Monday, August 1

Retracing the Goodnight Loving Trail for Texas Highways Magazine

The August issue of Texas Highways Magazine has part one of a two part series on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, a historic Texas cattle trail, the story of which inspired the Pulitzer Prize winning epic Lonesome Dove. You can link to the article here, or grab a copy at your favorite local bookstore. Intakes and outtakes appear in the slideshow below.

In 1866, a young cattleman named Charles Goodnight forged a partnership with Oliver Loving, an established rancher 25 years his senior, and they blazed a new cattle trail across Texas to Fort Sumner, New Mexico. By 1868, the trail spanned some 2,000 miles, extending into Colorado and Wyoming. And the partnership that started with a handshake in an unassuming hamlet in North Texas became one of the most celebrated legends of the West.

The story of the Goodnight-Loving Trail represents the defining story of the last frontier, before fences and railroads changed the West forever. As a Texan born 100 years after the close of the frontier, I’ve always wanted to see the state as it was then—wide open to anyone courageous enough to take it on. Believing in the power of place to connect us to history, I decided to retrace the steps of Goodnight and Loving to call forth that sense of possibility and purpose.

Retracing the Goodnight-Loving Trail - Images by Julia Robinson

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