There are a lot of things you learn while on a solo road trip across the country. I have driven between Dallas and Southern California many, many times over the past few years. I tend to take I-10 when going West, and I-40 when heading East (or highways that follow along those routes, like Route 66). Here are 10 things I learned about Texas while driving through the Lone Star State…
Texas Fun “Facts”
- Texans can navigate through construction zones with the greatest of ease. Especially in the Dallas area. They can zoom in and out of skinny little lanes lined with orange barricades and barrels- at speeds well above the posted speed limit – without slowing down or missing a beat. But….
- Give a Texan a straight road, a 75-85 MPH speed limit and wide open spaces, and they lose all ability to drive. I’m not sure how it happens, but I can drive for dozens of miles without seeing another car… then come across two cars that are glued side by side at a an annoying 5-10 miles below the speed limit.
- The majority of my time in Texas over the years has been in the very flat, very beige area surrounding Dallas. Hating flat expanses, I had always heard that “Hill Country” was the place for me. While it is true that this part of Texas has scenic rolling hills, they are nothing compared to what I found in “Big Bend Country”. Home to the highest elevations in Texas – I think this is the real “hill country”!
- Speaking of Big Bend, Big Bend National Park is one of the largest, yet least visited, national parks in the lower 48. It is known to be a haven for bird watchers, hikers and star-gazers alike.
- Texas is quite geographically diverse. From the edge of the Great Plains to coastal beaches you can experience canyons, mountains, basins, forests and more. Of course the state is larger than every country in Europe, so it should have some land diversity.
- For being a state that borders Mexico – it is difficult to find great Mexican food in Texas. Instead, they serve Tex-Mex – which is just a meat-laden bastardization of what was once good food.
- The area around I-20 between Midland and Odessa is a mess! Seriously – I have never seen so much litter along the side of a road. It is disgusting. I think they should take some of that oil refinery money and a bit of that Texan pride and clean up a bit.
- Likewise – Cadillac Ranch. I love stopping at Cadillac Ranch, and do so every time I drive through. I think it’s fun to see the new designs spray-painted on by countless visitors. But come on…. take your cans and trash with you. Better yet – bring a trash bag with you and help clean up after the slobs that were there before you. I do.
- I have always known that Texans take their high school football seriously. (I was once at a high school game held at the Cowboy’s new stadium that had tried – and failed – to beat the record for highest attendance for a high school football game. There were more than 40,000 people there.) However, driving through the state and seeing the size of their high school stadiums really drives home the point. They rival the size of many college stadiums.
- Texas is HUGE. When driving from Dallas to San Diego, half of your trip takes place in Texas. You are only half way there when you reach El Paso.