When I told folks we were going on a camping trip to Texas, they asked "Why Texas?" I explained, "We haven't seen much of Texas yet." Their response was some kind of grunt that I clearly interpreted as, "You must be crazy!"
| || Texas - Louisiana - Arkansas - Oklahoma |
~ ~ ~ ~
. . . Maybe so.
We've passed through Amarillo, that lonely outpost on the prairie, a zillion times on the way to somewhere else. And I flew to El Paso a couple of times on company business at White Sands. Neither place glistens with breath taking natural beauty or seems to offer history, worthy of traveling so far to see. (Of course, I'm wrong!) But Texas is such a large state, and Texans imply that it's almost heaven. So why not check it out?
A few years ago, Mary and I read James Michener's "Texas." It was fascinating! He told of the early Spaniards, then other European immigrants who came via the "Naches Trace" and by ship. He told of struggles with Mexico and problems with the Comanches. He told of cattle drives and ranches, of oil men and drug smugglers. And in those 1321 pages, he even described in detail the extremely varied climate and terrain of Texas. It was not just about Texas, but about the whole region.
Beyond the curiosity of Texas, was the fact that, other than Hawaii, Louisiana was the only state I had never visited, nor had Mary. When we learned that Melanie, our daughter-in-law, would receive her doctorate at Oklahoma State University in May, 2000, the trip was definitely scheduled and it had to include Louisiana and Oklahoma. We already had experienced some of the scenic hills of Arkansas, a known delight that would easily fit into our path.
"Texlarkohma," here we come!