Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hidden Gems in Texas

Obviousely not George Bush or his family.
They are just one treasure that should be buried.
No jk jk jk lololol
Dinosaur Valley State Park
The combination of limestone, sandstone and mudstone deposited over 100 million years ago turned out to be the perfect preservation tool for some of the world's best sauropod tracks. The tracks indicate the dinosaurs which left their footprints were as long as 50 feet, weighing about 30 tons. The tracks of a theropod (three-toed dinosaur) nearby have left some to speculate that there was a prehistoric smack-down between the two beasts; no evidence remains about which dino won.
Hueco Tanks State Park
At the site of the last Indian battle in the country (Hueco Tanks State Park), you can view astonishing pictographs drawn by Native Americans from thousands of years ago up through just a few decades ago. Rangers can guide visitors through the history of the drawings, or lead the more adventurous in boulder climbing expeditions. Access is limited to 70 people at a time -- so advance reservations are a must during peak seasons.
Guadalupe River
It flows from the Texas Hill Country all the way to the coast, through the scenic towns of Kerrville and New Braunfels, and even merges for a time with the San Antonio River.
The green water of the Guadalupe (Guada-LOOP, as Texans say it) has plenty of places to put a tube in the water for a lazy float, as well as cliffs and trails for climbing and hiking. Floating the Guadalupe is a somewhat crowded affair -- unless you put in below Comfort, where the wide river is virtually empty.
Padre Island National Seashore
At Padre Island National Seashore cars are forbidden, leaving a pristine environment for swimming, shelling, bird-watching and camping. In the off-season, visitors may find themselves sharing the beach with only seagulls and other coastal birds; rangers conduct daily walks and talks on the seashore's unique habitat, which is also the nesting habitat for the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle. A small but well-stocked general store, shower and picnic facilities are available at the visitor's center.
Laguna Madre
More than 600 square miles of shallow waters provide the perfect rest stop for migratory birds, as well as an important breeding ground for aquatic birds. Averaging 2.5 feet in depth, the Laguna is surprisingly easy to navigate with shallow boats; the sport fishing is excellent, while shelling and relaxing on the spoil islands -- the hundreds of little islands dotting the waters -- makes for a peaceful retreat. Some fishing cabins and campsites are available on the spoil islands through local guide services.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Second in size only to the Grand Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long -- and almost 20 miles wide in some spots. It's a breathtaking area for hiking and rock climbing, primitive camping -- or really living it up in a 'cow camp cabin' (little stone cabins which are entirely rustic yet charming and include the modern conveniences of small refrigerators, microwaves, heating and air conditioning units). Every October, there's a 50-mile trail run through the park; 50-K and 20-K competitions are for the less physically fit.
High Island
High Island is actually the highest point on the entire Gulf of Mexico -- 38 feet above sea level. The island is home to four Audubon bird sanctuaries, and it's a safe assumption that even at the lowest point of the migratory bird season, the birds outnumber the 500 or so residents. The island has more than 20,000 feet of beach fronting both the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay and excellent saltwater fishing from one of the local piers or from a boat.
Barton Springs Swimming Hole
Perhaps the most popular swimming hole in the state, Barton Springs in Austin's Zilker Park is still unknown to most Texans. The 900-foot long spring fed swimming hole was formed when Barton Creek was dammed; it has a natural rock gravel bottom and spring-chilled water. There's no uniform depth, but plenty of ways to get in and out of the water, from diving boards and natural rock formations to jump off of, to ladders for climbing out if you're too weary to swim back to the shallows. Just be sure to check for depth signs before plunging in.
Big Bend National Park
It's hard to imagine that an 800,000-acre natural wonder can be considered a hidden gem, but when it's in the most remote part of West Texas and very few visitors venture to it, then it can indeed be called unknown. Those who make the trek find excellent hiking, camping and exploring, moving from a mountain environment that's the stuff Westerns are made of, to the wide expanses of the Rio Grande, to the high desert. Floating the Rio Grande is an excellent way to take in the park's natural beauty -- not to mention cool off after a hike; star-gazing is excellent from any campsite.
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
The 2,000-acre refuge was created to protect migratory birds who paused in flight to rest along the banks of the lower Rio Grande, and soon became home to all kinds of other species, from butterflies -- there are over 300 species of butterfly at the refuge -- as well as the rare indigo snake to the endangered ocelot, plus bobcats, coyotes, and, of course, armadillos. This abundance of wildlife can be viewed from the 12 miles of foot trails throughout the refuge.
So yeah.
I honestly thought this article would be about real gems.
Like rubies, sapphires, emeralds.
But this is what you get in America.
You gotta love it. -_-
Oh yes!
I almost forgot!
There has been a 15% increase in tourism in Cuba.
Yay Cuba!
It's probably because Fidel Castro is out.
Thank gosh for that.
I was going to post the whole article.
But It was short and boring.
And I was sure you would much rather read this instead!
No jk jk jk lololol.

No comments: