Podcast 29 – “Big Bend” July 2016

BigBendPodcast

Tune in this episode as we talk about our recent trip to Big Bend. We share some tips on what to expect at the park, preparation to go the park and tips on choosing and enjoying activities while at Big Bend. If you are making plans to head to Big Bend, you won’t want to miss this episode!

We love your questions or feedback on the show…so if you have comments or questions you’d like us to address or topics you’d like us to feature, email us at: podcast@thedaytripper.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!

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This endeavor is generously supported by Mighty Fine Burgers Fries Shakes.
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Explore Texas: 13 Stunning Nature Parks

Natural Parks

From giant canyons and towering mountains to majestic sand dunes and intriguing caves, Texas is home to a wide range of natural wonders and you never have to travel far to find them. To celebrate the beauty of this great state and help you discover the awe-inspiring landscapes of Texas, here is a list of 13 State and National Parks. Now go explore!

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guad3

About 60 miles north of Van Horn, TX, you’ll find the tallest peak in Texas! Atop Guadalupe Peak, which sits 8,749 ft. in the sky, you’ll get the best view of Texas for miles and miles around. The trek to the top of the peak covers a grueling 8 miles and can take 6-8 hours to complete, but it’s worth it once you reach the top (watch our trek here). For those who can’t make this hike, there are tons of other things to do at this national park including birding, hiking (they’ve got over 80 miles of trails – including handicap-accessible trails) and backpacking!

Lost Maples State Natural Area

When the nights get longer and the leaves start turning in October and November, the place you need to be is at Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, TX. At Lost Maples, you can hike along the limestone of the Edwards Plateau and bubbling Sabinal River surrounded by the breathtaking bright orange and red fall foliage in the maples around the trails. Be sure to check the Fall Foliage Report before you arrive.

Caprock Canyons State Park

http://www.toddwhite.org

Texas is not flat (which you already know if you’ve watched our Turkey, TX episode), and at the Caprock Canyons State Park, you can roam massive, rocky, red-orange canyons. The Caprock Canyons, as well as Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo, are a part of the Llano Estacado where the flat Texas land dips into gorgeous canyons. As you explore this rugged terrain, you might just spot the Official Texas State Bison Herd, direct descendants of the preservation herd Charles Goodnight started in 1878. It’s also a great place to horseback ride, mountain bike, fish and, of course, feel like you’re a cowboy in an old Western film! 

Blanco State Park

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In Blanco State Park exists one of the most underrated swimming holes in Texas, The Blanco River. The calming blue waters flow right through the middle of this park and cascade into dozens of waterfalls over the dam, making it the perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer day or fish for trout or bass when the weather is too cold for a swim. There are also great nature trails for hiking along the river. View our time at this park here.

Big Bend National Park

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Big Bend National Park sits on the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert right next to the border of Mexico and near Terlingua,TX, It includes the Chisos Mountains with the tallest point, Emory Peak reaching up to 8,000 ft. There are so many stunning sights to see in this park like the famous Balanced Rock, a giant boulder balancing atop two stones, or the Santa Elena Canyon, a 1,500 ft. limestone canyon towering majestically over the gently rolling Rio Grande. Big Bend National Park is the perfect place for hiking, mountain biking and backpacking as it is the largest expanse of roadless land in Texas, but they also have scenic drives ranging from smooth, paved roads to primitive, dirt roads for those that prefer to drive. Check out this view from atop the South Rim.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

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The Monahans Sandhills State Park looks more like it belongs in the Middle East rather than the middle of West Texas in Monahans, TX. You can explore the miles of ever-changing sand dunes on foot or by renting a sled at the park office for “sand surfing.” At the visitor’s center, there are also hands-on activities for children and windows overlooking a waterhole for observing wildlife. Check out our time at the park here.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, TX is the second largest canyon in the United States (the Grand Canyon being the largest) and a must-see spot for every Texan. As a part of the Llano Estacado, Palo Duro contains rocky ridges that plunge down 800 ft. into  beautiful canyons and rivers. (Check out our time at the canyon here!) The park has over 30 trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding through the colorful canyon and contains a variety of wildlife that only call Palo Duro Canyon home like the Palo Duro Mouse and part of the Official State Longhorn Herd. And don’t miss the famous Lighthouse rock formation! While you’re near Amarillo, check out the Historic Route 66!

