Cross Timbers Trails - Spring/Summer 2012

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Cross Timbers Trails Spring/Summer 2012

A Traveler’s Guide to the Eight Counties of the Cross Timbers Area

Tastes of Cross Timbers An overview of area wineries

New Tracks at Dinosaur Valley So Sweet Hico’s own award-winning truffle

Clifton’s State of the Art Secret


IN THIS ISSUE Texas Wine Trail

pg. 16


The Cross Timbers region is home to a handful of family-owned and operated wineries, each offers the visitor something different.

Business with a Family Touch Sorrells Family Farms reaches new heights in Comanche County. pg. 8

An Undiscovered Gem

Art on the Outside

The Bosque Arts Center is nestled in small-town Clifton, leaving visitors in awe.

A community comes together to create a spectacular art show. pg. 10

pg. 6

Getting to know the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council

pg. 20

A flourishing art community thrives in the Cowboy Capital of the World. pg. 14

History meets Chocolate

KTRL 90.5 FM

The story of Wiseman House Chocolates in Hico.

Tarleton State University’s student-run radio station reaches new heights. pg. 18

The Rio Brazos

pg. 24

Enjoy true Texas BBQ, Red Dirt Music, and good family fun at The Rio.

Last summer’s drought had everyone feeling the heat, except Dinosaur Valley.

Eating at Mary’s Arguably the best chicken fried steak in Texas can be found in Strawn.

Exploring Dinosaur Tracks

pg. 26

pg. 28

Cover photo by Heidi Smith. All “Snapshot” information taken from Handbook of Texas Online and the Census Bureau.


Letter from the Editor Whether it is the rolling hills of Somervell County, the small-town comfort of Eastland County, or the calming uniqueness of Hamilton County, the Cross Timbers Area has something to offer everyone. This very diverse area encompasses Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Palo Pinto, and Somervell counties.

Meet the Staff

Amanda Ogle Assistant Editor

If museums and art fancy your interests then take a short drive to Bosque County where you can see art from all over the world. Located in Clifton, Nicole Hengst the Bosque Arts Center houses artwork from both local and global artists. Graphic Designer Each year a new piece of artwork is added to its large collection after the Bosque Art Classic Show in September. This show is nationally-recognized and judged by some of the industry’s finest. History, dinosaurs, and exotic animals roam through Somervell County. Home to Dinosaur Valley State Park and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, you are able to see rare dinosaur tracks and visit with rhinos. Take a drive through Fossil Rim’s 1,500 acres and see more than 1,100 animals representing 60 different species. Fields and pastures filled with cattle and horses show a rich western way of life and true Cowboy traditions. Home to many of Professional Rodeo’s All-Stars, Erath County is known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Stephenville is also home to the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, which fosters a flourishing art community. Within Erath County, Tarleton State University makes its home offering a diverse and unique learning environment for students. Radio stations KTRL and KURT are student-run and produced, broadcast from the TSU campus. KTRL is the Cross Timbers Region’s National Public Radio station. While KURT offers various radio shows and personalitites filled with the latest musical hits. KTRL’s coverage overlaps the Cross Timbers Region, and KURT reaches the locals in Stephenville. Take this magazine, and explore! Visit the places and see the faces of what makes the Cross Timbers Area so unique to its residents and the Lone Star State. Happy trails!

Sarah Friesen Editor, Cross Timbers Trails


Megan Kramer Staff Writer

Contributors K’Leigh Beddingfield, McKenzie Boone, Kayler Campbell, Jenny Cline, Morgan Emerson, Kayla Fritz, justin green, Jessica Harper, Landon Haston, Angie Knaupp, Megan Kramer, Hannah Langford, Tyler McConathy, Whtiney McCorkle, Monica Pierce, Rhyland Pittenger, Laura Procter, Sarah Richards, Kelly Trammell

Fiddle Steak

Family atmosphere, great home cooked food, and wonderful service are just a few things which set Fiddle Creek Steakhouse apart from the rest.

Creek House

I remember my first visit to Fiddle Creek like it was yesterday. Upon entering we were greeted in a rustic western style entry way by their hostess. Straight ahead through the saloon style doors sits the bar area. To the left is the dining room. We were seated at a large table big enough for the whole family, whcih is difficult to find in a small town. Old pictures and brands from locals serve as decoration in the resturant. It was so cool to ask servers questions about the various brands and see all the old pictures. Our food was DELICIOUS!! The rich flavors in the steak and crispness in the salad made for a very happy family. Fried pickles are a must with my family and Fiddle Creek’s are to die for! Full of flavor and made fresh when you order. My family has been going to Fiddle Creek for years. From large celebrations and family get togethers to small date nights with my husband, Fiddle Creek is able to accomodate. Each time offering the same great service and delicious food. This is what keeps customers coming back day after day. Sincerely, Sarah Smith Fiddle Creek is open Tuesday-Thursday 11am- 9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm; and Sundays 11am-9pm. They can be reached at (254)968-7500.



