Wildflowers decorate the roadways in Texas
Bluebonnets growing in a big field between Marble Falls and Burnet, TX.
A single red Indian paintbrush in a field of bright blue bonnets.
Driving west from Lake Charles, LA., we entered Texas on Interstate 10, drove northwest to avoid Austin traffic and camped in the College Station/Bryan, TX area, home of Texas A & M University. Since we are not on a travel schedule, driving around the big cities is a luxury that we employ frequently to avoid traffic. Like most RV owners, we made the mistake of driving through Houston once before. That won’t happen again.
For the newcomers to this blog, we are traveling from Florida to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. Surprisingly, the speed limit on many Texas two lane roads was 70 miles per hour while most states adhere to 55 or 60 mph. However, we have been on Texas four lane roads where the speed limit was a whopping 80 miles per hour.
Texas, among other things, is known for its abundant springtime wildflower bloom and several varieties including daisies, Indian paintbrush and some bluebonnets were sporadically visible along the route. With luck, we hope to find an abundance of bluebonnets in a couple days in the Texas Hill County which northwest of Austin.
We are old enough to remember first lady Lady Bird Johnson’s successful campaign to beautify America, which included urging the planting of wildflowers along the nation’s highways. Nowhere that we have visited in this country, which includes all but a handful of states and with the exception of Alaska, equals the roadside wildflowers in Texas. Her efforts to beautify the highways through legislation was successful although the final bill was watered down considerably before it was passed by Congress.
Back on the highway the following morning, we are still dealing with nervous Heidi, our golden retriever traveling companion’s problem with road anxiety. Knowing we would be spending the night near Bryan, we phoned a nearby vet and made an appointment. The visit yielded some of those everything is beautiful pills and made traveling the next day a lot more comfortable for everyone. I swear she had a smile on her face.
The campground we selected for overnighting near Bryan was in a nice secluded and quiet location, but treeless and not much grass. Since last summer’s trip to Alaska, we learned to appreciate campgrounds with water, electricity, sewer and green grass. Heidi jumps up and down when we overnight in a campground with a fenced-in grassed dog walk. Our 12,000 plus mile trip through northern Canada and Alaska yielded many overnight stops in dusty, gravel campgrounds, homegrown (generator) electricity, and no grass. The scenery, however, more than made up for the camping inconveniences.
On this trip we have been on the road from Florida eight days and will leave tomorrow for Leander, TX., which is about 20 miles northwest of Austin. After surviving the rain storm in Lake Charles, LA., it was a pleasure today to drive on smooth highways for about 300 miles under beautiful clear skies and mild, comfortable temperatures.
Having dependable wi-fi has also been a surprise in most of our campgrounds, so far. We know wi-fi and telephone signals will be negligible at Big Bend National Park.
We are traveling in a Class C 2015 Winnebago Aspect and pulling a tow car. To date we have logged more than 90,000 miles during the past eight years.
NEXT: Following the bluebonnet trail in Texas