Mustang Island State Park

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There’s nothing better than a State Park that you can make a splash in! And at Mustang Island State Park in Port Aransas, TX, there are miles and miles of open beach where you can swim, float or even build a sandcastle! If you’d rather explore than splash, paddle the Mustang Island Paddling Trail - the 20 miles of trails pass through waters that are great for birding and fishing. Either way, enjoy some good ol’ fun in the sun!

Davis Mountains State Park

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For an amazing view of Fort Davis, TX and the surrounding town, visit Davis Mountains State Park where you can hike or bike this West Texas mountain range that was formed by volcanic activity over 25 million years ago (you can see our time at the park here). Check out the epic sights like Frazier Canyon and The Sleeping Lion formation. Also in this mountain range is Baldy Peak, the fourth tallest peak in Texas at 8,379 ft. And if mountain climbing isn’t your thing, you can also stargaze at the McDonald Observatory or explore the Indian Lodge which was built in the 1930s and is still serving guests as a hotel.

Caddo Lake State Park

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Caddo Lake, in Jefferson, TX, is one of the most eerily beautiful sights in Texas. Don’t come expecting wide expanses of blue sky and open lake waters because Caddo Lake is actually more of a swamp that sits along the Cypress Bayou where you’ll find watery lanes slowly twisting and turning through thickets of tall Bald Cypress Trees and marshy backlands. The whole sight is awe-inspiring. Caddo Lake is a great place for fishing (the 26,000-acre lake contains over 70 species of fish), paddling and just admiring the East Texas wildlife.

Old Tunnel State Park

This State Park in Fredericksburg is one of the strangest in Texas. The park, which is the smallest State Park in Texas, features a cave that was built by Fredericksburg residents in 1913 to provide a faster trade route to San Antonio and ran until the 1940s. In 2012, Texas Parks and Wildlife discovered the abandoned railroad tunnel housed a colony of over 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats, and bought the land to preserve the colony. The park is open nightly May – October so visitors can watch the bats fly out of the cave in search of food. There is also a half-mile nature trail where you can view the various wildlife that call this habitat home.

Brazos Bend State Park

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At this State Park that is called “The Home of the American Alligator,” you can get up close and personal with gators. Brazos Bend contains 5,000 acres of diverse ecosystems like forests, wetlands, swamps and coastal prairies. Throughout the park, you’ll find animals like Armadillos and American Alligators living in their natural habitat. Activities provided by the park include self-guided and guided nature tours, hands-on exhibits about wildlife at the Nature Center and fishing.

Longhorn Caverns State Park

The cavern was formed by an underground river meaning it has smooth, carved stone instead of stalactites and stalagmites. One room is full of colorful crystals! Yet, the Longhorn Caverns State Park’s human history is just as amazing as it’s natural features. The largest rooms have been Indian tribal council rooms, a speakeasy, a church and more! Legend holds that famous outlaw Sam Bass buried treasure in these caves and  LBJ had an emergency bomb shelter. Spend the day exploring the caverns and uncovering history on one of their many guided tours

The HISTORIC Route 66 Road Trip!

ROUTE 66

Here at “The Daytripper” we love road trips, and there is no road trip more iconic than Route 66. So we’ve created the Historic Route 66 Road Trip to remind you of the good old days when folks were driving cross country to chase their dreams and the journey was just as fun as the destination.

