I just wrapped up a two week vacation and it was marvelous. After the intense Fall and winter, two full weeks of disconnect have been much needed. The only agenda I had for this time off was a week away with my family followed by a week of yard projects that would take an entire week.

I’ve been living in Texas for just under ten years and they have been (almost) ten glorious years. Sara and I actually have our “move date to Texas” as a reoccurring date on our calendar and we celebrate annually. I don’t know what it takes to be a “Texan” or to say that one is from “Texas,” but I’m very proud to live in the state.

In the past ten years, we’ve traveled all over the state from East Texas, North Texas, South Texas, Northwest Texas and all over central Texas. The only place we’ve not spent any time was Southwest Texas. The remote desert area of Texas, home of must see attractions such as Big Bend, the infamous Marfa lights and even the Guadalupe Mountains.

Several weeks ago Sara and I were talking about our desire to see this part of Texas but not really having that in the budget for the next few years. Just a few days earlier, I had gotten an invite to speak for one day at a family camp three hours West of Austin, almost half way to Alpine, TX. The camp was the first two days of spring break, so it was the perfect opportunity to go west.

We spent an entire week out west visiting the small towns of Marathon, Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis (UT Observatory). We even spent one day in Carlsbad, NM seeing the infamous Carlsbad Caverns and as a base camp for climbing Guadalupe Peak (the highest point in Texas).

All I can say is this: I fell in love with Texas all over again. The beauty, the solitude and ruggedness of Southwest Texas was not what I expected and it was incredible. It’s unlike any other place I’ve been. I guess I was headed west expecting to be a little underwhelmed. I knew the mountains would not be the Rocky’s and I knew the desert would not be the barren Arizona landscape one expects when they think of desert. However, Southwest Texas surprised me in a way I just didn’t expect and gave me many more reasons to love the state I reside within. Interestingly, we didn’t even make it down to Big Bend, so we’re planning that trip later this year.

Texas Swimming HolePrada MarfaRoad to Ft. DavisEl Capitan Guadalupe Mountains Roof of Texas