or condo in Milwaukee at this point.  I’m not sure Texas will ever satisfy my cravings for travel.  But I intend to give it a good shot at trying.

There’s a lot of what (at the moment) I consider desolation in this state.  It’s good for oil wells but there are mile after mile of parched earth to be found here, and infinite miles of sparse cattle pasture, to say nothing of land that’s too dry even to support the grasses that cattle feed upon.  Moving here is like moving to another nation very much unlike Wisconsin.

For now, I need to get out the atlas, research some of the attractions in Hill Country and get ready for some time with our daughter and son-in-law. The time will pass too quickly.  That’s always the case.  I’m hoping for warm weather at the end of January and beginning of February so they get to enjoy a break from winter.  We’ll get a chance to try out our guest bedroom! 🙂

So, there you have it.  We’re getting settled in, beginning to think about what we’ll be doing now that we’re spending more time in Texas, and looking forward to the next chapter.  Thanks for stopping, and do so again tomorrow why don’t you. I’ll be here.

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