Route 66 was paved in 1926 to carry travelers, tourists and dreamers, alike, from Santa Monica, CA to Chicago, IL, and since we’d never ask you to leave this great state, our road trip will take you along the historic route from the Texas town farthest west, Glenrio, east to Shamrock, TX. And while Route 66, itself, doesn’t exist anymore, this road trip passes along where it used to be and where nostalgic treasures still remain. So crank up those tunes, roll down your windows and cruise!

HERE’S THE MAP

MAP66

Destination 1: Ghost Town – Glenrio, NM-TX

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

Your first stop is actually in New Mexico…but it’s also in Texas (confused yet…?) The ghost town lies across the New Mexico-Texas border. Settled in 1905, Glenrio had a liquor store in the New Mexico side of town (where alcohol was allowed) and the post office on the Texas side (but no bars — Texas was dry at that time.) It is also one of the only Exit 0′s in the country. Though you’d never be able to tell from the now eerily abandoned buildings, this town was a hot spot in the Route 66 days.

 

Destination 2: Midpoint Cafe – Adrian, TX

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

This little diner is a Route 66 legend. Built in 1928 and located exactly halfway between Santa Monica and Chicago, it provided the perfect place for travelers to relax along the route, and 88 years later, it’s still doing just that. Midpoint Cafe serves up classics like fried bologna and juicy burgers and contains a Route 66 Souvenir and Antique shop. Most important of all are their “ugly” homemade pies that taste heavenly.

TIP: The next town you’ll pass through is Vega, where you’ll find the strange Dot’s Mini Museum, a little room full of quirky artifacts from the historic Route 66 collected by Dot, herself. The Cowboy Boot Tree that sits in front of the museum is both odd and beautiful.

 

Destination 3: Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX

CadillacRanch

This art installation was originally “planted” by the art group “Ant Farm” in 1974 on billionaire Stanley Marsh 3′s property. It’s become a famous must-see attraction in Texas and no road trip would be complete without it. Be sure to bring spray paint so you, too, can leave your mark!

PHOTO OP: About 25 minutes away from Cadillac Ranch, is another art installation paid for by Stanley Marsh 3 and created by Lightnin’ McDuff called “Huge Pair of Legs” that was modeled after an Egyptian statue. These feet may not be along Route 66 (it’s at 4743 W Sundown Ln.), but it’s weird enough that it’s definitely worth visiting.

Destination 4: Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum – Amarillo, TX

RV Museum_Edit

There’s nothing better than a long family road trip in an old-timey RV, and while you can no longer travel in such style, you can visit the RV Museum to learn all about these classic trailers. It’s great place to get your mind in that yesteryear-frame-of-mind as you continue traveling down the historic highway.

TIP: Hungry? As you pass along Route 66 through Amarillo, there are plenty of places to eat like the Golden Light Cantina (the oldest restaurant in town, built on Route 66 in 1946)  in the Historic District on 2906 SW 6th Ave. Of course, we’re a fan of the Big Texan Steak House, view our encounter with their giant 72 oz. steak here.

Destination 5: Lile Art Gallery – Amarillo TX

Photo by Lile Art Gallery

Photo by Lile Art Gallery

If you were looking at Cadillac Ranch and thought, “Man I wish I could wear that” then this is the place for you. Bob “Crocodile” Lile takes chips of paint that have fallen off the iconic cars and through a process of buffing and UV lighting, makes them into beautiful jewelry he’s calling “Cadilite.”

Destination 6: US Route 66 Sixth Street Historic District – Amarillo, TX

Photo by  Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail

Photo by Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail

While you’re in Amarillo, take a drive down the actual Historic Route 66 which is now SW 6th Ave. It still contains buildings from when this was the central part of town as travelers trekked across the country in the 20s like The Nat which was once an indoor pool and then a ballroom where Duke Ellington performed. It’s now an antique shop. You’ll also find Amarillo’s Route 66 Store and tons of live music venues and restaurants along this road.

Destination 7: VW Slug Bug Ranch – Conway, TX

Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail.

Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail.

