A randomized round-up of interesting things we've seen, tried, learned and experienced on the way from here to there.
Pauls Valley, OK
We stopped in Pauls Valley, Okla. on our way back from Oklahoma City last fall. It was an easy stop off of I35, and is also along the route of the AMTRAK Heartland Flyer. We went specifically to see the Toy and Action Figure Museum, which now houses the collection of my late, great friend who passed in early 2021. Not all of his items were on display at the time, but it was still a fun place to check out. There is so much to see - each exhibit overflows with miniatures, posters, collectibles and other memorabilia. At the same time, each piece was meticulously clean and deliberately placed, so there was a nice order to the chaos. (Which my friend would really appreciate as "bringing order to chaos" was his love language and driving motivation.) The museum is in downtown Pauls Valley, which is a destination in itself with a distinctive look and feel, as well as dining and cultural options.
While small, I would not necessarily categorize Muenster, Texas as being off the beaten path. Many travelers and travel media types stop there at some point for its picturesque main street and German influences. We went early in the year, a cool and clear day, in search of German food and Texas vistas, which we found plenty of. Located in the outer boundaries of the North Texas Hill Country, Muenster is a point where the prairies start to roll a bit. A stop at Fischer's Meat Market for cheese, German mustard and other groceries (no meat for us this time, since we were far from home) and a very large blackberry strudel at Bayer's Kolonialwaren gave us fun culinary souvenirs. We can recommend lunch at Rohmer's, which has schnitzel, sandwiches and more.
One Great Shot In Eastland, TX
We really enjoyed our short stop in downtown Eastland. What I like about this shot, is how timeless it seems. The brick streets, trees and vintage lettering on the weathered sign could be in almost any era.
Here are a few extra notes, sharing things that stand out for planning and inspiring past, recent and future trips.
Independent Bookstore Day was Saturday, April 30. And lucky for us, we found one! But then again, we usually find them. Bookish Cedar Creek, in Malakoff, was hosting a special event that included local authors. What a busy place!
We were excited to stop by there in person, and in spirit we were definitely appreciating our other favorite indies, which include The Bosslight, Nacogdoches; Brazos Bookstore, Houston; Murder By The Book, Houston; BookPeople, Austin; Absolutely Fiction, Lufkin; Beausoleil Books, Lafayette; Kramers, Washington DC, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., The Strand Book Store, NYC, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle; Collected Works Bookstore, Santa Fe, Skylight Books, Los Angeles; City Lights, San Francisco, Literati Press Bookshop, OKC and of course, our local favorite, Interabang Books here in Dallas. And, yes we have been to all of these, and probably more that I am leaving out! Books, like coffee are the perfect travel souvenir. We like to choose something with a local connection, but really any book will do. It's fun to see the different towns' bookseller recommendations and browse for a while, then support the local economy with a purchase to remember the trip by.
With books on the brain, we are excited to announce that our official pub date for "Ten Texas Towns..." is May 24 (but please keep in mind all the caveats and contingencies that exist in this time of supply chain chaos.) Those who have reserved copies will be sure to get theirs first! If you're interested in carrying our book in your store, ordering multiples for business or hotel use or corporate gifting, or if you're a local tourism or nonprofit professional, especially in the towns we've covered, check out our special offers , planned just for you.
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 most weeks, or add your name to our email list for future subscription delivery.
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 email@example.com.