Snapshot 989 square miles Formed 1854 from McLennan County County Seat: Meridian Population: 18,212 Cities:

Clifton, Cranfills Gap,

Iredell, Meridian, Morgan, Valley Mills, Walnut Springs

An Undiscovered Gem

Story and Photographs by Megan Kramer


osque County prides itself on the abundance of natural beauty found across its terrain -- the meandering Brazos and Bosque rivers, highways and rocky hillsides lined with trees of bright seasonal colors. It’s easy to pass through the county without realizing that amid this rural setting lies a rich art community flourishing with a beauty all its own. Located in Clifton, the non-profit Bosque Arts Center houses a fine collection of Western and traditional art. Paintings, drawings, and sculpture by both national and international artists are displayed in the Roland Jones Memorial Gallery. A new piece is added each year in September after the Bosque Art Classic, a nationally judged show. According to Jane Scott, managing director of the BAC, there were about 770 entries in this year’s Art Classic from around the United States, Canada, Mexico, and India. What really gives the BAC its unique quality is that its spectrum is not limited to the Roland Jones Gallery. At the BAC, “all the arts are under one roof,” said BAC President Joyce Jones. There are photography, pottery, and artisan guilds; culinary, book, and gardening clubs; the Civic Music Association, which encourages the appreciation, education, and development of the musical arts; and the center’s Tin Building Theatre, which hosts performances throughout the year. The BAC even holds a variety of classes and workshops, including those for yoga and martial arts. The BAC, first known as the Bosque County Conservatory of Fine Arts,

now occupies what once was the administration building of the old Clifton Lutheran College. The idea for making the building into an arts center came from the mind of Joan Spieler, who moved to Clifton in 1956. An artist and photographer for the majority of her life, Spieler worked with the buildings donor, Pat Olsen, in getting the center planned out and certified. The doors officially opened in 1982, and it has been growing and thriving ever since. “A lot of members live out of area, it’s not just a Clifton thing,” Scott said. “We definitely reach out to the surrounding communities; our recent gingerbread workshop brought in people from Waco, for example.” The allure of the center is stronger than one might think. “Many people have told me they moved because of the art center,” Jones said. “They wanted the feeling of living in a small town, but also access to the amenities found in large town, the best of both worlds.” Of course, the BAC is always looking for new members and to foster new relations with the residents of Bosque County and surrounding communities. It’s just a matter of getting the attention of those unaware of their proximity to the BAC and its thriving culture. “We’ve had a number of people with no interest in art become very involved with the center,” Jones said. The BAC is dedicated to its mission of promoting and supporting the visual and performing arts, as well as encouraging the development of skills and interest in the arts. Scott said, “To some people, we’re just an undiscovered gem.”

Events John A. Lomax Texas Music Gathering Bosque County Historical Comission April 13-15

Fourth Annual “Mind’s Eye” Artisian Craft Show and Sale Clifton Chamber of Commerce April 14-15 BAC Bosque County Photography Show Bosque Arts Center March 31- April 16

Lodging Best Western Velkommen 1215 N. Ave G, Clifton 254-675-8999

Circle Motel

9307 Highway 6, Meridian 254-435-2851

Meridian State Park

173 Park Road #7, Meridian 254-435-2536

White Bluff Resort Lake Whitney 20022 Misty Valley Circle, Whitney 254-694-4000

Comanche Snap Shot 944 square miles Founded in 1856 from Coryell and Bosque counties County seat: Comanche Population: 13,974 Cities:


De Leon, Gustine, Proctor

Business with a Family Touch Story and Photographs by Megan Kramer


n a time where big business seems to rule and the “mom and pop” ideal is struggling to survive, Sorrells Farms stands proudly against the grain. Boasting over 1,200 acres of farm land in Comanche County, this family owned and operated business provides some of the finest products while staying humbly rooted to the core beliefs of hard work and dedication. While pecans are the main focus of

Sorrells Farms, they are also known suppliers of watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, jalapenos, and peaches. Consumers can find these products locally in the Sorrells Farms storefront in Comanche, as well as throughout Texas in grocers such as United Supermarkets. Those strictly looking for pecans or pecan-related goods can order from the Sorrells Farms’ website. Sorrells Farms even exports to China and Hong Kong,

County and has been doing so for about 10 years, according to owner Kinley Sorrells. To provide quality products and service, Sorrells Farms sticks to a laborious year-round schedule: winter trimming and pruning, grafting and vegetable planting in the spring, vegetable harvest, irrigation and tree care throughout the summer, and finally harvest in the fall. Kinley Sorrells and his son, Gayland, manage the operation and are constantly striving to meet consumer expectations. “Our motto here is to give our customers the very best that we have,” Sorrells said. Dedication can be seen in both of the Sorrells’ résumés. As a Tarleton State University graduate, Kinley moved to Comanche and managed

a commercial pecan operation until he was able to own an orchard of his own. He is also a member of the Texas Pecan Growers Association and serves on the Ag Texas Board of Directors. Gayland worked full time alongside his father after graduating from Tarleton, and eventually purchased his own orchard. He has served on the Texas Pecan Growers Association as well. Kinley acknowledges the rest of the hands working at Sorrells Farms, family or not. The quality of the products, he says, is a direct result of “the work of conscientious employees.” Sorrells Farms effectively ties together both concepts of humble beginnings and widespread success, which customers can see as well as taste.

Events Relay for Life Relay for Life Committee April 20-21 Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament Comanche Chamber of Commerce April 21

Family on the 4th: Music Celebration & Fireworks Comanche Chamber of Commerce July 4

Lodging Best Western Comanche Inn

Comanche Rodeo Parade Comanche Chamber of Commerce July 20

1505 East Central Ave, Comanche 325-356-2300

Comanche Swap Meet Car Show Comanche County Car Club May 11-12

Melon Patch Bike Tour City of De Leon August 6

1207 East Grand Ave, Comanche 325-356-2364

Gustine Homecoming Rodeo Gustine Homecoming Committee May 26-28

De Leon Peach & Melon Festival & Tractor Pull City o fDe Leon August 7-11

125 West Grand Ave, Comanche 325-330-0008

Comanche POW-WOW Heritage Festival Comanche Chamber of Commerce September 22-23

1301 East Central Ave, Comanche 325-356-2508

Cyclone Bike Tour Comanche Chamber of Commerce June 2

Indian Creek Lodge

Mary’s On the Square Bed & Breakfast

Regency Inn


Eastland County By Rhyland Pittenger and Whitney McCorkle Photographs by Kayla Fritz

