Maybe it’s time for us to start looking for new ways to force people out of their geographical and digital bubbles and help them to see that we have more in common than we do differences. Domestic exchange programs and building a new Civilian Conservation Corps would be great places to start, developing friendships and connections that potentially last decades. There is no shame in loving our homes and taking great pride in our towns, cities, and states. The problem is when we see those towns, cities, and states as “the best of all possible worlds,” to borrow a phrase from Candide.
The first trip by myself to Galveston gave me the chance to do research on activities our family could do on a return to the island. We’ve taken family down to the coast before, enjoying time on the beach at the state park and walking around the small downtown area to look at shops, but that had been the extent of our family explorations. I wanted our return to the island to be a continuation of the historical journey I began by myself.
Our stop through Arkansas Post was unexpected, but as I’ve said many times before, I’m constantly working to accept the unexpected in my life. We were happy that we beat the rain and still got to learn some obscure history about both Arkansas and the Civil War.
Cane Creek once again confirmed the value of camping at state parks. While we wouldn’t drive the long haul from Texas for the sole purpose of camping there again, it was a good place to meet up with my parents and provided more experiences than we had originally anticipated.
Martin Creek Lake is the perfect example of the pleasant surprises that wait for us when we make visiting state parks over private campgrounds a priority. While it may be easier to look for one of many parking spots along the highway or interstate, the state parks that are often just a little bit off our planned routes can give our families affordable escapes from the busy world and force us to commune with nature, even if it is only for an 18-hour stay.
But I wanted to explore the history of the Island, something the rest of my family is less interested in doing, so I decided to take some time to explore it myself. I had a small window (nothing opens until 10 and I wanted to be home in time to pick up the kids from school), so I had to be selective and move fast. That really only allowed me to explore in-depth a couple locations as I walked around the historic district and took in the sights, but this is what I was able to see.