Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sherman Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Sign, Sherman, Texas, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
The Sherman Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Picture taken July 4, 2010.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
This is my first road trip review. This is another new thing I am incorporating into this blog.
This is my review/recap/etc. of my recent Big Country Road Trip on July 1-3.
First of all, I had no idea they called this area (Sweetwater, Abilene, etc.) the Big Country. Even though Abilene is only 3 hours away, this was my first visit to the Big Country. I had always known this area as the Panhandle Plains, but all the news stations, stores, people out there call it the "Big Country". Based on my research, the Big Country seems to strecth out as far as San Angelo and Lubbock, Sweetwater is approximatley in the center (I could be horrifcly wrong, this is knda a guess). Anyway, I see why they call it the big country. It is BIG. Very spread out. When I was driving in the Ft. Phantom area, looking up at the endless blue sky, it really made me realize just how huge this state really is. Populatin wise, Abilene is no bigger than the DFW metro city of Irving. Yet Abilene rivals Dallas in terms of land. And it's not all urban. It's hard to believe you're in a city of 100,000 people in some parts on the north and south sides of town. Anyway, that's just a little taste of the Big Country expirience. Now here is my recap/review thing.
Day 1: July 1, 2011
Left Coppell at about 10:00 a.m. First stop of the day was in the county seat of Eastland County, Eastland. Took a few pictures in downtown, and started my final hour of the 3 hour journey through the hills that line I-20. I usually HATE interstates, but I-20 west really impressed me. At one point I was so high up my ears were popping. The hills were beautiful. I was surprised when I entered Abilene, because I had just through some beautiful cliffs, and I didn't expect the thing I saw once I was out from in between them to downtown Abilene. My first impression of Abilene was, pretty cool, old. It very much reminded me of a mini Birmingham. I decided to start the trip by walking around downtown and taking some pictures. I parked at the old T&P station and my journey began.
There are certain angles things that really capture my attention and make me think, man that would be a GREAT picture! I had already seen a few at the depot. First off, the clouds the whole weekend really helped certain pictures stand out, they really helped me so, Thank you clouds! The first cool building that captured my attention was the old Grace Hotel building (now a muesuem) across from the station. It had one of the coolest signs i've ever seen, and the clouds were on my side when came to photographing this wonderful old building. I continued my trek around downtown, stopping here and there for pictures. Then came the Paramount Theatre.
I had been really excited at the oppourtunity to go inside this grand old theatre, but little did I know that this would turn out to be one of the most paranormaly active places I had ever been. Right when I walked in, I had a feeling that I wasn't the only one in there. In my very first picture I got 2 orbs, and from there on, almost every picture I took had some orbs or some other weird thing in it. At one point I had to press the power button on my camera 6 times for it to turn on! Another odd thing, my friend was taking pictures with a 5 megapixel Iphone, and I was using a 14 meagpixel camera, yet his inside shots were much clearer and had no orbs. Mine on the other hand, took very dark pictures and had many orbs and hard to explain things. That would be the first place on what turned out to be my biggest paranormal trip ever.
After that, I was ready to check out some more places, so I decided to drive 45 minutes to the west to the "Wind Energy Capital of The World", Sweetwater, Texas. Driving into Sweetwater the first thing that intrigued me was the abandoned Palmino Motel, which had a really cool old sign. I walked around downtown Sweetwater, it's streets lined with old buildings, the courthouse tying everything into place. After downtown, I decided to venture to the west side of town where I found the second abandoned drive-in theatre i'd seen in Sweetwater. It made for another good photo. I made one last stop in Sweetwater, and that would be historic Avenger Field. I got a few pictures there and then headed back to Abilene to check in at the Holiday Inn (my favorite and just about the only place I will stay on my trips). After checking in I had dinner at a downtown restaurant called "Cypress Street Station". It's in an old building built in 1919. My food was very good, i'd give it a solid A. My top three travel restaurants: 1. Hondo's Fredericksburg, Texas. Best restaurant EVER. 2. County Seat Lampasas, Texas. 3. Cypress Street Station Abilene, Texas. Well, that concludes night 1. Now onto day 2...
My first stop on my second day was Anson, Texas. County seat of Jones County, 24 miles north of Abilene. The main reason I came here was to take some courthouse pictures and see the dirt road where I was going to see the infamous"Anson Lights" later that night. After Anson, I went to a place that is said to be one of the most haunted places in Texas, Fort Phantom Hill. In fact, the soldiers who now haunt this place named it Phantom Hill because they saw phantoms during the night! This may have been the highlight of the trip. What a cool old fort, it was just amazing. You could almost feel the ghosts. In some spots it would be horribly hot (it was 100 degrees), and in tohers it would feel very cool. At the old Hospital ruins, I asked for the spirits to make a sign, to throw a rock. About 2 mintues later as I was in the middle of taking a picture, I heard a rock hit the chimney behind me. And it was very cool int this spot. After a few panoramics I headed out to Bufflo Gap. But this wouldn't be my only visit to the fort.