Art on the Outside

Snap Shot 952 square miles

Founded 1858 from Bosque, Coryell and Travis counties County seat: Eastland Population: 18,583 Cities:

Cisco, Desdemona,

Eastland, Gorman, Magnum, morton Valley, Ranger, Romney 10|


astland County is home to a unique display of art in Texas. The Outdoor Art Exhibit is a project completed by community members in 2005 as an effort to bring art awareness to the area. The project was led and maintained by artist and ex-art teacher at Eastland High School Cathi Ball, with help from the late Norman Logan, students in the community, and other artists. The exhibit consists of over 40 pieces of art scattered around the community at or near various businesses. Each piece is a tribute to a famous artist, including background information about that artist and the significance of his or her work. In 2002, Ball proposed her idea for an outdoor art museum to the high school art teacher at the time, Logan, who would become a major contributor to the exhibit. The first project began with a barrel oil-field

America’s Best Value Inn 1898 Hwy 206, Cisco 254-442-3735

Buget Host Inn

tank, donated by Ball’s husband, Chris. The barrel was soon transformed into a giant replica of a Campbell’s soup can a tribute to Andy Warhol. This magnificent piece of artwork, completed by Ball and a few art students, is located on Main Street by the local Dairy Queen. Other famous, inspiring works include copies of the “American Gothic” by Grant Wood, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Each piece was strategically placed at a venue it might have some relation to. For instance, Carolyn White’s imitation of Dr. Suess’ “Cat in the Hat” is placed in the public library. This project has spurred interest and involvement as members and businesses around the community have donated art and services throughout the completion of the exhibit. Artist Cathi Ball, mother of two and a Tarleton graduate, began her career in art at the age of 40, inspired by her daughter, Krystal, who loved to draw. Ball

Lodging Executive Inn

300 E I-20, Cisco 254-442-2100

Holiday Inn Express

2001 I-20, Eastland 254-629-3324

1460 E. Main St., Eastland 254-629-8071

Days Inn

LaQuinta Inn & Suites

2501 E I-20, Eastland 254-629-2655

10150 I-20, Eastland 254-629-1414

has been involved in many art projects since, including the Outdoor Art Exhibit in Eastland. She earned a master’s of A.R.T.E. at the University of North Texas with a minor in metals in 2005, and went on to teach at Howard Payne University from 2005 to 2010. When asked about the Outdoor Art Exhibit, Ball said she just “wanted to bring art to the people in her community.” Once she involved kids in the classroom, the community came together. All in all, 144 people helped with the project, which took three years to get started and three years to complete. To pay back many who made donations, Ball gave art lessons in her studio, which had been converted from a garage by her husband. She feels that the project is complete and doesn’t plan to add any more artwork to it. Other projects of Ball’s include one in which she and 96 students covered the windows of an old hotel with 114 board feet, then proceeded to paint it to look like the inside of the hotel was open and running. She also helped begin an outdoor art museum in Sedan, Kansas, after becoming well-known for her efforts in Eastland. Ball is the author of ‘A Lick of Sense’ and ‘A Lick of Sense II,’ in which she passes on cowboy wisdom through Pastor Paul Howie and Dixie the Cowdog. Among her many skills, Ball interprets for the deaf, attended cooking school, has her pilot’s license, weaves, and welds.

RL RV Park

1424 W Loop 254, Ranger 254-647-1730

Super 8 Motel

3900 E I-20, Eastland 254-629-3336

The Eastland Hotel

112 N. Lamar, Eastland 254-629-8397

Events Paint Along

Eastland Senior Citizens Center Every Monday 1-4 Every Other Thursday 6-9

Kids Day in the Park

Eastland Chamber of Commerce April 14

Taste of Eastland

Eastland Chamber of Commerce April 19

Relax Inn

818 W. Loop 254, Ranger 254-647-3714


CROSS TIMBERS F I N E A RT S C O U N C I L 1980 - 2011 Serving Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Palo Pinto, and Somervell Counties 204 River North Blvd. Stephenville , TX 76401 254-965-6190


Want your ad here? CONTACT US


Jimmy Ogle

3000 Ft Worth Hwy Weatherford, TX 76087 (817)-597-4220


Communication studies department



arleton State University communication students are doing some incredible work. You’re holding the most recent example of that in your hands. Cross Timbers Trails is a start-up magazine written, photographed, edited and designed by journalism and broadcast students in the Communication Studies Department of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

? ? w o n k u o y d Di

We hope you enjoy the first issue of Cross Timbers Trails – and look for more good things to come from Tarleton communication students in the future.

Communication students also:

• Publish a news website with the latest in news from the campus and the world? Or tell the news in a four or five day a week video broadcast. Check out www. • Research social media alongside faculty members from various disciplines as part of the Texas Social Media Research Institute, the first of its kind in the state of Texas.

• Gain real-world experience with profit and non-profit clients of Legendary Weddings & Special Events, a lab operation for the Public Relations and Event Management program that provides experiences typical of professional practice. • Operate two radio stations, KURT 100.7 FM and KTRL 90.5 FM. Students work in all aspects of broadcast operations, including management, music, news and sports, preparing students for jobs in the music and broadcast industry.


