Prentiss Riddle: Travel

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Texas claustrophobia, and a mystery town

There are times when the miles and miles of Texas feel like walls, not spaces. Memorial Day is coming up and I'll have a few days free but I'm too broke to fly anywhere and just a little too short on time for another Mexico bus trip. I'm having trouble thinking of anyplace within striking distance where I really want to go.

A museum prowl in one of the cities holds some appeal, but I'm freshly back from a family outing to the Fort Worth MOMA and feeling throughly beat up by just those few hours on Texas' bleak and harried intercity routes. I could maybe talk myself into a barbecue pilgrimage but what would I do in Lockhart or Llano once I've gorged? I got my fill of pseudohistorical Texas kitsch years ago. I don't fish so my only associations with the coast are salt, sand and sunburn. I do like a shady freshwater swimming hole, but not when I have to share it with holiday weekend crowds. Notwithstanding the most pleasant May in memory, it's mosquito and chigger season and not my idea of hiking weather. The one outdoor experience which is really appealing would be to get some altitude, but the nearest mountains are 400 miles away.

So I'm feeling like a landlocked castaway: landscape, landscape everywhere and not a sight to see.

I do have one odd thought looming in my mind like my own Devil's Tower. Years ago, on a trip back from Taos, I passed through a tiny town hugging the foot of a spectacular ridge sticking up from the surrounding plains. It would have been somewhere on a meandering diagonal route from Lubbock to Austin, probably on US 84. I've been Googling and not finding any central-to-west Texas towns which claim such a feature. Can anybody think of the place I might be remembering? If I can identify it, I suppose it might be as good an arbitrary excuse for an excursion as any.

travel 2007.05.21 link

Comments

If you're feeling really landlocked hop a quick flight. Two of my favorite quick flights are to SLC and Tampa. This time of year it'd be fun to get on the beach at Tampa.

http://www.aroundaustin.com/2006/03/favorite_flight.html

The missions in San Antonio are also cool

Anonymous • 2007.05.21
Perhaps you're thinking of Round Mountain? A little ways north of Johnson City.

Adam Rice [adamrice cxe 8stars punkto org] • 2007.05.21
Man, you're picky. 281 is too bleak and harried? Round Mountain is on there, but I don't think it's anywhere near what you described. Marble Falls is on that route, too, and I think it's probably the prettiest town in Texas. Take a kayak and dork around in the river. Or take a book and hole up in a cheap motel with some booze. I always find that to be a good weekend.

Scott [scott cxe thefatguy punkto com] • 2007.05.22
Hey you can borrow my sit-on-top kayak if you like and take it for a spin on the lake. A couple of us may go tubing on Barton Creek this weekend as well, if you're interested. It will depend on how well the water level holds up.
Bruce

Bruce [bmccandless cxe longburner punkto com] • 2007.05.22
Post, Texas is likely the town you are looking for. It's right at the foot of the caprock. http://www.cityofpost.com/

Monty • 2007.05.23
I stumbled across your site as I was looking for information on Mexican bus travel from Austin. I’ve found it really helpful.
The feature you mentioned is the Caprock Escarpment. It's really striking how it seems to come out of nowhere as you're driving across the plains.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprock_Escarpment

Chase • 2007.05.23
btw, Colorado Bend State Park is a nice excursion if you're looking for somewhere to go. There are a lot of small waterfalls and swimming holes.

Chase • 2007.05.23
btw, Colorado Bend State Park is a nice excursion if you're looking for somewhere to go. There are a lot of small waterfalls and swimming holes.

Chase • 2007.05.23
I agree this sounds like Post, although I tend to remember the town more for the smell from the drilling - sorry Post folks. This was 15 years ago, so may have improved.

Liz [eahaltom cxe yahoo punkto com] • 2007.08.15
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