This next destination is especially helpful if you’re losing at the “Punch Buggy” car game. Just like Cadillac Ranch, this lesser-known car art installation features five Volkswagens that have been buried nose-down in the ground and left for every tourist with spray paint to leave their name. And unlike Cadillac Ranch, chances are it won’t be packed. Find it next to the Conway Inn and Restaurant (9696 Interstate 40).

 

Destination 8: Giant Cross – Groom, TX

Photo by Tony Hisget

Photo by Tony Hisget

In Groom, you can spot this 190 ft. cross looming over the land from the freeway. This structure which is a part of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries, is actually the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere.  As you continue through Groom, if you see a leaning water tower, your eyes aren’t tricking you. It’s the “Leaning Tower of Texas” that was built before the cross with a 10-degree lean as a marketing ploy to attract visitors to the small town.

TIP: About 20 minutes after you leave Groom, you’ll come across the I-40 East Rest Area at Mile Marker 129 , which is an attraction in itself. It is built to resemble an old building from the 1950s and now has a Route 66 Museum (as well as actual restrooms) inside…what more could you need??

Destination 9: First Phillips 66 Station in Texas – McLean, TX

Phillips Station_Edit

Built in the early 1920s, this little house was the first Phillips 66 Station in Texas. It has since been restored by The Old Route 66 Association of Texas. It is no longer a working gas station, but it is a great place for a photo op! You can find it at 219 Gray Street.

Destination 10: Devil’s Rope Museum and Route 66 Museum- McLean, TX

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail

One side of the museum is dedicated to barbed wire, with everything from barbed wire types to barbed wire sculptures. The other side is the largest Route 66 museum in Texas featuring over 700 artifacts like the original cow from Amarillo’s Big Texan Steak Ranch, road signs, advertisements and more!  Find it at 100 Kingsley St. And while you’re in town, check out the Cactus Inn — a motel built in 1956 that’s still hosting travelers 1950′s-style!

TIP: As you drive through Lela on your way to Shamrock look out for the RATTLESNAKES sign that was once an advertisement for the famous Regal Reptiles Ranch, a famed Route 66 attraction until the 80′s. The sign is on the corner of Donley and First Street.

 

Destination 11: U Drop Inn Cafe – Shamrock, TX

Photo by Keith George

Photo by Keith George

This 1920s art-deco style building is one of the coolest sights along Route 66, and possibly the most well-known site along the route in Texas, thanks to the 2006 Disney animated-film Cars, where it was featured as Ramone’s House of Body Art. U Drop-Inn was built in 1936 and was a service station and cafe. It is now a visitor’s center, museum and gift shop.

YOU DID IT! Our attractions stop here, but Route 66 continues all the way to Texola, OK taking you through Benonine, TX. If you aren’t done “getting your kicks,” you can continue riding the highway all the way to the end of Texas (or even Chicago…)

Podcast 28 – “Talkin’ Texas July 2016″

Talkin_Texas28

Tune in this episode as share what we’ve been up to for the past month including filming in Conroe, Boerne and Big Bend. We also talk about other Texas oddities and news including…

  • Flesh eating bacteria on Texas beaches
  • Alligator wrestling in Houston
  • Anthony Bourdain invades our turf
  • Texans in the Summer Olympics
  • …and more!

In our Texas Music minute, Bree Wagner from KJ 97 in San Antonio and KVET 98.1 in Austin, features an up and coming band called The Last Bandoleros.

We love your questions or feedback on the show…so if you have comments or questions you’d like us to address or topics you’d like us to feature, email us at: podcast@thedaytripper.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!

iTunes
Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.
Stitcher

This endeavor is generously supported by Mighty Fine Burgers Fries Shakes.
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Dive In: SCUBA in Texas!

SCUBA_header

You may be planning your vacation to finish out the last weeks of summer (and you’ve probably already finished the Ultimate Swimming Holes Road Trip by now), so you’re wondering what to do next to keep cooled off. Well, this year you can skip the pricey tropical getaways because we’ve got you covered! All the sunshine, exotic sea life and crazy adventure you need is right here in this great state! Here is a list of just a few of our favorite SCUBA Spots across Texas to help you DIVE IN!