Erath Bringing art to the Cowboy Capital

SNAP SHOT 1983 square miles Formed 1856 from Bosque and Coryell couties County seat: Stephenville Population: 37,890 Cities:

Alexander, Bluff Dale,

dublin, huckabay, stephenville 14|


ross Timbers Fine Arts Council’s mission, accomplished through innovative partnerships with art and non-art constituent groups, is to “make the arts accessible, support, promote, and increase awareness and present fine art events that inspire, educate and entertain the citizens of the Cross Timbers Basin.” These programs are often the only opportunity that many citizens have to experience the arts firsthand. A viable and dedicated volunteer organization of more than 300 individual members, the CTFAC is governed by a volunteer board of 14 directors who are elected to three-year terms and meet monthly. The council employs a full-time executive director and administrative assistant who work with the board to manage CTFAC’s growing business and financial affairs. CTFAC annually sponsors or co-sponsors 15-20 events. Kayla Fritz sat down with Julie Crouch, CTFAC’s executive director, to answer a few questions. Q: When you mention the Cross Timbers region and people might think about western heritage, rodeo, or ranching. Why should they think about art? Can you describe the breadth and reach of the arts community in the region? A: Art is a reflection of the community it serves and great things are reflected here. From ballet to modern art – our mission is to provide a wide range of arts experiences to an audience of all ages. Q: How long has the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council been available here in Stephenville? A: The Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council was founded in 1980 by Connie Birdsong.

Q: Have there been any prior locations? A: Our office was previously located at the Stephenville Parks and Recreation hall, prior to moving to our current location in 2001 at 204 River North Blvd. Q: What types of artists are displayed? A: Our exhibits have featured a wide range of ages from students as young as 5 and older. Q: What varieties of art and styles have been displayed? A: We have exhibits that include photography, sculpture, collage, watercolors, oils and acrylics on a variety of mediums - and more.

A: The beauty of what we do as an arts council is to provide art experiences to everyone. And each person experiences our exhibits differently. Q: What else should we know about CTFAC and the arts in the Cross Timbers region? A: The CTFAC’s River North Gallery is proud to host 12 exhibits a year to feature a wide range of local artistic talent. Last year we featured recycled artwork from Stepheville High School and Tarleton State University students, Opal Black and her students, Pat Shoemake’s hand-hooked rugs, Ethel Lewallen, and the Town and Country Quilt Guild to name a few.

Another example is Robert Summers of Glen Rose who was commissioned to create the bronze of John Wayne at the Orange County Airport in California – among many other prestigious commissions. Q: What is the most interesting work you have had displayed?

Melody Mountain Ranch September 20-22


Central Inn

723 N Patrick Hwy 67 & 377, Dublin 254-445-2138

Deluxe Inn

2865 W. Washington, Stephenville 254-968-5256

Q: Do the small towns of the Cross Timbers have many artists, or is Stephenville the main contributor?

Larry Joe Taylor’s Annual Rhymes & Vines Music Festival

Caravan Interstate Inn

A: We have a committee within our board of directors who reviews the requests for exhibits. They are currently updating our guidelines for 2013.

In August, we are excited to feature artist Martin Grelle who is very well known nationally.

Super C Lake September 1-3

811 East Road, Stephenville 254-965-5043

Q: What requirements, if any, are there to be a part of art events and displays?

A: There are a surprising number of artists in our area with national prominence.

Labor Day at the Lake

6182 FM 2303, Stephenville 254-968-6581

A: In my experience, the events that involve children attract the most members from our community.

Q: Could you name a couple of prominent artists in the area? Are there any of national prominence?

Stephenville June 23

The Almosta

Q: What events bring in the most attractions?

A: I am always surprised at the number of wonderfully talented artists from our smaller towns. For example, our current exhibit features three artists from Lipan.

Meals on Wheels Sporting Class Fun Shoot

Dublin Shamrock Inn

Photographs by Kayla Fritz

Events Larry Joe Taylor’s Music Festival & Chili Cook-off Larry Joe Taylor April 24-28

Traveling Art Exhibit

312 N. Patrick Street, Dublin 254-445-9994

The Hideaway Ranch

1022 Priveate Rd 1250, Stephenville 254-445-4922

Lazy-Days Bed & Breakfast

1912 S State Hwy 108, Stephenville 254-485-1872

Patrick Street Inn

512 Patrick St., Dublin 254-445-4922

Royal Inn

Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council & Stephenville High School April 30-May 25

1190 E. Washington, Stephenville 254-965-3807

Cowboy Capital MS Trail Ride & 5K

September Song Bed & Breakfast

Mary Howard, 254-977-3686 June 8

Annual BBQ and Membership Meeting Cross Timbers Fine Arts Center June 8

615 N. Clinton, Stephenville 254-965-6104

Texan Inn

303 W. Washington, Stephenville 254-965-5003


Texas Wine By Sarah Friesen Photography by Heidi Smith and Landon Haston


ith the arrival of summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to tour the beautiful wineries of the Cross Timbers. Start your tour in Granbury, Tolar, Comanche or Meridian. Each is home to a beautiful winery. Because the Cross Timbers region is quite small, making the loop can be done in a day’s drive.


The most popular wine, Nexus, is a sweet red which compliments any spicy Italian or Mexican dish. In September of 2011, Bluff Dale was awarded First Place for Red Proprietary Blends in the GrapeFest competition. With the weather being so unpredictable during the summer, the owners usually harvest in mid-August, earlier than most vineyards. Owner David Hayes says he “can grow all kinds of grapes in this area, because Texas weather is so temperate, some may not do as well as others but we still have a great variety.” Bluff Dale wines can be found at H-E-B grocery stores or your can stop by the tasting room. Bluff Dale Vineyards is located at 5222 County Rd 148 Bluff Dale, or call them at 254-728-3540.

arking Rocks Winery in Granbury is just 45 minutes south of Fort Worth. Because of the difficulty in growing grapes in this region, owner Tiberia (yes, that’s the only Bluff Dale Vineyards owners David & Theresa name he’ll give) says, “every year Hayes. we make different wines, sourcing grapes from different places.” By room and patio, which overlooks the doing this, they do not have a signarolling hills of a vineyard blanketed ture wine, yet a wonderful collection with rows of grape vines, makes enust down Highway 16 through of unique blends. Currently on the joying a glass of wine a memorable Stephenville and Dublin, sits Brentasting profile is the 2005 casena, a experience. blend of merlot and syrah, which won the Limited Production Category in the Bluff Dale Winery guests enjoy a glass of wine and the view on the patio. 2006 Lone Star Park Wine Competition. The rustic old barn and old world traditions of making wine sets this winery apart from the rest. “Making wine, friends, and events happen” is how Tiberia describes the winery’s mission. Barking Rocks wines aren’t available in stores, only at the winery. So stop by and enjoy good wine, the company of friends, and live band entertainment the first Friday of every month at Barking Rocks Winery in Granbury, located at 1919 Allen Court. Or call them at 817-579-0007.



