Field Notes Vol. 1

Updated: May 17

A random round-up of interesting things we've seen, tried, learned and experienced on the way from here to there.


Refreshing, Revitalizing Mineral Wells


Exterior of a vintage sign reading "since 1904/Famous Mineral Water Co"
The Famous Mineral Water Company in Mineral Wells.

We didn't know much about Mineral Wells when we stopped there on our way to Abilene. We were familiar with The Baker Hotel and Spa and were eager to see its renovation-in-progress, and of course, had some knowledge of the history that gave the town its name. But we were delighted to see just how much its mineral waters - namely Crazy Water - were woven into Mineral Wells' identity, from the Crazy Water Hotel to Crazy Water Coffee and The Famous Mineral Water store. (Pro tip, the soaps make great, suitcase-friendly souvenirs!) And, how was the water? We aren't health professionals or nutritionists, just hot people on a long road trip. So, all we will say is that It definitely had a mineral taste to it, and was cold and refreshing!


Murals and More in Downtown Shreveport


images of three painted marionettes tumbling down the side of a building
"Unstrung," by Lynn Laird. Mural in Downtown Shreveport.

We can't stop thinking about Shreveport, La.'s art scene. It is one of our favorite discoveries of 2022, so far. We were only there for one night, in late January, but it seemed like everywhere we turned there was an interesting, whimsical public art sculpture or mural to enjoy. Impossible to pick a favorite, so here are our two: ""Art," a 19 ft. tall Dalmatian sculpture in front of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council's Historic Firehouse Tower (which is also an Airbnb - who knew?!) and "Unstrung," by Lynn Laird.


One Great Shot in Chickasha,Okla.


Sunset on a retro hotel with stucco and a red neon sign
The Chickasha Hotel in Chickasha, Oklah.

Often try to time our trips to be somewhere interesting at the "magic hour," a natural phenomena occurring just after sunrise or before sunset, also known as the golden hour for the warm light it casts. We are not morning people, so our light-chasing propels us toward the evening. It's hard to take a bad photo at this time of day, but we were extremely lucky on a fall road trip from Dallas to Oklahoma City that lead us through downtown Chickasha at just the right time to capture images like this one.


Misc:


Here are a few extra notes, sharing things that stand out for planning and inspiring past, recent and future trips.


When researching our recent trip west, we enjoyed this history of the Baker Hotel, which connects it to celebrities, outlaws and patrons who perhaps never left.


There was so much art to see outdoors in Shreveport that we missed open hours at The R.W. Norton Fine Art Gallery and Southern University Museum of Art - Shreveport, (SUMAS) which houses classical and contemporary art by African and African American artists. Next time!


The Texas Department of Public Safety recently updated its Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas document, a dense but helpful resource that tracks the locations, architectural styles and preservation efforts of historic gas stations in Texas.


We're still thinking about the Peanut Butter Bomb at Neon Coffee Bar in Oklahoma City's funky Plaza District; "The Muffy" at Fertitta's Delicatessen in Shreveport, and the "malt that got away" aka the Malt Shop of Weatherford, which we were too early and then too tired to stop at on our recent trip through Parker County.


I think we need special hats to wear on our road trips, and Shreveport's Caddo Bros. is just the place to get one custom made. I mean...WOW!


Closer to home, we've enjoyed local art stops at the Dallas Museum of Art's Naudline Pierre , "Slip Zone" and "Guadalupe Rosales: Drifting on a Memory" exhibitions and have discovered a delicious new-to-us drink at Carrollton's Tiger Sugar - the Brown Sugar Boba Milk + Pearl with Espresso + Cream Mousse, iced, because well, it's Texas.


Our next road trips take us to East Texas for a family event and a speaking engagement, respectively, so there's minimal planning involved. After that, we are putting plans together for a trip to the Houston area. Stay tuned!

 

Field Notes is a weekly post from K.Co Press that highlights some of the places, views and experiences from our travels that have been on our minds lately. Published and posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram each Sunday or add your name to our email list for future subscription delivery.


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K.Co Press publishes guides and books that celebrate the places in-between. Our debut release "Ten Texas Towns and Places In-Between, Field Notes from the Back Roads," publishes this spring. Get in touch at hello@kcoarts.com.