Athens SCUBA Park – Athens, TX

Just half a mile from the Athens, TX square, you’ll find a glimmering Mediterranean-blue lake full of sunken planes, boats, obstacles and more. It’s a great place for beginners because if you aren’t certified, Athens SCUBA Park can teach you and they will rent you the gear you need. CLICK HERE to watch our trip to Athens.

 

San Solomon Springs – Balmorhea, TX

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The San Solomon Springs in Balmorhea State Park is a spring-fed, clear-blue oasis in the middle of the desert, and at a constant 72-degrees, it’s just the right temperature to keep you cool. This is the perfect spot for divers and non-divers. If SCUBA isn’t your thing, you can splash near the surface on the shallow, concreted end, while SCUBA divers can explore the rocky depths and natural sea life (like the Comanche Springs Pupfish) on the deep end. Forget your SCUBA gear? The Toyahvale Desert Oasis shop across the street can rent you some. CLICK HERE to watch our episode in Balmorhea.

 

Valhalla Missile Silo – Abilene, TX

The Valhalla Missile Silo is one of the rarest (and most adventurous) places to dive in Texas. In the 1960′s, the silo housed an Atlas nuclear missile but today its concrete walls hold 120 ft of ground water that are ripe for exploration. At 58 degrees, it’s a cold (and not to mention dark) swim, but this Abilene SCUBA spot is a perfect way to dive deeper into the history of Texas. It’s only open to private groups, so call the Family Scuba Center in Midland to make reservations. CLICK HERE to watch our trip to Abilene.

Blue Lagoon – Huntsville, TX 

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Beneath the trees of Huntsville is a beautiful swimming hole with pure turquoise waters and sandy beaches that rival the shores of Cancun. At Blue Lagoon you can spend your afternoon diving to the depths or swim through sunken wooden ships. They even allow non-SCUBA divers in the waters, but the capacity is limited so call ahead. And if you aren’t a diver, they offer SCUBA lessons on the weekends and you can rent gear from them.  CLICK HERE to watch our trip to Huntsville.

NOW HIRING: FALL 2016 INTERN!

Intern Wanted

This could be your desk!! Ever wanted to work for the strangest travel show in Texas?  Looking to gain experience in production, editing, marketing, journalism, and being on set of a TV show?  Well then listen up!

We are currently looking for our next intern for the FALL OF 2016.  Here are the criteria.

  • Must be enrolled in school and seeking credit for the internship
  • Must show interest in aspects of television production (filming, editing, writing, marketing, etc.)
  • Knowledge and/or experience with non-linear editing preferred (Premiere, Avid, FCPX)
  • Must be available to work for 15-20 hours/week at our offices in Georgetown, TX

This is a PAID internship at $8/hour.  If you are attending one the following schools, apply through the links below. All others, please send your resume to tosha (at) hogaboomroad.com.

University of Texas - https://moody-utexas-csm.symplicity.com/students/
Austin Community College - http://sites.austincc.edu/jobs/
Southwestern University - https://southwestern-csm.symplicity.com/

Keep on Trippin’

Texas Loves America: 4th of July Celebrations

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We love Texas (because it’s the best state…) but we also love the good ol’ USA! We’ll never pass up a chance to celebrate America’s birthday and honor the veterans who bravely risked their lives for our freedom. So this weekend, grab your friends, family and lawn chairs and get ready to party at one of these 4th of July celebrations around Texas! This list isn’t comprehensive, but it will get your Independence Day party started!

 

HEB Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks -

Austin, TX

Picture by Roadway Productions.

Picture by Roadway Productions.

Join the folks of Austin for their traditional 4th of July Celebration at Vic Mathias Shores on July 4. Local arts and crafts vendors will be set up at 4 p.m. and the Austin Symphony will perform starting at 8 p.m. Watch fireworks over Lady Bird Lake from 9:30-10 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.roadwayevents.com/event/symphony-july-4th/.

Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration – Granbury, TX

EventPhotoFull_Standard Logo 2

Picture by Granbury.

The town of Granbury is having a weekend-long celebration for Independence Day staring at 6:30 pm on Thursday, June 30th with a concert at Acton United Methodist Church. The festivities continue all day on Saturday and Sunday with events including arts & crafts vendors, a chili cook-off, car shows and multiple live performances.  On July 4, the party kicks off with a “Kiwanis Firecracker 5K” at 8 a.m. and a parade down Pearl Street at 10 a.m. There will be a fireworks show over Lake Granbury at 9:45 p.m. To view the full schedule of events, click here.

Freedom Over Texas - Houston, TX

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The city of Houston is having a huge extravaganza to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th from 4 – 10 p.m. Country music stars Darius Rucker and Eli Young Band will perform, and there will also be performances and games for children at the Walmart All American Kids Zone. In the evening, there will be a fireworks display. Tickets are $8 before the event and $10 at the gate. Find more information here.

Fort Worth’s Fourth – Fort Worth, TX

Picture by  Trinity River Vision Authority.

Picture by Trinity River Vision Authority.

Enjoy floating the Trinity River while watching fireworks at Fort Worth’s Fourth on July 4, from 2-10 p.m. This festival boasts the largest fireworks show in North Texas. The event is free admission all day, and will feature live music from Gary P. Nunn and Party Machine. Throughout the day, there will be flyboard shows as well as an F-16 flyover. Tubes are provided for free on a first come, first serve basis. Click here for more information.

Fourth of July Celebration – San Antonio, TX

Picture by City of San Antonio.

Picture by City of San Antonio.

The party starts early in San Antonio on July 4th. Head to Woodlawn Lake Park for a Zumbathon and 1K at 8 a.m. and a 5K at 8:30 a.m. The Carnival opens at 10 a.m. and a Children’s Red White and Blue Parade starts at 11 a.m.  After the Opening Ceremonies at noon, there will be live music, food and games all day. At 9:30 p.m. the H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza starts. The entire event is free and you can find more information here.

 

26th Annual 4th on Broadway – Lubbock, TX

Picture by Broadway Festivals, Inc.

Picture by Broadway Festivals, Inc.

This weekend is the 26th Annual 4th on Broadway @ Mackenzie so get ready to party. The festivities begin with the Lubbock Friday Art Trail on July 1 and La Raza on the Plaza on July 2nd featuring live performances. Then on July 3rd is a Texas Country Street Dance at the Lubbock County Courthouse Square from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.  Monday, July 4 is filled with events including a Parade at 9 a.m. and Picnic in the Park from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with live entertainment, hot dog eating contests, petting zoos and more! That evening watch a performance by the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock and the Fireworks Extravaganza.

Star Spangled Salute – Midland, TX

Picture by Midland.

Picture by Midland.

The city of Midland is hosting a free celebration at Hogan Park on July 4 with plenty of activities the whole family will enjoy! There will be a Children’s Parade at 10 a.m.. At 7 p.m., kids can enjoy bounce houses, face painting and more at the Fun Zone while parents can enjoy a cold one and live music at the Beer Garden. At 10 p.m., the Spectacular Fireworks display begins. Find more information at http://www.midlandtxchamber.com/events/star_spangled_salute.aspx.

 

Freedom Fest – Nacogdoches, TX

Picture by Nacogdoches Convention & Visitor's Bureau.

Picture by Nacogdoches Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

Celebrate Independence Day with the folks of Nacogdoches at a free festival from 5-9:30 p.m. on July 4 at Festival Park. There will be family friendly activities like a Hot Dog Eating Contest, the “Star Spangled Pitch Off” washer-pitching contest, sack races and more! . The fireworks show will begin 30 minutes after dark. Find more information here.

