South Texas is just so beautiful.
I have been doing a lot of driving around during my free time here just south of Bandera, and the one thing that just keeps impressing me is the beauty of all the open countryside around here.
There are all sorts of different types of road, ranging from Interstate highways and state routes to ranch roads and farm roads. When I drive back and forth to Bandera most days so that I can get cell phone reception to talk to Nicole, I’m traveling on a two-lane road called Ranch Road 1077.
I see the prettiest sights in the distance, and I keep stopping my car to take pictures. By the time I leave here at the beginning of July, I fully expect to have hundreds of shots with no people in them on my memory card.
Texas may not be quite as diverse as California in its landscapes — they’ve got nothing like the Sierras here — but there is a lot more of those landscapes in the largest state in the Lower 48. I haven’t seen the beaches yet, but I’ve pretty well decided that sometime this month, I’ll drive down to Corpus Christi and check out the Gulf of Mexico.
Actually, I’ve been planning my trip home around one of my lifelong dreams.
I’ve written before that I want to see a baseball game in every major league city before I die, and I thought I might have a chance to add six more cities on the way home (looking at “the way home” loosely). I thought I could go through Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, but the Astros, the Royals and the Padres won’t be at home at the right time.
And actually, I’ve sort of done San Diego already. I saw a number of games at the old Jack Murphy Stadium, although I would like to see the lovely Petco Park before we move east.
For now, the plan is to see the Texas Rangers play the Chicago White Sox on July 2, the Colorado Rockies play the San Francisco Giants on July 4 and the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Chicago Cubs on July 6.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Coors Field in Denver.
I have seen baseball in Denver, at Mile High Stadium, but it was Triple-A ball in 1988 when the Denver Bears played in the International League. Major league ball came to Colorado after I left; if Denver had enjoyed National League ball when I was still there, there’s a really good chance I might never have moved away.
Getting to these three ballparks means that the old cities west of the Mississippi that I haven’t covered will be Houston and Kansas City. I also still need to get to Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Tampa and Miami to finish the deal.
Then, of course, I still need to get to Cooperstown too. The Baseball Hall of Fame is pretty close to the top of my list of places I still want to see in the world.
Not this trip, though.
Someday soon maybe.