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Category Archives: Texas

Olney, TX

It was raining while I was driving through. At the time I took this picture, though, it had dried up some, but the sky was cloudy and cast a dull shadow across the town. I’ve been through Olney before and it’s one of those towns that, again, is off the beaten path.

It’s been more than ten years ago, but I think there is an “Olney, TX” post on this very blog with an image of an arena. That arena is gone. This is why it’s important to take pictures. When I first came on to town from the East side, I was looking for that arena and didn’t see it. Surely I had the right town. It’s been a long time. Get to church. So what if you don’t go to the Baptist church. There’s another down the street. God is Love. Open your Bible and pray. Perhaps due to Covid there is too high of risk or the church is restricting attendance. Ask if they have an online service.

I like taking pictures of churches. Most of the buildings I photograph are the Methodist churches. It doesn’t matter. I drive by any church and pray. I see the image sometime later and am reminded to pray for that congregation, that preacher, no matter who is there.

About that arena. Who has the story?

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2021 in small towns, Texas

 

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Forestburg, TX

What brings me through Forestburg, for it is far off the beaten path, are my travels between Montague and Valley View. Sure, there is a faster way but this is far more interesting. I had never stopped to take pictures before and this was not much of a stop either because it was raining. The images were shot March 14, 2020 about the time the Corona virus wiggled its way into the state of Texas. The rain hindered our geocaching as well, but we captured a few shots as we passed through.

Unsure of the population there right now, it is under 200. Maybe it’s under 100. Who knows except for the citizens there. Although it was raining and some places closed due to Covid, there was activity in town, mostly trucks passing through. I’ve seen this “Forestburg Museum” before in years past and there were more items situated on the porch then. Maybe it was all brought in due to rain.

At the United Methodist Church on 455, the church windows are beautiful. All churches, in my opinion, should have stained glass windows. But they are expensive items and the care and welfare of the church’s members should always come first. But the windows. The windows. Stained glass windows (most of the time) are a picture from the Bible. Look at these above. I’d love to see them on the inside.

There isn’t much to do in Forestburg unless you farm but there are plenty of places to visit in nearby towns such as Valley View, St. Joe, Muenster, Gainesville. Hopefully, on the next trip, the museum will be open.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2021 in small towns, Texas

 

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Collinsville, TX

It’s where my hair dresser used to cut hair a decade and half ago. She worked in the salon down there on the end on the right side in the first picture. It’s the two story gray building. She was the only one in town, several towns who cut my hair just right and then she retired from clippin’ hair. I’ve always wondered where she ended up. Her name was Cindy. Once in a while (pre-covid), my son and I come down here to Pirate Island for a slice of pizza. The food is/was good but if going at meal time we often waited a while. And this is no significant review of the restaurant. In these small towns where everyone knows everyone else and you aren’t in that mix, you may have to wait quite a bit longer for the servers to chat with the customers who they all know before they get to your table. More than once. But I’ll go back, probably order by phone first if they are still open. This Covid-19 pandemic has changed up business. Next door to the pizza place is Manuelito’s Mexican Restaurant. Fabulous little place and gets busy especially on Sunday’s after church. They are my break from Hacienda, in Whitesboro, who also has a great menu and delicious meals, but when that’s the only place in town, you look for something slightly different and Manuelito’s does not disappoint.

When I shot this picture it was in March when we were all ordered to stay in there were few people roaming the streets. The 377 was busy but it’s the main drag through this town. One can only stay in before going mad and others need to be checked on who are more at risk of colliding with the disasters of this world. There is a cross street down at the end of these string of stores, Hughes. Situated on the south side of the street have been most always a junk/thrift shop or two, an antique store, and if I recall, a small eatery. Was it donuts or catfish? You can find both around these parts. It never fails to run into a friend while browsing through the second hand items in the junk stores. I don’t know why that is but there is always someone I know dropping off or picking up collections of housewares. The things people collect.

