Seven years ago, seized by the desire for travel and bereft of both the funds and the time necessary to do so,  I started walking across Houston. I'd ride a bus out to the end of the line and then walk back downtown. I wanted to be a stranger in my own hometown, get some exercise, and maybe find "the Sole of Houston."

Naturally enough I chose Westheimer as my first route.

After that David Beebe—then a Houston musician, now a Marfa politico/musician/radio jock—became my usual companion on these hikes. Fueled by the sweet soul music of KCOH coming out of a transistor radio, street tacos, cheap beer, wine, and tequila (and occasionally a can of powdered snuff), together we ambled the full lengths of Richmond, Long Point / Washington Ave., Shepherd, Bissonnet, Telephone Road, Clinton DriveHarrisburg, Airline Drive, and Bellaire Blvd.  

The marches went on in blazing heat and freezing cold, bright sun and darkest night. No matter the conditions, no matter how sore and tired we got, these hikes were a blast, a sense of playing hooky from your own life if only for a day and still in your own hometown.

Here are a few of the best pics from those jaunts...

Somewhere in the East End

Image: John Nova Lomax 

A reconfigured Chuc-Wagun on Harrisburg, now demolished.

El Torito, demolished for the East End light-rail line.

Image: David W. Beebe 

Down and Out on Telephone Road. Behind this vacant building, we found chicken coops and other remnants of a cockfighting arena.

Image: John Nova Lomax 

Houston's finest Shipley's sign is at the Bissonnet location.

The light at the end of the Airline Drive hike.

Beebe befriends an Aldine-Bender Muffler Man.

 

Interior: Harrisburg Country Club. Big news of the day: DA Chuck Rosenthal resigned in disgrace, as he failed to heed the sign here.

Image: David W. Beebe 

East End Car Part Art.

Aldine, Texas: a dead baseball diamond.

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