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From Owls to Eiffel Tower
Texas Road Trip Story - Barclay and Holly Gibson

by Holly Gibson
Growing up in New Mexico, practically in the shadow of Texas, I have always had an appreciation for the state and its history. During college and after, my father and I took day trips into Texas to take pictures and explore. After I got a job and had to act like an adult, he continued on his excursions and soon began cataloguing old churches, jails, and ghost towns, not to mention the granite Centennial markers that dot the landscape from one end of the state to the other. In 2005 I moved to Oregon and a few years ago, my parents moved here as well. That wasn’t the end of the Texas trips though. Dad is able to go more frequently than I am since he is in that blissful state known as retirement (which I define as being busy with the things you want to do), but for the past few years he and I have met up in the Dallas area and then driven hither and yon taking pictures along the way. This time, we visited family in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and then headed to Weatherford for the night.
Weatherford TX Sunrise

Weatherford Sunrise
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Usually my dad is an excellent navigator, but we couldn’t seem to get out of Dallas that night. We made numerous u-turns, missed several exits, and took many we shouldn’t have. I’m sure it was the fault of the GPS, and after about two hours of “recalculating," we rolled into the outskirts of town. My dad was positive we saw three different In-N-Outs, but I still think we saw the same one three times.

The next morning we met friends at the Weatherford Cafe and had a lovely breakfast (and saw a stunning sunrise). Then it was on to Boyd to see more friends and then to Denton to see another old Carlsbad friend. It was after leaving Denton that our photography trip began. We saw the tin-roofed museum at Greenwood, the old bypass bridge near Leo, the old general store in Rosston, hiked to two remote centennial markers near Bowie, and went inside churches in Windthorst and Scotland.

Bowie TX Centennial marker

Bowie Texas Centennial marker
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Montague County TX flags and bluebonnets

Bluebonnets in Montague County
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Windthorst TX - St. Mary's Catholic Church

Windthorst TX - St. Mary's Catholic Church
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Wichita Falls TX - Lucy Park

Wichita Falls - Lucy Park
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Wichita Falls was our destination for the day, and I was so excited to see all the Cracker Barrel signs. I somehow moved to one of only four states that does not have one. Obviously poor planning on my part. We took more pictures until the light was gone and then it was time to go back to the room and get ready for the next day. Friday we visited Nocona and saw a Shirley Temple/RC Cola mural where Shirley appears to be holding the bottle in the wrong hand, visited Gainesville and Bonham, and ended up in Paris. It turns out that every first Friday of the month local collectors bring in their restored vintage cars for a casual car show in the town square. I’m not sure if town square is the proper name for it, but that’s exactly what it was, complete with fountain. We saw some beautiful cars and chatted with the owners. Then we visited the Eiffel Tower, crowned with a red cowboy hat, and drove around some back roads. The sunset was lovely, as was the rising of the full moon, and there was even an owl in a nearby tree to share the sight with us.

Paris TX Eiffel Tower

Paris TX Eiffel Tower
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Paris TX Town square

Paris town square
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Paris TX Sunset

Sunset in Paris
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

Paris TX Owl

Paris - Owl
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

The next morning we left Paris and visited Ben Franklin and Ladonia. We also happened on a dedication ceremony held by the Frognot Water Co-op of, I believe, a new water tower. Another stop was Garland, where my dad made one of his infamous u-turns to get to an old train depot, and I found that I had a talent for stand-up comedy as I improvised a routine on the spot, complete with a newly found Texas accent. Sadly, the time was soon up and the next stop was Dallas Love Field, but I look forward to our next adventure on the Texas highways and back roads (and more u-turns).

© Holly Gibson
April 16, 2015 guest column
Texas road trip
See also
Texas Road Trip 2016
by Holly Gibson

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