Now that I’ve written this, I must return and travel through town to take Collinsville’s blood pressure and learn how it has survived the 2020 pandemic. We pray that businesses have survived, grown, evolved to meet the needs of the community and their citizens. We wish that for everyone. And I’ll have to grab a slice of pizza and a Coke while passing through.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2021 in small towns, Texas

 

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Shafter, Texas

When I couldn’t find a motel in Presidio, I looked north on my internet search and found Shafter and googled “lodging Shafter”. I had no idea this was a ghost town. In fact, I did not know what was there until I arrived while headed north on the 67. This was after I found my lodging on the north part of Presidio. What captured my attention of Shafter were the dilapidated structures on the east side of the road and then ahead a large church building.

Sacred Heart Catholic Mission Church is the church in this town of somewhere between 20 and 30 people. “No Trespassing” signs are found throughout the towns properties but you can park in front of the church. Did I mention the church is on “Church Road”?

Known as the “the richest acre in Texas”, Shafter was a silver mining town in the 1800’s. Much of what is left are stone and adobe ruins and a chain link fence or barbed wire to separate the curious from the ruins. There is a geocache here as well and I decided to drive deeper into town to find it at the cemetery. I watched as a couple appeared around the curve with their dog. They watched curiously as I sat in front of the cemetery in my car looking at the geocaching map. There as too much briar and weeds plus I knew I was being watched. I expect they were suspicious of my presence in this ghost town and feel the need to protect what is there. I moved slowly forward and headed back to the church. Their dog ran ahead of my car and I slowed as I turned left. I waved. They returned the greeting with a distrustful smile. Muggles, we call them in the geocache world. If Covid was absent, I probably would have stopped and talked with them.

Most of the houses I passed in town were boarded up with “No Trespassing” signs. There were a few that looked lived in. I know more live on the outskirts of town.

Headed North.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2020 in Texas

 

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Terlingua Ranch Lodge

Way back when…a couple months ago.

It was the first of October of this year that I decided to start planning on this trip to Big Bend and at that time considered camping. November is a busy period at that National Park because the temps are cooler and the sky deeper blue during the middle of the Autumn season. I’m brave and tough and can handle camping in a tent but I didn’t want to deal with the cooler evenings so I decided to nail down a place to stay if needed. Everything was booked. Well, almost everything that I could afford. Terlingua Ranch Lodge popped up frequently on my search and it seemed nice enough and remote. I wanted to be away from the human race to be honest.

A second reason I chose this time to travel to remote location was avoid the election noise. November 3, 2020 was the 59th presidential election in the U.S. and although I had voted weeks earlier, quietly and confidentially, I had no desire to watch all the commotion on the mainstream media, nor did I want to see what anyone had to say on social media including my friends. With Covid and election season, you learn how hateful the hearts are of those you follow on social media, go shopping with, have lunch with when time and virus allows. Service for my android was poor for most of the trip so this was perfect. I didn’t have much opportunity to read anyone’s mean words.

Did I mention remote? I knew what I was getting when I booked this place and was well prepared but this lodge is about 30 miles off the main highway and that highway is a good distance from any of the entrances to the park. That highway, by the way, is the 118. The speed limit is 45 mph and that is a long drive. I’m glad I found it before it got dark because, well, it gets dark out there and unless you’ve been there, you won’t know if you are in the right place because you lose mobile service at times.

Terlingua Ranch Lodge is at the end of the 30 mile road. It sits on 450 acres of picturesque landscape and some dust. There’s no paved roads once on this property. Internet was decent in my cabin although not real strong. I didn’t watch any movies and there was no TV. There was, however, a beautiful black sky and The Milky Way stretching up over the rocky peak in the picture below. Customer service was superb. The folks at the desk area friendly and helpful. And then there’s the after hours guy. I forgot his name but he’s older than dirt and he’s got a guard he walks around in the evening. It’s a small dog, cute, but it gives us all something to reminisce about. If I remember right, the clerk who checked me in said he’s door is open and he’s always willing to sit on the porch and talk about anything science. But I wasn’t there long enough to make the most of anything. What is important is that I felt safe, the bed was comfortable and I had a hot shower.

The morning I checked out, I walked over to the Bad Rabbit Cafe’ for breakfast and was welcomed and treated like I’d been eating there for the past ten years. There were about five others inside as well and they all knew each other. It was the typical homecooked breakfast, great coffee, and a decent cost. It was a great farewell to this far-off cabin and I would likely stay there again. But that drive.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2020 in Texas, Uncategorized

 

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