outhwest of Granbury on Highway 377, tucked back away from the busy highway is Bluff Dale Vineyards. Bluff Dale’s bistro-style tasting


Trail nan Vineyards in Comanche County. Between the legendary Hill Country and Texas High Plains, Brennan Vineyards benefits from the wonderful soils and picturesque scenery. The winery’s fine dining restaurant provides romantic environments for any occasion. Built in 1879, the McCreary House, one of the oldest remaining homesteads in Texas, serves as Brennan Vineyards’ tasting room. “Sophisticated wines with Texas roots,” is the motto. With a variety of wines including syrah, cabernet, and viognier, Brennan has something to offer every taste bud. Grapes are harvested at their peak, processed with a combination of old-world traditions and high-tech innovation with the end product being award-winning wines. Brennan Vineyards only ships within the state, and North and South Carolina. Brennan Vineyards is located at 802 South Austin St or call them at 325-356-9100.

Red Caboose Winery Owner and Architect Gary McKibben and Winemaker and his son, Vinyeard Manager Evan McKibben.


ast along Highway 6, in Meridian is Red Caboose Winery. Photovoltaic solar electricity panels, geothermal chilling and cooling, Bluff Dale Vineyards award for Best Red Proprietary rainwater harvesting for Blend at the 2011 GrapeFest competition. irrigation, and using sustainable materials make Red Caboose Winery one of the “greenest” winery in Texas. Take in the picturesque views at the Meridian tasting room or enjoy a snack and a glass of wine in the deli at the Clifton tasting room. The last Friday of every month Red Caboose holds the “Cork and Fork” event featuring live music and delicious wines. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food with them to enjoy. April 13-15

Red Caboose will be hosting its RCW Blue’s Weekend, a three-day Blue’s celebration during tax season. Red Caboose Winery is located at 1147 CR 1110 Meridian, or call them at 254-435-9911 or 903 S. Avenue G. Clifton, or call them at 254-675-009.


ake it a day trip, or a weekend adventure, either way, Cross Timbers Trails makes it easy! Take a look at our lodgings section to find a quaint place to rest during your stay or somewhere to eat. Above all else, enjoy your time with friends and raise your glass to Texas.

Jessica Harper and Chris Starnes also contributed to this article.


Station manager Eric Truax sat down With Jenny Cline to answer some questions.

Eric Truax KTRL and KURT station manager. Photograph by Sarah Friesen.


he Cross Timber region is home of a relatively new National Public Radio affiliate, KTRL 90.5 FM. Eric Truax, who also teaches and oversees KURT 100.7 FM, the student-run station at Tarleton State University, manages the station. His interest in radio stems from childhood, while growing up in a military family living in Germany, his family would gather around the radio (for English language broadcasts) like other families gathered around the television. He’s been an on airpersonality and station manager since the late 1980s. Jenny Cline recently sat down with Truax to talk about the future of radio and NPR.

Q: What do you see for the future of radio? A: A lot of people in newspapers thought newspapers were doomed in the 1920s when radio came out. In the 1950s, radio thought

Students produce live radio show in the Tarleton State University station. Photograph by Sarah Richards.

“We’re doomed” because television came out. Radio has been around for about a hundred years, it’ll be around a lot longer. Still more than 90 percent of the U.S. still listens to radio. I think that statistic is going to hold up for a long time. You can get your radio station on the Internet; you can get it on your smart phone. So radio is not going away. I think with a lot of people, including myself, if they have a choice between television or radio, I

Student Tammo Mellema, production director, helps produce a radio show at Tarleton State University. Photograph by Sarah Richards.

would choose radio: it’s got better pictures.

Q: Satellite radio, do you think of it as a competitor, is it a threat?

Q: What is your vision for KURT and KTRL?

A: Radio is Radio, people’s attentions are split, pulled in different directions. I think that satellite radio affects the total time that they spend with broadcast radio or KTRL.

A: Right now KURT and KTRL are the only broadcast outlets for Tarleton. We’ve got a great opportunity here. I’d like to see us grow into more of a regional media center where students and professionals can work together in a converged multimedia environment. Q: What does being an NPR affiliate bring to the table? A: It brings to the table NPR news, the best broadcast news in America. 27 million people each week tune in to NPR in the United States. This is better than CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, etc. It brings to the table objective, awardwinning journalism that gives a chance for people to be informed about the world around them and it gives students a chance to hear good, objective journalism.

Q: How would you describe KURT or KTRL’s listening demographic. A: Smart people. Seriously, KURT, we’ve made an educated guess that we have a pretty adventurous group of 16-25 year olds, high school, college age, and they want to hear new music. They’re interested. The KTRL listener is similar. They want to know what’s going on in the world. They are engaged in their community. I think they like KTRL because we respect them. We’re not dumbing down our programming like a top 40 station does. We’re not playing the same thing over and over, once or twice an hour even, like some of these stations do in Dallas. KTRL is located on the campus of Tarleton State University in room 138 of the Math Building, which is building 509 on the campus map. They can be reached by phone at 254968-9586.


