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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Summer Travel Plans

Pulaski County

Have you planned your summer? I love thinking ahead and planning for future trips. By the time spring arrives, I always have several trips on my agenda.

We plan to leave Texas and head to Kansas City in mid-May. Our first trip, to St. Louis for a graduation, has me salivating over photo ops. I know we plan to visit the old historic St. Charles, MO. We've driven I-70 more times than we can count, but we've never taken the time to explore. Can't wait for this one!

Hopefully, this trip will also give us an opportunity to detour to Elephant Rocks State Park again. We visited years ago and I fell in love with its beauty and history.

On old Route 66
in Pulaski County
In early June, I fly to Indianapolis for CrimeCon 2017. I'll be joining Joyce Faulkner and Micki Voelkel and a couple of Micki's friends for this fun event. Although Joyce is working on a true crime story with two others - JB King and Sandra Linhart - I will be searching to improve my knowledge for fiction only.

Following the conference, we head to Pulaski County, MO, to introduce the anthology from last fall's Pulaski County History Crawl. Can't wait to revisit one of my favorite places. The history, the landscape and the people add up to a great place to visit. I plan to visit Cellar 66, ( and of course, learn more history at the Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville (

The Clayton Home in
downtown Ft Smith
The next weekend will find us in Ft Smith, AR - another favorite place. I had a marvelous adventure there last summer and am looking forward to discovering more about the area. We can't wait to see all the new street art (part of the continuing The Unexpected Project) that well-known artists painted after our last visit. Oh, and we plan to enjoy some great restaurants.

Bricktown Brewery,
Ft Smith
Check out my previous posts on The Clayton House at and how the Arkansas River defined Ft Smith history at Also check out Joyce Faulkner's three best bites at

Then it's home for a couple of weeks (maybe I'll sneak in a day trip or two), until we head to Colorado the first part of July. I can never say enough about Colorado - home to friends, family, wonderful memories and incredible natural beauty. I hope we take the time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park again. (

The rest of the summer is unscheduled at this time, but I hope that soon changes. There's so much of our country to explore and so little time!

I'm ready for the challenge!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Traveling across Texas

There are several routes to travel across Texas and they all have two things in common. One, they are long and two, the diversity is amazing.

I've learned that one of life's greatest blessings is to focus on the journey and not just the destination. This is especially true when traveling.

From Texline to Brownsville, one sees a whole country in one state. From the mountains on the horizon and the ranch lands at the Texas/New Mexico border, we passed wind farms and a herd of pronghorn antelope before reaching Amarillo. Just about 20 miles from town, we discovered Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a natural wonder that is all the more amazing because it is totally unexpected. Check it out at

From there we founds miles of cotton fields - a surprise for me because I thought cotton grew in wetter, more humid climates.

We passed the WASP Museum in Sweetwater
( We had visited the museum on an earlier trip. The photos and stories of the women who served are fascinating and well worth the visit.

Mid-March brought the beginning of the wildflower season. I know if we'd been a couple of weeks later, we would have seen more, but the ones we found were stunning. I love the colors.

Although we didn't stop in San Antonio this trip, it is definitely a highlight of Texas. From the Alamo and the River Walk to the old missions, there's lots to see.

For those of you who have traveled I-37 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, you know how growth is happening. Not so many years ago, there was nothing between the two but new stores and restaurants are cropping up.

In Robstown as we turned on I-69, we stopped at Taqueria Jalisco for a delicious dinner before driving the rest of the way. Along 69, enjoy the wildflowers and occasional palm trees that tell me we're getting closer to the Rio Grande Valley. Even checking out the progress in turning US-77 into an Interstate (I-69) is fascinating. One of my favorite rest areas is on this stretch of highway.

We finished our drive home in the dark, but woke up the next morning amidst our palm trees, blooming prickly pear cacti and lovely Rio Grande Valley home.

Life is good!