Buffalo Gap was heavily traveled by indians and white settlers in the 1800's, becuase it's in a natural pass in between two mountains. And man is it pretty. You have to beautiful hills to your right and left, so it's basically like seeing the hill country everywhere you look. Buffalo Gap historic village was another highlight. The old village was filled with original buildings from Buffalo Gap, including the old courthouse, train depot, and gas station (my favorite building). After Buffalo Gap, I continued my journey to Abilene State Park.
After taking a few pictures at the state park, I was ready to get back to the hotel and prepare for the paranormal night ahead. I left the hotel at about 9:00 and made a stop at Ft. Phantom Hill again at about 10:00 p.m. I took about 15 pictures. Almost all of them had orbs, and the final two by the powder magazine had a white mist. The weird thing is, my face detector came on in that spot. I'm getting chills just typing this. Anyway, after that I made my way to Anson to see the Anson Ghost Lights.
As I got out of the city part of Anson and into the pitch black country, I started to get that butterfly feeling in my stomach, knowing that I was about to (hopefully) witness one of the most well-known ghost stories in Texas! As I was driving down the pitch black dirt road to the intersection where I would turn around, I could already see sometime type of light in rearviewmirror thorugh the dust. I turned my truck around, flashed the head lights 3 times, and there it was. I don't know how to explain it, it was amazing, that's for sure. At first I thought it was a car headlight, but then it started changing colors and even came towards the truck. To me it resembled a lantern, which is what it is said to be. After about 10 minutes I drove down the dirt road back onto highway 180. But I wasn't quite ready to leave. I went down the road again and this time it was even brighter than the street light next to us, and it came very close! I thought this would be the creepiest part of the night, but I wrong. I wasn't scared of the light at all, in fact I was hoping it would come further towards the truck. However, About an hour earlier at Ft. Phantom Hill, that was creepy. I knew I would have to make one last stop there the following day before I came home.
This was driving back day. However, I found a lot more delays in my drive than I expected. That's a good thing by the way. First I made one final stop at Ft. Phantom Hill. I didn't go inside, I just sat in the truck for a few minutes, and waited. Right when I pulled in, my CD played strated blasting a cd that i hadn't played for months! First, nobody turned on the radio. Ande second, it should have started where my STP cd I was listening to left off, but instead it started a different cd! And it was loud too. After many expieriences here in just 3 visits, i'd say this place is very hanted. I drove back on 180 just to take a different route than I came. I stopped in the small town of Albany, and was pleasently surprised. This town reminded me of Llano, Texas. Nice well kept historic downtown, over all very clean, tourist friendly. I also learned that Ft. Griffin was only 10 miles north. So of course I headed up there to chck it out. Not only did I see the historic old fort and a very scenic overlook, but the nice lady at the fort's hq told us where the original townsite is, and an ole 1885 bridge over the Brazos. Seeing that was the perfect way to end the trip.
Well, that rap's it up... until my next trip!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Happy 4th of July everyone! A big Thank you to all of our wonderful troops fighting over seas. Here is a small little memorial in Jefferson, Texas. Picture taken on July 8 , 2011.
This is the Royal Theatre, located in downtown Archer City, county seat of Archer County. Random fact about Archer County: The devestating Wichita Falls tornado of 1979 formed in Archer County, and it's path was similar to highway 79's into Wichita Falls. This picture was taken September 5, 2010.
Monday, July 4, 2011
The marker for the Clara Cemetery. Other than a church, this is all that's left in Clara. Clara lies on about a 15 mile stretch of ghost town off of 240 running west out Burkburnett. Picture taken September 5, 2011.
Thanks for following, and have a great 4th of July!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
This train depot is now the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce. But plenty of trains still go by this old depot, because of the many mills in Saginaw. Picture taken May 28, 2011.
View from Oakwood Cemetery looking over the Trinity River into downtown Ft. Worth, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
I rarely say this about my first few pictures, but I like this one a lot. My personal favorite part of this shot is the river, which to me ties the cemetery and downtown together. Picture taken June 5, 2010.
