Though Texas is most often known as a high school football powerhouse, one former Vandegrift and Canyon Ridge student found another calling — stock car racing.
Austin Wayne Self lived in Austin for the first 18 years of his life before moving to North Carolina to pursue his racing career. He attended Vandegrift for his freshman year in high school, then switched to homeschool.
While the downtown Austin zip code of 78701 now holds the top spot as the wealthiest zip code in Austin, two Four Points zip codes are not far behind.
According to 5-year data from the U.S. Census’ 2017 American Community Survey, the downtown 78701 zip code had a median family income of $209,515. Westlake’s 78746 zip code held the second place with a median family income of $191,342.
Four years of hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail have taught me much — whether about myself, life or the trail itself — and 2019 was no exception.
This year I hiked across Connecticut and Massachusetts for a total of about 120 miles. The trail was familiar, an old friend: green, lush, bursting at the seams with lifeforms big and small. Ancient trees. Fingernail-sized frogs and fist-sized toads. Orange salamanders and striped racer snakes. Tiny black flies that like to swarm your face and land on your eyeballs.
Some features were new, such as the path itself that wended through the forest, more dirt and soft pine needles than the usual rocks that characterize the trail along previous sections I’ve hiked (Georgia, part of North Carolina, New Jersey and New York). The air, as always, smelled sweet and clean, but here I smelled too the tang of pines heated by the sun and the unmistakable Christmas smell of fir trees.