Visiting the Golden Triangle – Orange, TX

The Golden Triangle?  If you grew up in Southeast Texas like we did, you heard this term every day – in the local news, TV ads, everyday conversation.  We didn’t realize that our Golden Triangle was just one of many throughout America and the world.  Some younger folks and newcomers to the area just look at us funny when we use that term today but most know that The Golden Triangle is comprised of these vectors (cities): Beaumont; Port Arthur; Orange.  This gilded appellation originated after the discovery of oil at Spindletop in 1901.  The area between these three cities became flush with oil-wealth and which has since waxed and waned with the price of oil.  According to Wikipedia, the refinery flares in these three towns make distinct vectors of a triangle when viewed from the air.

Today I want to focus on Orange the county seat of Orange County, TX.  This county is full of historical as well as natural significance to the area – often the two intersect.  There are several ways to get to Orange from La Paz – some fast and some scenic.  The fast ways would take about 1 1/2 hours.  The scenic routes could take 2 1/2 hours to weeks – depending on how often you stop to explore.

Although there’s many interesting things to do in Orange, I’m going to list some of my favorites:

Shangri-La Botanical Gardens – This is a magical, mystical, natural experience that has to be seen to be believed.  Visit the link and get a glimpse of this realized dream of H.J. Lutcher Stark.

Neches River Adventures – A “must do”!  Explore the lower Neches River on the Ivory Bill a large pontoon site-seeing boat operated by the Big Thicket Association.  Our Angelina River joins the Neches about 17 miles downstream from La Paz.

Mercantile Store – take a trip back in time and visit this still operating general store.

The Stark Museum of Art – Among other rare collections the Stark Museum of Art houses one of the nation’s most significant collections of American Western art.

This should get you started (there’s much more to see and do) and finding good gulf coast seafood with a Louisiana flare will be an easy search in this area of Texas.  Next I’ll move around the triangle to either Beaumont or Port Arthur – I haven’t decided which just yet.

This past Saturday we were expecting a norther with winds and rains to pass through.  The approaching storm gave me the excuse to take my little boat on a river run to charge the battery so the bilge pump would hopefully run throughout and save it from filling up with rain.  Besides 4 Bald Eagles – here is some of what I saw:

My favorite riverbank tree.

My favorite riverbank tree

Wards Branch / Angelina River

Wards Branch / Angelina River

Looking downstream by La Paz docks

Looking downstream by La Paz docks

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