Austin to Caddo Lake on Interstate 35, U.S. 79, and Texas Highway 43

African masks, two old steam locomotives, Lady Bird's childhood home—and miniature donkeys.
Wed December 31, 1969 6:00 am

You find more than barbecue and red clay as you angle through East Texas on U.S. 79 and Texas Highway 43. There’s European art, Sicilian donkeys, dusty pioneer trails, and gothic swamp things. Strangest of all, my wife and I realized that as you go north, you’re heading into the Deep South. Actually, the drive begins in the Old West. Take Interstate 35 north from Austin fifteen miles to Round Rock. To see how the city got its name, exit on Sam Bass Road, go about half a mile, and take a left on Chisholm Trail Road for another half mile. At the low-water crossing of Brushy Creek, to your left, is the large, relatively round rock (it’s more like a pitted, anvil-shaped boulder) that pioneers and cattle drivers used in the mid-1800’s as a guide for crossing the creek. Go back to Sam Bass and turn left for a little more history: Another half mile down is the Round Rock Cemetery. In the northwest corner, next to the unmarked slave graves, is the final resting place of Sam Bass, the bank robber who met his end in


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