Traveling the Varicose Ribbons of Texas

Varicose Ribbon
The Varicose Ribbon

In “Varicose Ribbons” we set out for the adventure of the journey, to go as whim dictates – to let the adventure present itself – and in the process discover what once was, of what is, and perhaps, of what could be.

I am drawn to the varicose ribbons of concrete and asphalt, those meandering old byways that criss-cross our countryside. Once, main thoroughfares of travel before the days of the Interstate. Then, motorists took the time to enjoy the adventure of travelLing.

Travellers see what is to be seen. Tourists who go where TripTiks take them, stay at chain motels, eat at chain restaurants, and visit three-star attraction destinations miss the real adventure of travel, the adventure of seeing what is not on the tourist map, of seeing what there is to see— much of it slowly vanishing from the scene.

“Varicose Ribbons” takes us through a rapidly vanishing Texas, through nearly vanished hamlets and once grand main streets, by roadside attractions and tourist traps fallen on hard times, gasping eateries and filling stations, fallen barns; all of it, a vanishing Texas.

Varicose ribbons were not the only "ribbons" that connected Texas. There was the steel rails that seemed to connect to every town, and if they didn't the often moved to the rails. People travelled between small town and big cities, visiting family and shopping. The rails brought supplies and carried away local produce, livestock and manufactured goods to the nation's markets.

Native Americans, Spanish explorers, and early settlers followed the waterways of Texas along the Gulf Coast and into the interior, sometimes with boats and barges, but most often on foot, horseback and wagon. In time, pleasing spots along these ribbons of blue gave birth to texas_towns. Along these same blue ribbons dams were constructed, mills established,and industry was born.

Although today the rail network of Texas is greatly diminished and trips are rarely made by rail; although today few of Texas' rivers see commercial traffic; although today we are prone to travel the Interstates— there are still remnants of varicose ribbons to follow, rusted rails to discover, and rivers to explore.

This is what Ineffable Texas is all about...

Discovering and exploring the lyrical stories of Texas and documenting them photographically as we travel her back roads.