I love to take a driving trip. You really get to see the countryside and, during pit stops, get to see the local people. How are they different from you? How are they similar? What are local waterways and roads named for? I know; I’m a nerd and I just love this stuff. Besides, when you are driving a long way and your spouse is reading the newspaper and the radio is just boring, there’s nothing left to do but to watch for interesting sites along the way.
I look for town/city names. On our last trip to Montgomery, TX, I found quite a few interesting names along the way. You will already know some of the larger city names, such as Fort Worth and Waco, but I’m betting you won’t know all of these city/town names.
- Fort Worth
- Carl’s Corner
- Elm Mott
- Bryan-College Station
- Westward Ho
See what I mean? If you are a Willie Nelson fan, you might know Abbott, his birthplace, and Carl’s Corner, where he has had several Fourth of July celebrations. But I bet you didn’t know them all!
Some of these sites are so small that I really don’t think they are official towns or cities. Such as, I don’t think Westward Ho is a town. I think it’s probably a subdivision in the middle of nowhere that grew too large to be a mere community but was not large enough to be incorporated. Yet it is listed on the Rand-McNally map.
And Lacy-Lakeview? I never saw anything that looked like a lake, much less anything with a special view!
And who exactly was Marvin?
When I’m really bored, I start looking at the waterway names. I’ve heard of the West Fork of the Trinity River in Fort Worth and the Navasota River. I’ve even heard of the Tehuacana Creek just east of Waco. But when you get between Waco and Millican on Highway 6, you will find Thompson Creek, followed closely by Thompson Branch. Then you will find Still Creek, Burton Creek, Wolf Pen Creek, Bee Creek, Lick Creek, Alum Creek, Peach Creek, and Millican Creek. Now some of these names get me to questioning why they got their names.
- Still Creek – Was it because it was a calm body of water? Or was it because someone had a still in the backwoods of Texas?
- Wolf Pen Creek – Ok, did someone actually keep some wolves in a pen? For what reason???
- Lick Creek – ??? What were THEY licking when they named this one?
- Alum Creek – Is this the same alum that you can get in powder form in a pharmacy or drugstore?
But my favorite creeks are Big Creek and Little Creek. You won’t find these on a map, at least not the Rand-McNally map, but I can verify that I saw the signs for them as we were driving. Seriously though? Someone definitely had NO imagination in that small area of Texas!
I guess the point of this rant is to tell you that it’s fun to watch the names as they go past you on a long drive. Don’t just hotrod down the road, trying your best to get from one point to another. Slow down and really look at the scenery along the way. It’s usually kind of fun. And who knows, you might just miss those fun street names, like Bugtussle Road and Sadberry Road. Hmmm, can a berry really be sad???