Fort Worth, Texas Stockyards (courtesy traveller2020 on Flickr’s Creative Commons.)Today my teenage daughter and I are launching the minivan on our US Midwest Road Trip.

I’m honored to be a Day One panelist speaker at the BlogHer blogging conference in Chicago 27-29 July, so we’re turning that event into the travel writer’s mondo assignment and exploring the Midwest going and coming from central Texas.

Yes, Sainted Husband and my young son will meet us in Arkansas on the way back, and they have a full schedule of batting cages and water parks while we’re gone.

The method to my 2000-mile driving madness is improving my pathetic lack of knowledge of the American Midwest, or what one of my colleagues referred to as “those square states.”

OK, they’re not all square, but I just don’t know my Missouri from my Iowa, and it’s time to fix that.

We’re going to follow part of the old Chisholm Trail for the first couple of legs: Austin to Fort Worth and the cattle Stockyards, then north across the Red River (just like the Longhorns of yesteryear) to visit the Chisholm Trail Museum in Duncan, Oklahoma before stopping overnight in Osage Indian country. We’ll stay at Osage Hills State Park in sturdy little log cabins built during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

(This is cross-posted on the Family Travel blog; click here to read the whole post.)

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I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. NHRA drag racing fan. Co-founder of Tourism Currents. U.S. Navy veteran. Caffeinated.