Hamilton Snap Shot 844 square miles Founded in 1856 Created from Comanche, Bosque and Lampasas counties County seat: Hamilton Population: 8,517 Cities:

Fairy, hamilton, hico, lannam, pottsville, shive

H 20|

History Meets Chocolate By Monica Pierce

ico’s claim-to-fame, the Wiseman Chocolate House, was built in 1903 by artist Rufus Wiseman. The building was brought to life when Kevin Wenzel and his wife, LaDonne, opened the doors to share their products. The building now boasts the title of the best chocolate truffle in Texas.

Prior to opening the doors of the Wiseman House, Wenzel took classes in Pennsylvania and learned the best chocolatiering techniques. His passion for chocolate and treats became a recognized art and his appreciation for history makes the chocolates that much more appealing.

The Wenzels, who moved to Hico in 1996, transformed the Victorian home into a chocolate craver’s dream.

“When Kevin bought the house, he renovated it, and while he was doing that he started the Hico Historic Society.

County Since the debut of their website, business has really picked up for the small-town chocolate factory. The Wiseman has even started selling wholesale to companies across the state of Texas.

“We actually don’t have a location outside of Texas but we ship nationwide,” said Finch. Holidays are always a hectic time for consumers and the same idea rings true for the Wiseman House. “Christmas is our busiest holiday. Our business picks up the first of November and doesn’t slow until the first of March,” Finch said.

Lodging The Inn at Circle T

4021 West Hwy 36, Hamilton 254-386-3209

Amwell Guest House

405 West Boynton, Hamilton 254-386-4533

Hamilton Inn

1447 US Hwy 281 South, Hamilton 254-386-8864

Even if it’s not the holiday season, the Hico Hills Inn Wiseman House has something for every one. Whether you desire dark chocolate, 401 North Railroad Ave, Hico melt for milk chocolate, or just prefer 254-796-4217 the toffee taste, Wiseman has all your chocolate-craving needs. If you would Hico’s Almost Home Bed & Breakfast like to learn more about the historic 102 Rogers, Hico chocolate house, the Wiseman even 254-796-4789 offers classes to help customers learn the art of chocolatiering. They also provide guided tours to learn how the pros create Hico’s Nothin’ But Time Bed and that perfect piece of chocolaty paradise. Breakfast 306 Hickory, Hico The goal of the Wiseman House is to 254-796-4666 become recognized as the “Premier Texas chocolate company,” said Finch. Other historic societies and surrounding towns expressed their gratitude that he brought the house to its former glory,” said Crystal Finch, director of operations at Wiseman. “It’s worth coming just to see the house.” The Wiseman House participates in various tasting events through the state and even some outside of Texas. The most prestigious event the Wiseman House has catered at was the Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C. for President Barack Obama. Finch, who has worked at the Wiseman House for 5 years, helped put together the event, but Wiseman and his father actually attended the event. The Texas Society put on the ball and afterward the Wiseman noticed a boost in sales.

For more information, visit their website at

Events Relay for Life

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce April 27

World Series of Team Roping Circle T Arena May 4-6

American Cancer Society Golf Tournament Brandon Sommerfeld, 254-386-3383 May 12

Old Rock House Bed & Breakfast 302 East Third St., Hico 214-538-1201

Standifer Street Guest Houses 407 East Standifer St., Hamilton 254-386-8212

The Loft Bed & Breakfast 109 East First St., Hico 254-485-2817

Western Motel

1209 Rice St. Hwy 281 S., Hamilton 254-386-3141

Photograph by Landon Haston


A Funky Boutique with Rock ‘N Roll Cowgirl Soul

254.918.2498 Mon - Sat 10 AM - 6 PM

2900 W. Washington Street, Suite 60 Stephenville, TX 76401

Located next to the movie theater in the Bosque River Centre

Jay Procter Farms, Inc.

PO Box-108 Lingleville, TX 76461 . (254)-977-3553 .

Come for the shopping... Stay for the experience. 254-918-0322 1917 W. Washington, St. #5 Stephenille, Texas


Snap Shot:

425 square miles Formed in 1866 Created from 5 nearby counties County Seat: Granbury Population: 51,182 Cities: Decordova, granbury, lipan, pecan plantation, tolar

Hood County


Rio Brazos e h t

Story and photographs by Kelly Trammell


usic makes the good times better at the new Rio Brazos Texas Music Hall. The Rio is easy to find, located five miles from Granbury on the Glen Rose Highway 144, only 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth. It’s just a short drive through the beautiful rolling hills and oak trees of Texas. “Old time west meets funky ranch,” says owner Tracy Hartman when asked about the eclectic style displayed at the Rio. Two old trucks angling toward the air create the large front entrance to the Texas music hall. Heavy wooden front doors to the main hall have rifles as handles. You immediately feel


comfortable with the rustic setting and wrap around front porch, filled with wooden pews and chairs inviting you to enjoy the sunshine. A big round bar sits just inside the front door. A spectacular chandelier made of Jim Beam whiskey bottles, by Richard Baggett of Fort Worth, sparkles overhead. The main hall is huge with vaulted ceilings and can accommodate 500 people. Families and people of all ages fill the chairs and tables. Several guests carry barbecue plates from the buffet to their table and eat while listening to the music. People are friendly and acknowledge you with a smile. Young children play while couples two-step across the dance floor. No matter where you sit, you can see the

large stage and hear the rich sounds of the music. Rio Brazos offers the perfect setting to hear live music, dance, relax, enjoy a full bar, and Texas smoked barbecue. For at least 10 years, owners Jim and Tracy Hartman have hosted New Year’s parties with live music at their home in Granbury. They saw a “void in entertainment” in this area. “Jim and I are both huge music lovers, in particular of Country and Texas Red Dirt music,” Hartman said.

