Day Trips: Looking Back at 2016

Some noteworthy milestones from last year

Day Trips: Looking Back at 2016
Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

Looking back at 2016 there are some day-tripping milestones that should be noted.

First, congratulations to Garner State Park for reaching its 75th anniversary. The park on the Frio River has been the most popular camping spot in the state park inventory since it opened. Avoid the crowds and explore the park's trails during the fall and winter.

Speaking of the state parks, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department received an influx of much-needed cash for repairs and improvements. The effects of the increased funding are visible in Palo Duro Canyon, Caprock Canyons, Bastrop, Inks Lake, and the flood-damaged McKinney Falls.

Day Trips: Looking Back at 2016
Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

Good news came in December, when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposed removing the black-capped vireo from the endangered species list. Due to decades of conservation efforts the little songbird has rebounded from 350 birds in 1987.

On the sad side, the historic Turner Dance Hall in Fredericksburg burned to the ground on June 20. Arson was suspected. Efforts are underway to rebuild.

In Memoriam:

• Paul Ray, Jan. 15, deejay who created the sound­track for many day trips.

Day Trips: Looking Back at 2016
Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

• Harlen A. Winter, Feb. 12, developed snake avoidance training for dogs.

• John Morthland, March 8, writer and barbecue aficionado who coined the phrase "Best barbecue in Texas, therefore the world."

• Louis Jay Meyers, March 11, entrepreneur, musician, and good friend.

• Blair Pittman, Oct. 10, writer, spelunker, award- winning photographer.

• Bob Henry, Oct. 31, founder of Schlitterbahn Water Parks.

1,329th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

Follow "Day Trips & Beyond," a weekly travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Garner State Park, Turner Dance Hall, black-capped vireo

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