This Texas trip took us 2 weeks. It actually includes the Appalacians Mountains, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisianna.
It is a particularly good trip when the kids are old enough to understand the Alamo and the moon shot and still young enough to get
excited about cowboys and indians. The kids were ages 8 through 14 on this trip.
Mammoth Cave is as pretty as Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico or Luray Caverns in Virginia, but it is mammoth. The area is pretty. The campground is nice. We took a long tour inside the cave and it was impressive. You can register ahead of time online. While this is not a must see, it was about 8 hours out of Pittsburgh and made a nice meaningful stop on our trip. We drove to Mammoth Cave on a Saturday and went to mass. We toured the cave on Sunday and left for Arkansas on Monday morning.
Lake Ouachita is about 8 hours from Mammoth Cave on the way towards Ft. Worth. There is a swimming beach near the campground. The water is clear enough for snorkling. During our full day here, we rented a boat. The area is known for the abundant crystals you can find while snorkling.
This was a really nice campground. There are real dinosaur footprints fosilized in the rocks along the river bed. You can snorkel in the river. The water is very clear. The sides are rock and there are Alligator Gar which you can see swimming below you. Very cool!! They behaved themselves when we were there. We stayed here two nights while visiting Fort Worth.
The Stock Yards is your first real taste of the Texas cowboy culture on this trip. The Texas Stockyards was the last major stopping point for supplies for cowboys driving cattle north on the famous Chisholm Trail in the 1800s. There are Cattle Drives down the main drag several times a day. There is a rodeo museum and a maze and lots of shops for cowboy stuff. Dont miss Riskies Barbeque! The steak, ribs and shrimp platter was one of the best meals I have ever had.
Cattle Drive down the main street. This happens several times day.