Hittin’ the Road! with Crystal Barnes

clbarnes_avatarHowdy y’all! Crystal Barnes here and it’s such a thrill to visit y’all at Petticoats and Pistols. And speaking of visiting places, how many of y’all like road trips? I know I sure do.


Be it to the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, where you can learn about the daring, brave men who helped bring order to the West. I even learned how to take apart a Colt Peacemaker and put it back together again. Did you know those guns weighed as much as a 5lb bag of sugar?  Crazy!

Perhaps you’d prefer a trip to the Texian Market Days at the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond, Texas, where you can tour multiple houses from the past, see reenactments, and/or learn how to fire a cannon or spin your own yarn. There are four different homes on this property. The 1830s Jones Stock Farmhouse is a dog-run style cabin with a covered breezeway down the middle. I used this structure as a model for Russell Cahill’s home in book two of my Marriage & Mayhem series, Love, Stock, & Barrel.


Their 1860s Ryon Prairie Home I’m using as a basis for my heroine’s home in my upcoming story Hook, Line, & Suitor (Marriage & Mayhem, Book 3). (You’ll see some of that Texas Ranger learnin’ pop up in this story too.) This house also has a breezeway, but the wealth of the family is much more easily seen.


Want another great place to visit in Texas, be it for research or just plain fun? Perhaps you should make a pit stop in Anderson and tour the Fanthorp Inn. The inn was built as a home in in 1834 and later enlarged for hotel purposes. It also served as the area’s first mercantile and post office (1835). You’ll also have the chance to ride a stagecoach while visiting. Why would the inn host stagecoach rides? The inn lay on the stage line crossroads for Houston to Old Springfield and Nacogdoches to Austin.


Recently, I was blessed to accompany a friend on a research trip to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and boy, did we have a wonderful, memorable time.



To me, that’s what stories are supposed to be too—a wonderful trip with a new friend (or an old one if you like series or reruns, which I do). If the story trail includes some cowboys, desperados, and exciting turn-of-events, even better.


How about you? Do you enjoy road trips? What are some of the best places you’ve visited—be it for research or just a fun getaway? Not a road traveler? What are some of your favorite towns/places to visit through stories?


I’d love to hear all about them. I love finding new places to visit, plus I’ll be giving away a FREE copy (ebook or paperback) of one of my stories to one of this post’s commentors. (Winner’s choice of title.)


An award-winning author, bona fide country girl, and former competitive gymnast, Crystal L Barnes tells stories of fun, faith, and friction that allow her to share her love of Texas, old-fashioned things, and the Lord—not necessarily in that order. When she’s not writing, reading, singing, or acting, Crystal enjoys exploring on road-trips, spending time with family, and watching old movies/sitcoms. I Love Lucy is one of her favorites. You can find out more and connect with Crystal at http://www.crystal-barnes.com.

You can also on her blog, the Stitches Thru Time group blog, her Amazon Author page, GoodreadsPinterestGoogle+, or on her Facebook author page.

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40 thoughts on “Hittin’ the Road! with Crystal Barnes”

  1. Hi Crystal! I love to travel. The one place I love to travel to is the Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Pidgeon Forge. It is great to rent a cabin there and just enjoy nature.

    I would love to win one of your books. Thank you for your generosity.

    Cindy W.

      • Pigeon Forge is in Tennesse in the Great Smokey Mountains. It is beautiful there. I also love Gatlinburg, TN which is right next to Pigeon Forge. So much to do there and beautiful country. The amusement park, Dollywood, is also in Pigeon Forge.

  2. What a super cute blog! It’s great to share traveling stories. Now that I am older, I’m getting the chance to do a bit more traveling (or vacations) to different places. Our family has just started to get Passport “stamps” when we visit National Parks and places…didn’t know we has so many close to us! Your books sound wonderful…clean and wholesome reads, right up my alley! Thanks for the share… Linda B

    • Howdy, Linda! So glad you enjoyed the post. I also enjoy visiting state and national parks. They’re so rich with history and overwhelming beauty. What is one of the favorites you’ve visited? Last year, I finally got to see the breath-taking Yellowstone national park.

