Red Dirt Roads

Last week in a column Leon Hale had a lot to say about dirt backroads of Texas. This week I have photos…

Too bad Kinky Friedman didn’t win the governor’s race. I intended to go to Austin and ask him to proclaim every April Country Roads Month in Texas.

He would have done it, too.

But since Kinky didn’t win, I’ll just go ahead and do the proclamation myself and see if it has any effect.

The aim of Country Roads Month is to get people out of the cities and onto the dirt roads of our state, to roam about, breathe some unpolluted air and get the feel of the land.

I bet we have taxpayers in Houston who’re 40 years old and have never rolled along a country road. If they’ve done all their rolling on federal and state highways, they don’t really know what Texas looks like.

This is shaping up as a good year to get the country roads movement going. We’re having a nice spring. We’ve had decent rain after years of dry weather. The land is happy, and green, and getting greener by the hour.

Within the next six weeks, the Texas countryside will be looking better than it’s looked in several years. So it’s time to move. Stir a little dust.

I’m not talking about driving up U.S. 290 to look at wildflowers planted on the shoulders by the highway department.

Getting out of town to see spring wildflowers is a long-standing tradition in this state, and that’s fine, and I think we’re going into a good year for roadside blossoms. In Washington County, where we spend time at the Winedale place, bluebonnets are early and going strong.

For those who are unsure what a country road is Leon offers this definition…

My definition of a country road is one that’s not paved. A farm to market blacktop where people drive 75 is not my notion of a country road. I’m talking about a dirt road that leads off into the woods and is not shown on your highway map.

I’ve had friends tell me, “Yeah, but who knows where a road like that goes?”

Then take it and find out. Go slow, roll the windows down, experience the country when it’s waking up, turning green, smelling fertile. Maybe you’ll get lost for an hour or so. Good. That won’t hurt. Eventually you’ll come out of the woods somewhere.

I have always followed that advice when out traveling, much to the chagrin of my family. They never know when we will drive a half hour down a back road only to have it end so we can backtrack to where we began.

Source: Hale: Dirt roads are Texas treasures | – Houston Chronicle

Here is one of Leon’s Country Roads in Washington County with some of the blooms along the fence you see to the left in the picture.

More photo’s to come…

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