Monday, March 28, 2016

Chisholm Trail, Silos and Other Waco Wonders

The famous MAgNoLia sign.

Waco, deep in the heart of Texas.
We made our plans to visit Waco in order to explore Magnolia Market at the Silos.  HDTV's Fixer Upper is one of our favorite home remodeling shows and we couldn't drive by this part of Texas without stopping.. 
Chip and Joanna Gaines have created a beautiful family oriented marketplace that serves the community as well as providing a shopping spot for the hordes of tourists like us that want to catch a glimpse of the shop.   The Market is beautifully decorated in Joanna's style.  Chip's stuff was all in one little corner.  We enjoyed walking the store and finding gifts for friends but outdoors is where the joy is.   There is a play lawn In the shadow of the large silos with toys like Corn Hole and soccer balls to amuse kids and their parents.  Overhead are the rusted elevators that once fed grain into the silos.    

The play lawn at Nagnolia
There are picnic tables next to the lawn.  They are handcrafted and painted white of course. Beyond the tables is a  walk-way and an L shaped row of Food Trucks that gave us a number of cuisines to choose from.  It was great to see local food businesses  getting a boost due to the show's popularity.   Trains go by with regularity and one enterprising food truck chef gave a discount if you had to shout your order as the train rumbled through.   We enjoyed some gourmet coffee and a couple of spectacular grilled cheese sandwiches.   Magnolia market is adding a garden store. There are already raised beds full of Swiss chard and tiny tomato plants,  a pen of baby goats and in the far corner a teepee with mushroom seats for little folks to enjoy.  There are rumors of a bakery in the near future.
We also took a little side trip to see carpenter Clint's shop, Harp Designs.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum was our other reason for visiting Waco.  THE Texas Rangers not the baseball team.   The One riot One Ranger, white hat lawmen, badass Texas Rangers.  The museum houses many Ranger artifacts.  There are weapons exhibits featuring the famous Colt Patterson Texas Revolver  and displays that explain some of their famous cases.   I particularly enjoyed the Prohibition era exhibits and an entire room full of Ranger inspired TV and movie memorabilia that included posters of the Lone Ranger and clothing worn by Chuck Norris.  Fred enjoyed the stories and exhibits that described the capture of real life bandits like Bonnie and Clyde.

Early Dr. Pepper delivery truck
Did you know that Waco is the home of Dr. Pepper? We discovered that when looking for other things to do in Waco. Fred is a Pepper so we spent an hour or so in the museum that stands on the site of the original bottling plant.  The presentation of soda as history was fun and we enjoyed Dr Pepper floats made in the restored soda fountain. We were even able to score some Dr Pepper syrup to use with our Soda Stream.

Waco's historic suspension bridge
Waco is also part of the historic Chisholm Trail. Prior to the expansion of the railroad cattle were driven down the streets of downtown Waco and over a suspension bridge that crosses the Brazos River before continuing North to the stockyards of Fort Worth.  That suspension bridge was built in 1870 and stands today as a foot bridge.   We were interested to learn that the cable for the bridge was supplied by the John Roebling Company, builders of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

This larger than life sized bronze is one of 28 sculptures that make "Branding the Brazos"
There is an amazing art instillation at the start of the bridge in Indian Springs Park  on the east side of the river.   It is a series of many larger than life sized bronzes called Branding the Brazos. These Chisholm trail sculptures were created by Robert Summers and include a trail boss on horseback, a vaquero with bandoleers strapped across his chest, a cowboy  and a herd of 25 longhorn cattle.

One of  the 25 longhorns of "Branding the Brazos"
We crossed the bridge and enjoyed a 2 mile stroll on the west bank of the Brazos with Rascal while we spotted turtles, geese, egrets  and heron.

The Riverfront park was another Food Truck hot spot that allowed us a delicious lunch after our walk. 
Rascal got barbecue.  
He doesn't like sushi.

Magnolia Market at the Silos
601 Webster Ave
Waco, Texas
(254) 235-0603
M-Th 10-6
F-Sat 9-6

Dr. Pepper Museum
300 S 5th St
Waco Texas
(254) 757-1024
M-Sat 10-5
Sun 12-5

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
100 Texas Ranger Trail
Waco, Texas
(254) 750-8631
daily 9-5


  1. It's interesting how the cables of the bridge aren't bound together between the towers and the anchorages, yet they are on the other side. The stories of the old bridges are amazing to read, Bonnie.

  2. They are. This one had quite the history.