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About this trip

Intrepid travelers of Great Escapes Texas pose at the outset of their adventures.
Intrepid travelers of Great Escapes Texas – photographer Christian Kallen, writer Richard Bangs, and videographer Didrik Johnck – pose at the outset of their adventures. Christian Kallen

Our Great Escape to Texas puts us in hot pursuit of exciting yet accessible activities, crossing and circumnavigating the greatest state to satisfy a range of tastes, ages and capabilities. Everything from rafting to biking, from hiking to horseback riding, from bird watching to bull riding; from the Alamo to Amarillo, Brownsville to El Paso…it’s all fair game, and then some. This is what we call The Great Tex-pedition.

As befits a state that’s gushing with adventure, we’re exploring Texas with a veteran Everest climber, a wild river explorer, and a digital pioneer.

Richard Bangs, our field journalist, is co-founder of Mountain Travel/Sobek, the adventure travel firm, and is the producer/editor of Great Escapes. He was editor-in-chief of Mungo Park, an early on-line travel publication, and was part of the founding team of, serving as its editor-at-large for five years. Bangs is the author of 15 travel books, including "The Lost River," which won the National Book Award for Outdoor Literature and the Lowell Thomas Gold medal.

Christian Kallen is a photographer, writer, and media handyman. He has participated in 25 online expeditions.  He is co-author (with Richard Bangs) of four books, including "Rivergods" and "Riding the Dragon's Back." He lives in Healdsburg, Calif., and online at

Didrik Johnck, whose mountain photography has graced the cover of Time Magazine, joins us fresh from his most recent assignment in the Himalayas. After three weeks above 17,000 feet, he's happy to trade in the snow for some warmer weather. Images from many of Didrik's forays into some of the wildest parts of the world are found online.

Terry “Tex” Toler, is our local guide and expert for much of the journey. This native Texan credits his nickname to family and friends’ recognition of his intense affection for the Lone Star State. He’s been celebrating Texas his entire life, is a lifelong student of Texas history and folklore, and is sometimes called the "Cliff Claven of Texas trivia." He's even a member of the "254 Club," a membership gained by traveling to all 254 counties in the state.