Uh, oh. I’ve visited more than half the 50-plus destinations in travel writer Allan Kimball’s newest book, Texas Redneck Road Trips. Does that make me one, too?
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, we’ve all got a tad of redneck somewhere in our blood. You know, that who-cares, let’s-have-some-dirty-fun, “glorious lack of sophistication” attitude, as Kimball so eloquently describes in his pocket-sized guide recently published by Great Texas Line Press.
No matter your social inclinations, you’ll enjoy road-tripping with Kimball to such exotic locales as the Toilet Seat Art Museum in Alamo Heights, Tattoos by the Bay in Corpus Christi, the Snake Farm in New Braunfels, the Cathedral of Junk in Austin, and the Beer Can House in Houston.
Speaking of beer, Kimball naturally advises a tour of Shiner’s Spoetzl Brewery, where brewmaster Jimmy Mauric “don’t cut no damn corners” to craft Shiner Bock and other popular ales. Even better, visitors get free beer samples at the end of brewery tours. Redneck beervana!
Near Canyon Lake, Frank’s Bait and Taco Cafe, owned by Eddie Fonseca, sounds awfully intriguing. “No, they don’t sell the bait inside the restaurant,” Kimball reassures. “It's sold in a shack on the side. No, Eddie’s name isn’t Frank. It’s complicated. Ask him.” Will do!
Kimball also gives nifty tips on catfish noodling (gotta buy the book to find out what the heck THAT is), toobing on the San Marcos River (self-explanatory), and where to learn the secrets of making sand castles (the beach?). Over in West Texas, you and your hunting Bubbas can ride shotgun on a “pork chopper” and take a cheesy picture with Paisano Pete (again, gotta buy the book for details).
You gotta veer off the beaten path to experience Alley Oop Fantasy Land in Iraan (pronounced “ira ann”), a 72-acre tribute to the syndicated comic strip featuring a time-traveling caveman. Dang, me and my rednecky sweetie missed seeing that on a recent road trip through Iraan. Guess that means we’ve gotta go back!
Kimball is an award-winning journalist and photographer who lives in Wimberley with his wife, Madonna. He’s also written five other books on Texas travel and two historical novels set in the Big Bend (more info at Allankimball.com). Texas Redneck Road Trips, which retails for $7.50, is available at area bookstores, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com.