Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Memorial -- Yoakum Fire Department

The Yoakum Volunteer Fire Department set up this ladder truck on 9-11-11 as part of their 9-11 Memorial. I like it very much.

Montgomery-Waller Fire Near Houston

This view was taken on IH10 at the exit for 99 or Grand Parkway, on the west side of Houston.  The big cloud you see is not clouds, it is heavy smoke from the Montgomery-Waller fire northwest of Houston. Here the sun is starting to slip behind the cloud. It soon disappeared from sight and soon came out the bottom again. I drove right on through that heavy smoke and came out clear again on the other side. This was taken on Wednesday after Labor Day 2011.  This fire was not as big as the Bastrop fires were but it was big enough and did lots of damage in the Montgomery County area.

The Wildfires around Bastrop

Smoke hanging in the horizon from the 2011 Labor Day fires around Bastrop, Texas. This view is looking east-southeast from US 183 somewhere around the area where US 21 crosses it. If you look close you can see smoke rising in the distance from what I believe to be the Delhi fire. This view was taken Labor Day 2011 fairly late in the afternoon.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What A Long Strange Trip Its Been

Having been an over the road truck driver myself for several years, I
have traveled a few long strange roads and trips myself.

Caught up with this truck on US Hwy 77 in Refugio, Texas. I am always
looking for trucks that are not like all the other trucks, trucks that
make you smile.

Superman Truck

This 'Superman Racing' truck was spotted on US Hwy 77 southbound
recently. What really caught my eye was the train horn in the back there
on top of the winch. I need a train horn for my little truck. It would
be really cool to get someone's attention with. Maybe even a bit

Highways and Trains

Beautiful ride southbound on Hwy 77 halfway between Victoria and
Refugio. Not a very clear picture of the train. But you can see how fast
I was driving!

Rain Near Wharton, Texas

Traveling eastbound on US59 near Wharton, Texas I spotted this rain
formation. It was a very localized rain as you can still see clear sky
even in this picture.

Corpus Christi Bay

Looking at the shoreline and out across Corpus Christi Bay from a motel
room overlooking the bay. Beautiful evening but still in the record heat
of the summer of 2011. Highs over 100 today across Texas.

You can see a freighter hauling in towards the Port of Corpus Christi.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Colorado River Bridge at Wharton, Texas

The Colorado River Bridge at Wharton

This is a closeup of the truss bridge that crosses the Colorado southbound on Business 59 on the south west side of Wharton.

This photo was featured on VFTC (View From The Cab) blog on June 17, 2011 right here: Tachoblog's View From The Cab.

The Colorado River starts somewhere south of Lubbock, Texas and empties into the Gulf of Mexico through the Matagorda Bay near Matagorda, Texas. It's name also means "colored red". 

For more information on the Colorado River Click here.

Wharton Texas

Highway 60 junction in Wharton, Texas

This view is as you are going southbound on Highway 60/Business 59 through Wharton, Texas. At this intersection left will take you to Bay City and straight will return you to Highway 59 south west of Wharton. 

In the background you can see the bridge that crosses the Colorado River here at the edge of Wharton.  I will have a close-up of this  bridge in my next post.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Milano Texas and country music history

US 79 southbound at Milano
Milano is not a large town that I am aware of. At least you don't see much from the highway. Used to have a truck stop that we used to stop at quite frequently. It had a decent grill that was a good place to eat. But the last time I came by the other day it looked more or less deserted.

The bridge that is visible in the picture is the place where the accident occurred that claimed the life of country singer Johnny Horton back in the day.

All right, "I'm a One Woman Man", I never went "North To Alaska" and "I'm Ready If You Are Willing. It's "All For The Love of a Girl."

Highway Construction

Large beam rests in place in new bridge

This new bridge is part of the new highway that is being built to extend Texas 130, the bypass around Austin, from its current terminus (May 2011) north of Lockhart, Texas where it ends against US 183, to connect with IH10 near Seguin, Texas.

The picture caught my eye because about 10 or so years ago I used to haul those bridge beams. The beams I hauled were manufactured in San Antonio or San Marcos Texas.  We took them all over Texas to highway construction projects.

