Road-Tripping Close to Home

One of the advantages to living anywhere in the Lone Star State is having quick access to off-the-beaten-path drives. The Lone Star State’s network of Farm to Market roads can connect travelers with some of the most scenic places in the state. I enjoy wandering down these backroads where I can soak in the richness of Texas.
Gravel RoadHere is a sample of one of my no-agenda backroads excursions. The starting point was my home in beautiful Katy just west of Houston. I have convenient access to Interstate 10 and from there to Farm to Market roads and even more remote unpaved roads that lead me deeper into the heart of Texas.
BluebonnetMy first stop was at the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site. Founded in 1823 by Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, this little colony was the focal point for issues related to the immigration and settlement of American colonists in Mexican-controlled Texas until 1836. Austin built his only home in Texas at San Felipe de Austin. His log cabin also served as the colony’s land office and became the center of San Felipe commerce.
Austin's CabinFrom San Felipe I headed farther west on my backroads excursion. I enjoy the backroads because there is little traffic and I can drive slowly in order to better appreciate the sights. While driving, I received a Weather Channel message on my phone alerting me to severe thunderstorms in the area. I could see the approaching storm in the distance. The darkening skies created some beautiful light, making all of the sights a little more dramatic.
RR TracksI especially enjoyed seeing the old houses and farm buildings, places no longer inhabited that are slowly losing the battle against time and the elements. Looking at these old houses always makes me wonder about who might have lived there or who looked forward to returning there to visit family or friends on holidays and ordinary days. These old decaying homesteads always remind me that we are here for a season and should therefore make the most of every day that we have.
House and CowsAfter a couple of hours of driving, the thunderstorms finally arrived. There is nothing quite like the smell and sound of rain in the Springtime — absolutely therapeutic. My drive home was slower because of the heavy rains, but I absolutely enjoyed every mile. Although I only spent a few short hours away from home, I was refreshed by the experience.
Old House BarbedYou don’t have to travel far to have an adventure, but you do have to venture out and away from where you are. Little backroads excursions do not cost much and they do yield good returns. I encourage you to find your next adventure on a Farm to Market or gravel road close to your home. It’s a great way to redeem an afternoon and to learn a little more about the people and places that have shaped the history of your area.

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