“old time west meets funky

ranch” Built on 35 acres, Rio Brazos hosts winter concerts in a 15,000 square foot heated tent that will hold 2,000 people. In warmer weather, there is an outdoor stage area that will hold 10,000 people. The next phase will include an R.V. park and resort on part of the property. Owner Tracy Hartman said, “We like to say that Rio Brazos is Texas’ newest-oldest dance hall, due to its rustic feel with modern amenities.” There are hundreds of Texas dance halls across the state today. Centuries ago, there were thousands, according to Texas Preservation, Inc. In the 1800s, German and Czech immigrants built a number of Texas dance halls for meeting places to preserve their heritage.

Frisbie Landing

401 E. Pearl St, Granbury 817-326-1157

Granbury Gardens Bed & Breakfast 321 West Doyle St, Granbury 817-573-9010

Granbury Log Cabins

5801 Matlock Rd, Granbury 817-326-3639

Inn on Lake Granbury

205 W Doyle St, Granbury 817-573-0046

Lambert Street Guest House

Eventually, the dance halls began serving as public performance sites where everyone could enjoy getting together. A very fitting artist, Willie Nelson, performed at Rio Brazos for the grand opening last fall. He has been playing in dance halls since the 1940s as a teenager. Other entertainers at the Rio range from old-style Country great George Jones to the Bellamy Brothers to Casey Donahew, Wade Bowen, and Randy Rogers Band. There is always live music on Thursdays through Sundays at Rio Brazos. “We will bring in bigger venues every couple of weeks,” said Tracy Hartman. For a calendar of events, visit The Rio Brazos Texas Music Hall is located at 6611 Glen Rose Highway between Glen Rose and Granbury or call them at 817-579-0808.


215 S Lambert St, Granbury 817-579-1876

Lodging Alfonso’s Loft

137 E Pearl St, Granbury 817-573-3308

American Heritage House Bed & Breakfast 225 West Moore St, Granbury 817-578-3768

Arbour House Bed & Breakfast 530 E Pearl St, Granbury 800-641-0073

Arken’s Bed & Breakfast

635 June Rose Court, Granbury 817-408-6061

Baker St. Harbour Waterfront Bed & Breakfast

Lodge of Granbury

401 E Pearl St, Granbury 817-573-2007

Manor of time Bed & Breakfast 121 W Bluff St, Granbury 817-279-9110

Neri Place

3014 Neri Rd, Granbury 817-579-6540

Plantation Inn-Lake Granbury 1415 E Pearl St, Granbury 817-573-5331

Pomegranate House and Guest Cottages

1002 West Pearl St, Granbury 817-279-7412

Ridge Resort

511 S. Baker St, Granbury 817-579-8811

6450 Kelly Dr, Granbury 817-279-1207

Brierhouse Bed & Breakfast

Texas Nutt House Hotel

7711 Colony Rd, Tolar 254-835-5159

119 E Bridge St, Granbury 817-279-1207

Dakota’s Kabins

Top of the Vine Bed & Breakfast

202 N Houston St, Granbury 817-579-0275

Hood County Jail Museum Tours Hood County Jail Musuem Every Friday and Saturday

Super Second Saturday Sidewalk Sale Granbury Square Second Saturday of Every Month

107 East Bridge St, Granbury 817-579-0260

Memorial Day Veteran’s Celebration Granbury Square May 26-28


Palo Pinto Snap Shot 948 square miles Founded 1856 from Bosque and Navarro counties County Seat: Palo Pinto Population: 28,111 Cities:

Brad, gordon,

graford, Mingus, mineral wells, Palo

Small Town,

Big Eats

pinto, possum kingdom, salesville, santo, strawn

By Hannah Langford Photography by Nicole Hengst


small town in Palo Pinto County is home to one of the most noteworthy cafes in the Texas. So noteworthy, people drive hours to order off the authentic home-style menu at Mary’s Cafe, famous for what many consider to be the state’s best chicken friend steak. Pan-fried in a batter so secret

that employees have to sign a confidentiality agreement before they can work there, the chicken fried steak has become a nationwide sensation. Catching a person or two from a northern state in Mary’s is not out of the question. A few Indiana natives have said if they are in the great state of Texas, it’s a tradition to find time

County to enjoy a cold Shiner and a chicken fried steak at Mary’s. Though café namesake Mary Trenner derives the majority of her business from out of town, you are sure to find a few faithful locals in the café most nights. Recently, Trenner made a few improvements to the exterior of the café. A new sign, rockwork, and cedar beams have been added to renovate the overall look to the once 1920s service station. Along with this, she has added a beer garden for groups waiting on an open table, or for the social The sun sets on a busy afternoon at Mary’s Cafe. crowd that just isn’t quite ready to leave yet. Mary’s Café is located at 119 Grant Ave in Strawn. They are The café also takes reservations if open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 363 you are going on a weekend evening days a year, closed on Thanksgiving and you don’t want to wait for up to and Christmas. Stop by and visit Mary’s or give them a call to make an hour or two for a table. reservations at 254-672-5741.

Events Old Jail Museum

Palo Pinto County Every Thursday through Saturday 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Mineral Wells Ducks Unlimited Banquet Mineral Wells Ducks Unlimited April 26

Relay for Life

Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce May 4-5

75th Annual Rodeo

Palo Pinto County Livestock Association May 9-12

Lodging Longhorn Inn Motel 105 W I-20, Gordon 254-693-8277

Possum Kingdom State Park 3901 State Park Rd 33, Caddo 956-943-2262

Silk Stocking Row Bed & Breakfast 415 NW 4th St., Mineral Wells 940-325-4101

The Harbor at Possum Kingdom Lake Marina 1693 Park Road 36, Graford 940-779-3600


Somervell Photograph by Robyn Dabney

Above: Lifesize replica of a tyrannosaurus rex. Left: Another replica of an apatosaurus. Photographs by Justin Green.