This is a long beam. We hauled some up to 130 feet in length. That of course is a load that requires a permit. Shorter beams could be hauled on pole trailers or stretch flatbeds without a permit. But longer beams require more equipment and longer trailer capabilities.  Sometime I will catch a picture of a current beam hauler and post that.

I had a little experience one night. We were hauling beams north on IH35 to somewhere in the Dallas area. We were just past Temple (I was the last truck in a convoy of about 6 or 8 trucks.)  A bear spotted me and knew he had himself some real work to do here to take care of me and my lawbreaking. He came up to my cab hollaring at me what I thought I was doing out here at night breaking the law. I informed him that we were permitted and were allowed to drive at night on the interstate. He told me I was all wrong, collected all my paperwork, license and insurance card and went back to his car to write the ticket. In a few minutes he came back, threw everything back in my window and told me to get the *#&^& out of there.   That was it. No "Sorry, I was wrong."  I proceeded on and soon caught up with the rest as my truck could travel faster than the slower trucks in the convoy.

Oh well, it is all part of a days work.

Moulton, Texas

The Friendly Little city
Moulton, Texas is billed as the friendly little city with a heart as big as Texas. That is apparent during the annual Moulton Town and Country Jamboree held every year during the last full weekend in July.

Moulton is a Czech settlement and is about as country as you are going to get in South Texas.

Moulton Texas homepage

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More from Hochheim, Texas

Church in the city of Hochheim
The little Baptist church in Hochheim is still used, at least occasionally.  Not sure if the services are open every Sunday or not. They have Vacation Bible School, which my grandchildren attended. (they live just past where the trees on the right of the road are blocking the view of their house).

This view is looking right down the City Of Hochheim Road and leads right through downtown Hochheim which perhaps sports a dozen homes (more or less), a church and a business.

Hochheim, Texas

Hochheim, Texas

Northbound on US 183 out of Cuero, Texas you will pass through several small used-to-have-beens before you get to Gonzales, Texas which is the next town of any size north of Cuero.

The bigger one of these places is Hochheim which still sports its own little post office seen in the foreground (of the buildings, that is).  It is the smaller building sort of to the left of the larger building which was the old Hochheim Store. Currenty it is being rebuilt and looks like something, perhaps an antique store, is preparing to open for business there. To the right and up the hill is the City Of Hochheim Road.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

John F. Kennedy Memorial Causeway

John F. Kennedy Memorial Causeway
Here I am crossing the John F. Kennedy Memorial Causeway over the Laguna Madre headed to the Intracoastal waterway bridge there in the distance and on to Padre Island.  Construction on this was finished in 1950 and it was the first post-tensioned concrete segmental bridge built in the United States.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fiesta Market

Fiesta Market
This Fiesta store is in Houston where a number of this Mexican atmosphere stores are located. There are a few elsewhere in the state but without checking I am guessing most of them are in the Houston area. They normally serve a growing Hispanic population in the parts of the city in which they are located.

Little Country Church

Little Country Church
It is not the most obvious thing in the picture but there in the distance is a little country church which I spotted the other day. There are a number of these around the state. This one is in DeWitt Country, Texas between the towns of Shiner and Yoakum. 

Houston Skyline

Houston Skyline
I was headed north towards downtown on US 288 when I took this shot while I was following a flatbed loaded with what looked like crane weights. I have hauled such things in the past. I don't know what any of the buildings are called except for Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros (Astros Ball park).
You can just see the curvature of the retractable roof sort of to the right of the photo and right over that exit sign.  Read more about it on that link I provided.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Wildflowers

Spring Wildflowers
I love how these Bluebonnets are growing up right in the middle of this country road. This is not far from our house on a little used road.

Doc's Truck Stop in Gonzales, Texas

Trucks parked at Doc's in Gonzales
Doc's Truck Stop or maybe it is Circle G now, but it used to be Doc's for years is at the intersection of Highways 183 and 97 on the south side of Gonzales. They used to have a little truck stop restaurant there but since the building has been rebuilt, it has been replaced with a modern convenience store/truck stop and has a nice steak house attached to it. 

