Now taking reservations ONLINE!

For those that haven’t heard you can now reserve your spot at our state’s parks using the online reservation system. This is great for those parks that are difficult to get to and then you do get all the way there and see the dreaded “park full” sign. Not any more. You can now reserve a day pass to popular parks like Enchanted Rock and not worry about there being space when you get there. Plan ahead though as parks are filling up faster than ever.


Dinosaur Valley State Park

Here’s a video to serve as a preview to our trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park on 1/11/14. It was a fun day minus the cedar pollen (more on that later).

Lost Maples SNA Foliage Report

Check out the foliage report at TPWD for the latest on the maples at Lost Maples.

Also a great video on the TPWD Youtube channel.

McKinney Falls State Park Video

I found another great video on one of the parks I’ve visited a few times now. Watch the video and check out my posts on McKinney Falls State Park.

West, TX Benefit Today!

Don’t forget to come out to the benefit at LA BBQ from 11-2 today.


1. Honest Tea is donating bottled teas and lemonades.
2. Teas of Texas is donating bottled teas and waters.
3. A local wine importer is donating cases of malbec & chardonnay.
4. Saint Arnold Brewing Company is donating beer & root beer.
5. Gloria Corral will be at the event selling copies of her book “BBQ Lovers Guide to Austin.” She will donate 100% of the proceeds!
6. Austin Eats Food Tours is donating 10 passes for a free food tour. (Their tours generally range from $65-75 per tour.) We will have a table set up to raffle off the passes. All of the proceeds will be donated!
7. We will sell The Q Card at the event, & 100% of our sales will be donated!
8. Stephen Joseph, owner of Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue (Jefferson, TX), is donating 100 koozies & a case a rib rub for the event!
9. Junior’s Beer and Wine is donating 3 kegs of beer!
10. Shannon Lee Nelson will be the live-music entertainment!

Ting Ting’s Cupcakes


The picture is probably all I need to post here and you’ll be googling Ting Ting’s Cupcakes. You won’t wait around to see if I post a link. Don’t worry. I will.

One of my good college friends just started her own cupcake business – Ting Ting’s Cupcakes. Although I am a little biased in that Ting is such a good friend of mine I will promise you these are some of the best cupcakes you’ll ever have. Not only are they tasty, but they are beautiful as well. She puts as much TLC into the appearance as she does in the recipe and that’s saying a lot.

You can order them from her site or on facebook at . She does offer delivery to approved areas. Email her for more info.

My recommendation is the chocolover (pictured right) cupcake. From the menu, “chocolate cupcake with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting swirl.”

Order today and tell her John sent you for the uber duber good deal. Just kidding, but she’ll think it’s funny if you do say that.

How it all began…

An attempt to visit all of the Texas State Parks and Historic Sites

At some point in the fall of 2012 I messaged one of my good friends, “I think I’d like to visit all the state parks.”

Response: “I’m in.”

This site documents our story. Below is a list of the sites we’ve visited so far. There are blog posts on each park. I have personally been to some of them more than once so there are multiple posts about several of the sites. I hope you enjoy and I hope that our story inspires you to visit some Texas State Parks. There are some amazing treasures out there and the only way to experience them is to get our there and explore.

The main focus of my site is the attempt to visit all 93 parks. Several people have asked about a post that tells a little about myself or my story. Ask and you shall receive.

My name is John. I’m an 8th generation Texan and proud of it. I was born in the Houston, TX area and got to Austin as quick as possible. I went to the University of Texas at Austin and decided it was so great I’d never leave. I started working full time for the University and still hold a position today.

I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. My dad would take me fishing at Lake Livingston State Park when I was 5 or 6 years old. I can vividly remember waking up and staring at the alarm clock waiting for it read 5:00 AM. I knew that would mean my dad would be coming to wake me up to take me fishing at the state park. That is my earliest memory of a state park, but there would be countless more to follow.

Shortly after my dad passed away, I joined the cub scouts where I met a family which would become somewhat of a surrogate family to me. Over the next eleven years they would include me in many of their family trips to state parks, national parks, or any number of other outdoors destinations. Not only did my love of the outdoors stem from this relationship, but this family was also responsible for me becoming a Longhorn. I can’t begin to put in words how important these people were in my life growing up and continue to be today.

In 2004 I enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. A love of sports developed and I made it a point to see as many events as possible while a student. It has helped to fuel my passion that some of the greatest athletes in the history of Texas Athletics have come through while I have been on campus. Cat Osterman, Vince Young, Sanya Richards, Colt McCoy, Kevin Durant, Lamarcus Aldridge, Derrick Johnson, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol, Cedric Benson, Aaron Ross, Michael Huff, the list goes on…

Through various friendships and connections I met some of my closest friends today. Every fall we combine our love of UT Athletics, BBQ, and having fun and host tailgates for our friends and family. It was after one of these tailgates that I sent one of my friends the text.

“I’d like to visit all of the state parks in Texas”

New cover photo and a Slideshow

Things I’ve learned/added in the past week:


I added some categories for my posts. I’m still trying to figure out how to use categories as pages like my friend’s blog. Hopefully she can show me next week.


I added a slideshow to my recent post on Homer Bailey’s No-hitter. That could be a useful feature for my next post about a hike.

New cover photo:

I took this picture on my recent hike at Doeskin. It was much better quality than the other picture I was using.