  3. I love visiting places. We usually pick somewhere to visit every year. This year we are looking forward to New Orleans. My favorite trip was tot he Galapagoes and MAchu PIcchu

  4. Hi Crystal

    I’ve really enjoyed your series and now I understand how you can write about Texas with such authenticity. To prepare for my post-civil war novel I researched in middle Georgia where I live. People may not know it, but the war didn’t extend of Atlanta. Many of the most beautiful Antebellum houses you’d ever hope to see, some with museums. I started at the Hay House in Macon and traveled to the Jarrell Plantation, where they show you how a real plantation worked, from the slave quarters to the big house. And tucked away under the Spanish moss of the small towns in south Georgia, you’ll find more beautifully preserved mansions than you’d have time to tour.

    I don’t like traveling far, so thanks for giving us this wonderful series so I can visit Texas in your books.

    • Hi, Elaine!!! So glad you stopped by! Thanks for the kind words about my stories. I’m pleased they could be a blessing to you.
      Those homes and plantations you described sound marvelous! I’d love to visit. I think I’m gonna have to start keeping a list of places to go. ?

    • Hi, Estella! That’s such a beautiful name. I’d love to use it in a book sometime. Would you mind? Does it come from other branches in your family tree?
      I too love reading stories set in the South, but I’ll gladly go just about anywhere in a good book. ??

  5. I enjoyed your post today. I like road trips, but I just don’t like being in the car very long with my husband. He gets road rage and I end up a nervous wreck.

  6. Welcome to the corral, Crystal! I assume you’re a Texan, so let me give you a big ol’ Texas virtual hug.

    This was such a delightful post. The Fanthorp Inn is one of the few places in Texas I haven’t visited. I’ll have to make a trip there now. Sounds like an interesting place full of fun research potential! (I don’t know about you, but I get lost down rabbit holes all the time…and thoroughly enjoy myself in the warren. 😉 )

    All my best wishes for your upcoming book. I love the titles in that series. 🙂

    • Yes, ma’am, and I’ll take that hug and give you a mighty squeeze back. ?
      Haha! I totally get you with those rabbit holes, and the Fanthorp Inn should definitely be included in a trip. The day we visited they also had folks in costume playing old musical instruments on the porch. It was so awesome!

  7. My grandfather, mom and I all had what I call white line fever, based on a song by Merle Haggard. My first trip on my own was by car to Nashville.

    My next journey was (not by car obviously) to live for a year in Scotland. Later on, I went back about eight times after that for monthly visits over the years.

    My next major road trip all on my own, along with my four-month old English sheepdog puppy, was from the Northeast to Oklahoma to visit family I had met only once before when I was young. Of course I took side trips on the way for various sights. And one gets to meet a whole lot of people when you have a cute pup.

    When my son was young, we traveled across the country by car following the Lewis and Clark Trail west, and then on the way back east, we followed the Oregon Trail in reverse. I can’t begin to say how much I enjoyed that journey. Especially the ruts left by wagons that are still there, Independence Rock where so many travelers carved their initials, and so on. Oh, and a side trip to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming for a look at what some think is Sacajawea’s burial site.

    Then, later on, I got into genealogy to track my family from Oklahoma and Texas, starting in Oklahoma with my mom and son, and then on my own going through all the states in the South looking for records, and finding and standing on the land my ancestors actually lived on. To cut to the chase, I eventually learned my family came to the colonies in the late 1600s with William Penn’s Quakers from England. Later on, dna tests showed our English ancestors were from the Angles tribe, now Denmark. Vikings IOW. Those genealogy trips were generally one week affairs whenever I could get the time, but I found records about them in every state from Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and then west. I figure those ancestors are responsible for the travel gene my mom, her dad and I have in spades. From Vikings, to colonists to the New World, to generations moving across the country, d’ya think?

    • Oh wow, Eliza! You sound like my kind of travel buddy! I would so totally love to travel those trails across the US and back. I can only imagine how awesome that was to see all those historical places firsthand.
      I’ve never gotten to go overseas, but those trips sound like they were lots of fun.
      Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing with us today!