Trucking along in West Texas

Interstate 10 in West Texas

Yep, another post and photo about Interstate 10 in West Texas. This was mentioned in my previous post but I just had to slap up this photo as it is just another view of the views along 10 in Texas.

The cracks in my windshield (not to mention the bugs) are not enhancing the photo any. But I never promised excellence in photography. This blog is for using shots from my cell phone of views that I might see any day out there and you are seeing them just like I saw them.

West Texas Interstates

Along Interstate 10
This picture is typical of West Texas. Along Interstate 10 in western Texas (where the speed limit is 80 miles an hour, and soon to be 85 if the current bill finds it way to the governor's desk) there are many rock cuts like this one.  Wide open spaces and you can drive hundreds of miles from San Antonio to El Paso and deal with less traffic than probably 50 miles of IH35 around Austin or Dallas. It is a relaxing drive and I always enjoy it.

Oh, and the speed limit. Trucks are limited to 70. They shouldn't be in my opinion. I know many trucks are governed but along this highway, open it up I say. If I understood correctly, the current bill in the Texas legislature will remove the day/night split speed limit in Texas (the only state with such foolishness) and will also remove any remaining truck/car speed limit splits. That will be nice when we all head to west Texas.

Welcome to Texas

Welcome to Texas
This is almost not in Texas but it is Texas. Last Monday I was coming down US 285 from Artesia and Carlsbad, New Mexico enroute to Ft. Stockton, Texas and Interstate 10 and ultimately home. I was following my son who was pulling a horse trailer with his Dodge. He was in the process of moving back to Texas after a sojourn in New Mexico of three or four years. 

This photo was likely shot right on the line as there is a Texas state line sign and then a bit further the huge "Welcome To Texas" sign you see.

Monday, March 28, 2011

West Auction Barn and Restaurant

The West Auction Barn off of exit 351 near West, Texas. The place has a lot of truck parking and a gravel lot. Over the years I have parked there many times and then eaten in the restaurant there. It has generally featured Chech style cooking and used to be a good 24 hour place where drivers could get a good meal anytime of the night. Now the parking is still there but the restaurant is closed at night and doesn't seem to be what it once was.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Port Bridge, Corpus Christi Texas

View from the Port Bridge

This is the view from the Harbor Bridge as you top it going eastbound out of Corpus Christi on State Road 35 heading towards Portland and Rockport.  That is the USS Lexington partly visible on the right. Surfside Blvd. runs along the beach. 

A beautiful spring day during spring break along Corpus Christi Bay. This picture was taken on March 16 this week and the city and beaches are full of spring break vacationers from all over the United States.
Lots of traffic in town, many out of state license plates and motel rooms, if available, were double the normal rate. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Moore Hotel, Moulton, Texas

Moore Hotel

Enlarge this picture and read about the Moore Hotel and local history surrounding the building and restaurant featured in the previous post.

Kloesel's Steakhouse Moulton, Texas

Kloesel's Steakhouse
This is the best and finest steakhouse and/or restaurant in Moulton, Texas. It is along the railroad and less than a block off of the highway.

There is a bit of history surrounding this place. It used to be the old Moore Hotel. My next post will tell you what you want to know about it. 

Farm with Silos

Farm with Silos

This is a very common sight up north in dairy country like Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and the midwest. You don't see many in Texas. But these were spotted along Hwy 21 near Bryan, Texas

Old Railroad Bridge

Railroad Bridge near Bryan Texas
This old style railroad bridge is along Highway 21 between Caldwell and Bryan Texas. You see quite a few of these in Texas, some abandoned and some still in use. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stephen F. Austin Monument, Angleton, Texas

Stephen F. Austin Memorial
This memorial to Stephen F. Austin is along Hwy 288 near Angleton, Texas.  In the picture you are looking north and a bit east along northbound US 288. The highway sign visible is telling of the upcoming Angleton exit.

Apparently it is about a 76 foot statue and was finished in January of 2009.  Here is a link to a closeup photo on Flicker and much more information.

