The day started with the stuff of bad poetry—blues skies, rays of sunshine, chirping birds, a spring in my step. Iambic pentameter or not, the morning proved ideal for hopping in my car, rolling the windows down, cranking the radio up, and hitting the road. The destination for this glorious-day road trip: Bryan-College Station.
I’ve found that most of the poetic language used to describe the Bryan-College Station area involves words like “whoop” and “maroon,” or phrases such as “how many Aggies does it take.” But since I neither went to school in this land of Aggies, nor does my blood bleed burnt orange, the interpretation of this trip will involve none of that—just words that speak to an appreciation of wildflowers, world leaders, and wine.
From my home in Austin, I headed out east on U.S. 290. The roadside was dotted with reds, oranges, yellows, and blues—the palette of wildflower color and indisputable evidence that springtime in the Hill Country is arguably one of the loveliest convergences of time and place in all of Texas. I detoured a bit from the U.S. 290-Texas Highway 21 route I’d initially planned when I saw a road sign. “Fifty-nine miles to Brenham,” it read, and although it was mid-morning, I thought to myself, “Ooh, ice cream!” Brenham, after all, is home to the Blue Bell Creameries, and I knew that if I could make one of the facility tours, I could also get a free scoop or two. Sadly, this stanza in my expedition was soon shaped by another sign, one