Community of Valley Spring, Valley Spring, Texas Historical Marker, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
This is the marker for the very small community of Valley Spring, located to the northwest of Llano.There are certain markers that I really like a lot, I usually don't have good reasons to explain why but, this is one of them. In fact, I used it as my buddy icon for flickr. Picture taken July 20, 2010 in Valley Spring, Texas.
I can't ellyou much about Alabama's history, but this seemed to be an interesting place. There isn't anything there really anymore other then a small convienence store. It was very pretty, TONS of trees. About an hour north of Birmingham. Picture taken May 1, 2011.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I will also continue to work on last year's Labo0r Day set.
This Friday will be my first major trip of the summer and i'm between two places... here is my plan for both, I will have a decision soon.
Possible Trip 1: Take 175 out of Dallas to Jacksonville, then take a short detour to the ghost town of Dialville. Take 84 out of Rusk until you hit highway 96 in Teneha. From Teneha, take 96 south to Jasper, which is where I would stay. I would take pictures along the drive and in Jasper. Places I would visit include Martin Dies Jr. State Park and Lake Sam Rayburn.
Possible Trip 2: Take Interstate 20 (which I learned is actually a very pretty drive, not typical for interstates), until I reach Abiline. Take a lot of pictures in Abiline, visit historic landmarks etc. This is where I would stay. Drive to the historic Buffalo Gap village to take pictures of both historic buildings and scenery. Then drive to Abiline State Park to swim, take pictures, hike, etc. That night visit the well-known Anson Ghost Lights and try and record video if seen. Take some pictures in Anson as well. Also another place I would like to visit is Sweetwater, so I would take some pictures there too.
Well those are my ideas. If you have any input please leave a comment!
Friday, June 24, 2011
This is some machinery from the first factory in Athens. It;s located in a cool road side park that includes some machinery plus 4 markers. Picture taken May 29, 2011.
There isn't much to photograph in Haltom City... it's not exacly picturesque. However these two old motel signs proved my theory that there was nothing to photogrraph wrong, in fact I felt pretty satisfied with what Haltom City offered (I got this some markers and an old theater). Besides, stuff like this is hard to come by in the DFW area. Picture taken June 12, 2010.
Kidd Key College and Music Conservatory, Sherman, Texas Historical Marker, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
Catching up on a few days I have missed, this is the historical marker for the Kidd-Key College in Sherman, Texas. Photo take on July 4, 2010.
Ok, I will be posting some pics, mostly from last year's Labor Day trip. I'm not 100% sure if I will be going on my next road trip this Saturday or next Friday. I should have made my decision tommorow. Keep following for even more updates!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I'm not posting any pics for now, and I probably won't until I get back from my next trip. I got a new camera! My old one was starting to take lower quality pics so I decided it was time for an upgrade. It's another Kodak. My old one got stolen so i'm excited to get a new and even better one.
This Saturday I will be going on my first trip of the summer. The stopping point will be Jasper, Texas. I will take pictures along the way to Jasper along with pictures from Lake Sam Rayburn, Martin Dies Jr. SP, and Jasper it self. Hopefully on this trip i'll get quite a few nature and historic pictures. I will start the Picture of the Day series again tommororw. Keep following for more updates.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Pritchett Normal Institute, Pritchett, Texas Historical Marker, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
This is the marker for the site of the Pritchett Normal Institute in the tiny town of Pritchett. Picture taken October 30, 2010.
Dallas County Records Building, Dallas, Texas Historical Marker, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
The marker for the building that houses the records for my home county. Picture taken on July 25, 2010.
This is the marker for Historic Curtis Field, about 5 miles north of Brady and about 15 minutes south of the geographic center of Texas. Picture taken July 20, 2010.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
In no particular order...
Highway 180 - Weatherford to Mineral Wells
This was one of my favorite drives of the year. It took me through the country side, past many beautiful bluffs, and through two really cool old towns Weatherford and Mineral Wells, providing many picture taking oppourtunities.
Highway 281 - Minearl Wells to Marble Falls
My favorite drive of the year, this took me through many samll towns, past many historic structures, and into the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Cities it goes through include Hico, Hamilton, Lampasas, Burnet, and Marble Falls.
Highway 290 - Johnson City to Fredericksburg
This highway is probably my second favorite route behind 281. It starts in Johnson City, then goes through historic Stonewall into Fredericksburg. The route is about an hour long. This stectch of highway has the second most amount of wineries in the nation behind Sonoma Valley.
F.M. 965 - Frdericksburg to Enchanted Rock
Now that I think about it, this might be my favorite. I don't know they were all good in there own way! This road felt like a roller coaster ride, going up and down hills the whole 19 mile stretch. Enchanted Rock is one of many rocks/hills/mountains in the area, and the views from both enchanted rock and thoe road are spectacular.