 

“Coolest” 4th of July – Fort Davis, TX

fort davis

Head to Fort Davis to join this four-day Fourth of July celebration starting on July 1 with a performance by Tumbleweed Smith at 7 p.m. The festivities on July 2 include a Pancake Breakfast to honor Veterans at 7:30 a.m., a Pie Contest, a gunfight and more! The party continues on July 3 and 4 with street vendors, live performances, historical demonstrations and a fireworks show on Sunday evening. Find more information at http://fortdavis.com/2016-fourth-of-july.html.

 

88th Independence Day Annual Celebration – McAllen, TX

Picture by City of McAllen.

Picture by City of McAllen.

McAllen is hosting their 88th annual Independence Day Celebration and you won’t want to miss it! The festivities begin on July 4 with a performance by the McAllen Town Band and Patriotic Program honoring veterans at 8 a.m., and then the Main Street Parade at 9 a.m. Throughout the day, the Freedom Festival will be set up with live performances, games and the Hot Dog Eating Contest. The Little Miss Fourth of July Pageant will take place from 1-4 p.m. and at 9 p.m., the Concert in the Sky Fireworks Extravaganza will begin. Find more information here.

 

Easy Tacos & 2-Ingredient Tortillas Recipe

Tacos_Final_Header

This crew recipe is by our Office Administrator, Tosha:

It’s no secret that “The Daytripper” crew loves to eat good food across Texas.  And y’all know the Lone Star State has some of the best food in the country. There’s BBQ, Tex-Mex and then there are TACOS. Who doesn’t love a taco or two? Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, my family loves tacos anytime of the day.

Tortillas

As a child, I remember my mom waking up early during the workweek to make handmade flour tortillas for our family. They were the melt-in-your-mouth kind and they were THE BEST.  I will never be able to replicate my mom’s recipe as only she has the magic touch.  However, I can promise you a delicious homemade corn tortilla with only two ingredients. Yes, I said TWO ingredients.

Tortilla accessories1

First, you’ll need a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina, 2-cup glass measuring cup, tortilla press and plastic wrap to cover both sides of the press.  

Tortilla and water

Measure 2 cups of Masa Harina and pour into a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add about 1 ½ cups hot water to the Masa Harina and stir with a spoon to the right consistency.  

Tortilla in ball1

Once stirred, shape the mix into one big spongy ball.  

Tortilla on press1

Form a ping pong ball-sized tortilla and place on the wrapped press.

Pressed tortilla1

Press down to form your first tortilla. Repeat this step until all of the tortillas are pressed. You should have close to 18 tortillas total.

Cooked tortillas1

We prefer to cook the tortillas on our round cast iron griddle. Set your stovetop temperature to medium and allow the cast iron griddle to warm before you throw on the first tortilla. No need for butter or oil — just cook the tortillas for 2 minutes on each side. Our griddle allows us to cook three at a time.

You now have tasty tortillas for your tacos. You can stop there or continue to make a full taco with my Crock-pot pinto beans and fresh sauteed veggies recipes below. 

Crock-pot Beans

Mixed Veggies and Beans1There are no beans like Crock-pot pinto beans. They’re a staple in our house and are super easy to make. All you need is a 1-2 lb bag of dry pinto beans (depending on how many people you’d like to feed). Put the desired amount of beans in a colander, rinse well, and put them in the Crock-pot.

Add two garlic cloves minced, a few twists of pepper and cumin for flavor. Stir well and add enough water to cover the beans. Cook the beans on low for 6-7 hours. And the best part is you can freeze the leftovers!

Sauteed Veggies

Sauteed Veggies1Fresh veggies are a big deal at our house. I have two growing boys and good nutrition fuels their bodies. Get ready to cook up zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and a yellow onion for that tasty taco. Don’t forget to season with garlic powder and pepper. You can either saute or grill the veggies, your choice.

Taco plate1

You can combine veggies and beans into tacos. That’s what we do!

I love making real food for my family and the faster, the better. In fact, leftovers are a huge win, too! But there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal.