Snap Shot

188 square miles the second smallest county in Texas Former in 1875 from Hood County County Seat: Glen Rose Population: 8,490 Cities: Glass, glen rose, nemo, rainbow


he record drought siphoned water from lakes, stressed plants, and wildlife throughout the state park system, but it was a boom to Dinosaur Valley State Park outside Glen Rose. In most years the Paluxy River has been so high the only visible tracks were the ones in the display area. The drought revealed new views of the tracks. The river has been so dry that kids of all ages have discovered the view of dinosaur tracks that have been unseen to the eye in nearly a decade. Even the locals are “astonished” when they visit the park. Abby Womack, Glen Rose resident, said, “This is the most dinosaur tracks I have ever seen. It’s really astonishing.” Dinosaur Valley State Park is about 30 miles northeast of Stephenville. It consists of 1,500-acres with a scenic park set astride the Paluxy River. Approximately 113 million years ago the park used to be a shoreline of an ancient sea. The “entire Glen Rose formation is covered in dinosaur tracks” Shannon Blalock, Dinosaur Valley State Park Superintendent, said. “These dinosaur tracks belong to the three-toed carnivorous dinosaur, theropod, and large round herbivore dinosaur, sauropod.” The pointy-three-toed birdlike track of a carnosaur, 12-24 inches long and 9-17 inches wide, most likely belonged to acrocanthosaurus, a relative of tyrannosaurus rex. The mostly oval footprints of the saurpod, over three feet long and two feet wide, probably belonged to pleurocoelus. Pleurocoelus is a plant eater and is a relative to apatosaurus, the herbivores in

Exploring Dinosaur Tracks

By Kayler Campbell

Jurassic Park. At Dinosaur Valley one may also find ornithopod tracks that probably belonged to iguanodon, another three-toed animal but with a more rounded toe than acrocanthosaurus. These tracks were created

when the dinosaurs walked in the soft, limy mud that used to be part of the Gulf of Mexico. When the mud was filled with new sediment from bordering lagoons, the footprints became preserved in the rock.

Dinosaur tracks set in stone at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Photograph by Robyn Dabney.

The park also has two lifesize fiberglass models of the relatives to the dinosaur tracks found at the park. The 70-foot apatosaurus model and 45-foot tyrannosaurus rex model were donated by the Atlantic Richfield Company. These models were from the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair Dinosaur Exhibit. The opportunity to see these tracks are so unique that even the American Museum of Natural History in New York extracted a sample of one of the Dinosaur Valley tracks to put in its museum. Dinosaur Valley is located at 1629 Park Road 59 Glen Rose, or call them at 254-8974588.

Somervell Events Brother-In-Laws Roping

Kirby Hill and Jason Bottoms April 14-15

American Miniature Horse Spring Show

American Miniature Horse Registry April 20-22

Missed out on this issue? Full Page................... $500 Half Page................... $300 Quarter Page............. $175 Busines Card.............. $75

Dal-Worth Appaloosa Horse Show Dal-Worth Appaloosa Association April 27-29

15% Discount is offered for camera ready ads

Southwest Peruvian Horse Show Southwest Peruvian Horse Club May 4-6

Texas Breeders Classic Futurity and Sale Texas Breeders Classic May 11-12

Contact us at


to get your ad in our next issue!!



Cedar Ridge Cabins and RV Park 4475 W Highway 67, Glen Rose 254-897-3410

Glen Hotel 201 S.W. Barnard Street, Glen Rose 254-898-2068

Oakdale Park 1019 Barnard Street, Glen Rose 254-897-9747

Cedars on the Brazos 2920 County Road 413, Glen Rose 254-898-1000

Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center 1102 N.E. Big Bend Trail, Glen Rose 254-897-2247

Paluxy River Bed Cabins 1319 FM 205, Glen Rose 254-897-9425

CJ’S Country Cabins 3454 FM 56, Glen Rose 254-898-9533

Inn on the River 205 S.W. Barnard Street, Glen Rose 254-897-2929

Popejoy Haus Cabins 1943 County Road 2013, Glen Rose 254-897-3521

County Woods Inn 420 Grand Avenue #C, Glen Rose 254-897-4586

Lilly House 107 Lilly Ave, Glen Rose 254-897-9747

Tres Rios 2322 County Road 312, Glen Rose 254-897-4253


Make Tracks to Glen Rose - Dinosaur Capital of Texas Every Friday & Saturday 7:30 p.m. September thru October

A Musical Experience of the Life of Christ 1-800-687-2661 Visit Our Historic Courthouse Square - Shops - Dining - Museums - Historic Hotels 254-897-3081

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center A 9.5 mile scenic wildlife drive to see exotic and endangered animals.

Overnight Accommodations Special Education Programs

“Making Memories, Saving Animals”

254-897-2960 • Dinosaur World 100 Life-Size Dinosaurs in a 22 Acre Park Setting Museum • Picnic Area Dinosaur Walk • Fossil Dig Gift Shop • Playground • Free Parking Friendly Dogs On A Leash Welcome


Dinosaur Valley State Park Six Miles of Hiking & Biking Trails Swimming - Playgrounds Group Facilities Camping - Picnic Areas Interpretive Center Authentic Dinosaur Tracks Two Life-Size Dinosaur Replicas


36-hole Public Course - Open 7 Days a Week Large Practice Putting Green PGA Instruction - Tourament Packages 254-897-7956


Wheeler Branch Reservoir

Girl’s Night Out on Historic Courthouse Square Third Saturday of the Month Glen Rose Art Meander Third Saturday of the Month Market Days on Historic Courthouse Square First Saturday of the Month

Great Place for Canoes & Kayaks

Stocked By Texas Parks & Wildlife Large Mouth Bass • Bluegill • Wall Eye Small Mouth Bass • Channel Catfish 254-897-4141 2099 CR 301 • Glen Rose

Request Your Free Visitor Information Packet

1-888-346-6282 or