Highway 16 - Llano to Fredericksburg
There is not much to say about this route, just another hill country route with spectacular views. Also, you will pass by a few interesting places such as Oxford Cemetery.
Highway 71 - Spicewood to Llano
This highway was yet another beautiful hill country route, that had A LOT of markers and lots of hills and mountains including historic Packsaddle Mountain.
F.M. 701 - South Bend to Eliasville
From one ghost town to another, this route goes through a few miles of country side,and ends at the historic Donnell Mill in Eliasville.
Highway 16 - Graham to Intersection with 281
Yep, Highway 16 is back for a second time, but this time much further north in a much different landscape. This was a nice relaxing country drive with lot's of markers. I'll take that any day over I-35, Dallas to Lewisville.
Highway 281 - Windthorst to Wichita Falls
Another hill country favorite, just further north. This was a nice country alternative to taking a major highway into a large town. I'm not used to taking country highways into large cities, but it was pretty nice actually.
Highway 240 - Burkburnett to ?
I think this was the first time i've seen a sign say "4 Historical Markers next 4 Miles" (it said something like that). I had never felt so in the middle of nowhere before this. I seriously thought it was some other world. This highway goes through about 6 ghost towns in 10 miles, and I think in that 10 miles I got about 8 markers. Not a bad drive.
F.M. 174 - Windthorst to Bowie
This was another one of those middle of nowhere drives, and it was a really fun one, especially in the evening. It really didn't go through anything but farm land, but it was still a nice drive.
And there you have it, my list of best routes of 2010. Be on the lookout for my 2011 list next year!
Old Mineral Wells Post Office, Mineral Wells Texas, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
This is the old Mineral Wells post office, located right across from the historic Baker Hotel. Picture taken June 17, 2010.
Rickwood Field, Home of Barons Baseball, Birmingham, Alabama, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
If you see this old sign, well you must be at Rickwood Field!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
World's Smallest Skyscraper, Wichita Falls, Texas
This tiny building was constructed in 1919 with $200,000 that investors gave to the proposed skyscraper after seeing it's plans. Since they were too busy thinking about money to use common sense, they missed a major flaw.
The architectural plans were drawn out by a Philadelphia scam artist, who drew it out in inches instead of feet. The result is the HUGE skyscraper pictured above, towering 4 stories into the Wichita Falls sky! It's also very wide, 10 foot by 16 foot. Meanwhile those intelligent investors I mentioned earlier, well they couldn't do anything about it, they had already signed the plans. They did get the cost of the elevator back, which was never out in for obviuos reasons. So there you have it, that's how the world's smallest skyscraper came to be.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I still need to finish 175 Roadtrip
I need to start the Glen Rose trip after that
After both of those are done, I will start posting pictures from yesterday's trip to Bonham.
So there certainly won't be a lack of pics anytime soon! Stay tuned for more updates.
This is before we boarded the riverboat to take the Jefferson River boat tour on the Big Cypress Bayou. If you're in Jefferson and have time I highly recommend taking the tour, it was one of the highlights of the trip. Picture taken July 8, 2010.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Everybody's Somebody in Luckenbach! I was actually quite surprised to see how far people have come to visit this true Texas Hill Country town. But know matter how far you've driven/flown to get here, i'm sure most will agree it was worth it.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, Texas, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
This is the historical marker for the Frederickisburg Christan Methodist Episcopal Church.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Being a huge fan of trains and especially trolley's, this was a very cool find! These uncovered tracks go down the sparsley traveled section of Commerce Street near LaGrave Field. I'm not sure if it was part of Ft. Worth's original streetcar system or part of the interurban.
Voca Waterwheel Mill, Voca, Texas Historical Marker, a photo by fables98 on Flickr.
This is one of the more beat up markers i've seen. Taken on my first hill country trip... a trip on which I saw many markers in bad condition, usually on old country highways. This was taken on July 20, 2011 in Voca, Texas.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
This is one of the many small streams that run through beatiful Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. My camera was almost in the water for this one! Picture taken: April 29, 2011.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This was taken at the breathtaking Guadalupe River State Park. Guadalupe SP goes through some of the prettiest spots in the hill country that this river wind around, making it one of the better paks in the state. Picture taken March 19, 2011.
To get to Blue Mound Hill, take either north or south 287 (depending on where you're coming from) and take the Blue Mound Hill Road exit and turn either left or right. Follow until you get to a hill with a white shed on top of it (the one pictured).
Part 2 of Weird Texas coming soon!