Sam Houston National Forest

I found myself back in College Station for a personal reunion, a long time friend was back in town from New York visiting her folks, and of course, I had to make the trip up. Hey, if there's a better place to find good company and cheap drinks other than a college town, I haven't found it? After a night of catching back up on the latest I had to find my way south to Houston, normally a brief one and half hour drive southeast. Since I never like to do the easy thing and I had an extra six hours anyway, I decided to take a trip through the Sam Houston National Forest, a region of the state I've never really explored. The forest is north of Houston and contains such interesting towns as Cut and Shoot and Point Blank, it's western entrance is the penal town of Huntsville.

I came across a controlled fire immediately upon entering the area. A controlled fire, or prescribed burn depending on who you're talking to, is heavily used in forest management as a means of keeping the forest undergrowth in check as well as a means of propagation for certain plants. Well, what ever it is, I had to drive through it.
{cough} {cough}

East Texas is a foreign place to me. Southern in it's look and feel, it's an unfamiliar region, completely unlike the semi-arid hard scrabble Central Texas of my youth. The trees are tall, and the forest is dark. Everything is green and water is in no short supply. Hell, even the soil is different, East Texas has it, Central Texas doesn't.
It was what I call a good trip, something new that I haven't done before and even though I regularly got lost I didn't run into any real problems. I even managed to snap a picture or two of the Sam Houston statue near Huntsville. Warning: He's not quiet life size.

So, some six hours later I found my way merry way out of the 160,000 acre reserve and plodded on down the road to Houston. Tired, with a trucker tan and ready for a nap.