Stephen F. Austin Statue

Here is another link from Roadside America that tells about this place.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boats at Corpus Christi Bay

Boats docked at Corpus Christi Bay
From Ocean Drive another view of the harbor at Corpus Christi Bay. The picture seems a bit darkened and I actually used software to add a little light.  Then I realized that it was taken through my side window in the van which is tinted with the darkest legal tint available for driver side windows.  But it does show another view of Corpus Christi Bay.

Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas

Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi, Texas
A shot from Ocean Drive along Corpus Christi Bay in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Bay is to the left and not visible from this shot.

I always enjoy driving Ocean Drive if I get a chance when I am running around Corpus Christi. A lot of beautiful mansions and estates along this route but at places if you only go a block or so away you are in the poor part of down. I guess that is what water does to a neighborhood, especially if it is something the size of Corpus Christi Bay.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Driscoll Childrens Hospital Corpus Christi, Texas

Driscoll Children's Hospital
Nothing special about this hospital that I know of. I pass it about every time I am doing my run in Corpus Christi. But if your child has ever needed a hospital, then this was and is a special place. Several of my friends and family have had children here when the need arose. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weser, Texas

Historical Marker at Weser Texas
I hope you can read the text on the sign if you enlarge the photo.   This is a community along highway 77A/183 between Cuero and Goliad, Texas. If it weren't for this sign and an actual community limit sign on the highway, the remembrance of Weser, Texas would only be in the minds of a few older people.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Highway 83 road signs near Laredo

Left? or Right?

We make a lot of decisions while we are driving based on road signs. Or at least we used to.  Many people today depend on their GPS units to tell them where to go and which way to turn. 

This is at Exit 18 on IH35 where you are either coming out of the rest area. Turning left and you will head north towards Carrizo Springs and points north. Turning right will immediately merge you along with Hwy 83 onto IH 35 and you are headed into Laredo.  Going straight, oh wait, that is not an option.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Texas Safety Rest Area and Travel Information Center

Texas Safety Rest Area at Exit 18 IH35 near Laredo, Texas
This is a panorama I made from several iPhone photos of the rest area at Exit 18 just north of Laredo on IH 35.  This location has parking for several trucks but I don't ever remember seeing it full. There is quite a bit of truck parking near Laredo at Exit 13 at the Pilot, Flying J and TA truck stops there. And then every major carrier has a terminal and yard near Laredo as well.

As far as I know this is the only rest area in Texas that has this style of architecture. I don't know is it properly known as Mexican architecture or more of a Spanish Architecture.

There is more information about this location here.   For more information on other safety rest areas in Texas click here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Corpus Christi Bay from Ocean Front Drive

Looking at Corpus Christi Bay
When I am  running in Corpus Christi area I usually have a drop that takes me close to Ocean Front Drive. This is always a beautiful place to drive and if you have been watching my submissions to View From The Cab you will have noticed that I frequently submit photos from this area. 

Ocean Front Drive (the cross street in this photo) runs along Corpus Christi Bay from downtown to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and is lined with beautiful and expensive homes and rich neighborhoods. In some parts of the oceanfront, you will only need to leave Ocean Drive for about a block or two and find yourself in a very depressed, almost slum-like part of the city. 

Corpus Christi Bay has been made famous by people like Johnny Rodriguez in "Corpus Christi Bay" and others. I am not sure who the first artist was for "Corpus Christi Bay" as a number of them came up in a Google search. I mention Johnny Rodriguez as he was most often played on the old channel 10 "America" on XM satellite radio (that was before Sirius took it over and destroyed it).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Houston Highways

On the ramp coming from Beltway 8 Northbound onto IH 10 towards downtown Houston. 
The ramps from the Beltway are rather high in Houston's version of the mixmaster at this intersection and you can get quite a view of 10 both east bound and west bound.  But the best picture I got of it yesterday was once I was already down the ramp and by the Gessner Road exit. Along the left edge is the ramp coming from 10 west to 8 north and south. And that must be the Memorial City Hospital straight ahead on the right (the tall buildings.)