 

Tosha’s Tacos

Tortilla Ingredients

Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina
2 cups Masa Harina
1½ cups hot water
Tortilla press (or a flat glass bottom pie dish to make perfect circles)
Plastic wrap (to cover top and bottom of the press)

Instructions

1. Combine water and Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Once it reaches desired consistency, shape into a large spongy ball.

3. Form a ping-pong sized ball and place on plastic-wrapped tortilla press. Press down to form tortilla. Repeat process using up all the dough. Recipe makes about 18.

4. In cast iron griddle, cook tortillas on medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side.

 

Crock-pot Pinto Beans Ingredients

1-2 lb dry pinto beans
2 garlic cloves (minced)

½ tsp to 1 tsp ground pepper (we prefer fresh and twisted)
1-2 tbsp cumin

Instructions

1. Combine rinsed pinto beans, pepper, garlic and cumin to Crock-pot.

2. Stir well and add enough water to cover beans.

3. Cook beans on low for 6-7 hours.  Add more water, if needed.

 

Veggies (Sauteed or grilled) Ingredients

1-2 zucchini
1-2 yellow squash

1 bell pepper (any color)
½ or whole yellow onion
¼ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

1. Chop up all of the raw vegetables and sauteed with 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan or grill, if desired.

2. Fill homemade tortillas with sauteed or grilled veggies and pinto beans.

Additional add-ons for your taco:
Cilantro
Cheese
Sour cream
Guacamole
Linsey’s Salsa

 

Dia de Rudy’s: Houston Recap

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In case you missed it, a few weeks ago we did the unthinkable…we ate at ALL SIX Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q locations around Houston in one glorious (and crazy) day! To everyone who came out for “Dia de Rudy’s” in Houston on May 21, thanks for meating with us! We loved hanging out with y’all and eating all that delicious food!

A photo posted by Chet Garner (@chettripper) on

Mmm, there’s nothing like the smell of BBQ at 9 in the morning! We started the day at the Spring, TX location with breakfast tacos and met a bunch of awesome folks.

 

From there it was on to the Tomball, TX location for a nice brunch of spicy sausage.

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And not even bumper-to-bumper traffic could stop us from having a lunch of ribs at the Houston, TX location and a second lunch of chopped beef in Katy, TX.

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We met so many awesome folks and had an amazing turn out across the six locations. Some of the folks made pretty awesome signs, like this one we saw at the Webster, TX location.

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To end the day, we headed to the Richmond, TX location at 3:30 p.m. for an awesome dinner of prime rib and we watched the premiere of the Richmond episode.

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In addition to the awesome Rudy’s swag that we gave folks who won our Bingo challenge and the $50 Rudy’s gift cards we gave to everyone who made it to all six locations, we also gave out a BIG Grand Prize at the end of the day. Using the playing cards folks collected at each location, we played a game of 5-card stud for a $250 Rudy’s gift card. Congratulations to our winner Bryan, who won with a full house!

 

Shout out to the 19 of the folks that were brave (and crazy) enough to join us at ALL SIX LOCATIONS. If you ever need to know what to get at Rudy’s, ask these guys because they are now Rudy’s experts.

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We had such a blast that we can’t wait to do it again! Thank you so much for joining us on this meaty trek and thanks to Rudy’s for having us!

100K FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY!!

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Hey Y’all!
You guys are so awesome that we almost have 100K followers on our Facebook Page!! Thank you so much for sticking with us! To show our appreciation for such amazing fans we are hosting a 100K FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY! When we reach 100K Facebook followers (please like our page here), we will give away 100 “Daytripper” car stickers, and ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive a box of “Daytripper” swag filled with our custom Nalgene Water Bottle, Hat, Pint Cup, 2 Koozies, Journal, T-Shirt and Car Sticker! Scroll down to enter!

SWAG2FOR A CHANCE TO WIN, FILL OUT THIS FORM AND LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

GOOD LUCK!