  8. We adore taking road trips. We have discovered some fabulous out of the way gems and beauties. Hidden landscape treats and some wonderful people at little mom and pop type coffee shops and bakeries. We found a hidden bakery a while back while getting lost. Now we go there on purpose to visit and get some yummies!

    • My mom and I love to say, “we don’t get lost; we take the scenic route.” ? I believe, not only the sights, but the people that share them with you are what make road trips so special.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us today, Susan. ?

  9. Wonderful post. I enjoy road trips to historical sites. They are so fascinating and unforgettable. The road trip to Leadville was my favorite.

    • Howdy, Ellie! I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Leadville, but I’m surely with you on the historical sites. There’s something about visiting them that makes the history there just come to life. Historical novels do that too.
      Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  10. Travel is such a memorable experience. We haven’t traveled much but the beauty, history and culture was incomparable on my first ever and only international trip to Italy.

    • Oh Italy! How awesome you got to go there! I’m sure it was spectacular. Ice never gotten the opportunity to hop the Big Pond before.

      So glad you took the time to connect today, Ruth!

  11. Travel gives me pleasure and allows me to learn, savor and understand life. When I have the opportunity I go. lately I have been plagued with health problems so it hasn’t been possible. My ultimate favorite destination which made a huge impression upon me were The Canadian Rockies.

    • Howdy, Anne! Love those words, “learn, savor, and understand.” I know I certainly learn bucket loads, and savor–most definitely. Understanding life… Now that one… Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far but getaways surely help you get or maintain a healthy perspective. Those mountain vistas you visit definitely give a great reminder of how great and mighty our God is.

      So glad you dropped by today, Anne.

    • Howdy, Kim!!! So glad you dropped by. I’d love to take a train trip all across the country. The most I’ve done is ride old steam and diesel engines on short trips. It’s so thrilling to experience the sights and sounds so many experienced on their way West or South or North even. 🙂

  12. Hi Crystal, I’m so sorry I didn’t stop in until now. Thanks for much for being on P & P!!!
    As a rule I do NOT like long car rides. I have a tendency, very mild, toward car sickness. If I am very very careful about what I eat and when and how much, I can get by but it’s never really a relaxing thing because sometimes my stomach starts to boil and then I just have to sort of hang on. I press my fingers to the window (the colder the better) gaze at the far horizon and breath slowly and carefully. Then I can come out of it…and I’m used to that. But still………..not my favorite.

    • Oh my! I only have experienced mild car sickness at the hands of one driver. I won’t say whom. 🙂
      I’m so glad you did stop by, Mary. I can honestly say your novels are always an adventure. 🙂

  13. Having said that, the last long driving trip I took was about four or five hours straight west into Nebraska into the sand hills. I wanted to really see them because I’m thinking of setting a book there.
    My sister went with me and we had a really good time. It’s a very beautiful landscape, real cowboy country and the constant rolling hills are really and clearly sand with grass growing over them. Any little place that gets washed out just becomes a deeper and deeper rut in the sand. We saw cattle and horses and tiny towns that seemed to be thriving. I had a really good time.

      • Hi, Crystal. We love to travel and are just now finishing a two week trip to NE New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire, and tomorrow Connecticut before heading home to
        NE Tennessee. We live in the oldest toswn in the state, Jonesborough. Lots of history here. We were in Texas last year and still have more of the state to see. We loved Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakoitas. We traveled the West Coast and went to Moniiuyteray and San Diego.¿

        • Wow, Patricia! You must sing that song “I’ve been everywhere, man” a lot. Sounds like a blast and a half! Did y’all see lots of color in New England? Where did y’all stop in Texas? There are so many great places to visit and see in this grand state. One year we went cavern hopping, another canyon hopping. Sooo many things to see and do. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you have a restful night.

  14. Howdy from Texas. We have so many wonderful places to visit. We have lovely hills and beautiful ranches. Of course you see the Alamo and then hop over to The River Walk for shopping and dining. Would love to read your book.
    Thanks for the chance.

    • Howdy, Deana! I had a gymnastics meet in San Antonio once. That was the first time I toured the Alamo. Never have gone on the Riverwalk, but I’ve seen the pictures. Maybe one day I’ll get to stroll that direction.
      Thank so much for stopping by today!

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