If you’re looking for adventure, history, excitement, amazing cuisine, relaxation, and fun, you are in the right spot in the big ol’ heart of Texas!
Adventure? What could be as thrilling as tubing down the Wachacallit fork of the Fracas River with its twists and turns through the wild Texan landscape of live oaks, crazy big rocks, and tall dead grass? Experience whirling eddies and straightaways, reaching up to three miles per hour! Expert student guides from Desperate’s own award-winning high school (2013 Governor’s Merit Achievement Red Ribbon Recognition Runner-Up, Class III) shepherd your group through the four-mile voyage and then bring you back on our Mack diesel flat-bed hayride!
History? Olde Towne Desperate is an endlessly fascinating destination! Visit the gripping “Desperate Story” multi-media exhibit housed in the iconic oldest gas station in Shonnuf County. As you hear about the brave and hardy settlers Abner and Pearly Goush who, stranded here by two broken wagon axles, torrential rains, and the sudden blindness of Abner (which is still an historical mystery), you will be inspired by their courage, ambition, and willingness to compromise. Be amazed at the Wall of Celebrities highlighting those who have passed through Desperate: Hedy LaMarr, John Wayne, Carrot Top and others! (Did you know that Francis Ford Coppola once considered filming one scene of movie right here?) And don’t miss the local Ladies’ Guild’s Museum of Early Desperate. See the shoes that may have been worn by Elizabeth (Mrs. Davy!) Crockett, a piece of the floorboard from Bonnie and Clyde’s car (Yes! The famous couple passed through on their way to rob the bank over to Fort Bedlam.), and a collection of thimbles that Desperate high society matron Agnetta Graystone Tutweiler amassed in the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Plus, at the County Water and Sewage Board Office a display of historic broken pipes, plows, and firearms found during various modern construction projects is sure to awe and amuse! And be sure to save seven minutes before you leave town for the self-guided Olde Towne Walking Tour. (Brochures with map available at Virgil’s Feed & Grain, Miss Beth’s Beauty Spot, and Dotard’s Fine Grocery.)
Excitement? Once you’ve tubed on the Fracas, hightail it on over to Colonel Kirby’s Saloon (open six days a week, 4-10:15 p.m.) for an old-fashioned, rootin’-tootin’ Lone Star evening. Experience the nightly gunfight for local beauty Miss Yvonne’s affections, the can-can performance by the Good Time Gals, and the cheatin’ poker players’ brawl! If you’re a night owl go on to the 10:20 tour of the “haunted” Hitchcock Mansion, where the ghost of local dentist and surgeon Homer Flensworth (who died in 1896) roams the halls with a pair of pliers and moves a bust of Mirabeau Lamar (second president of the Republic of Texas) every night! On Halloween the Desperate Dentist Fright Fest draws scores of thrill-seekers from all over the county. If you’re in town, it’s $2.00 well spent.
Amazing cuisine? Mix up your own “dippin’ fixin’s” at Caleb’s Corndawg Capital! A fav with locals, everything for your dawg from melty Velveeta to ranch dressing is at the buffet, along with Desperate Buttermilk Slaw, Cokey-cola baked beans, and triple-fried okra! Wash it down with a Cactus Phosphate, a treat to be hand ONLY in Desperate! For truly fine dining, the exquisitely appointed Stage Coach Stop in the historic old county insane asylum offers wood stove baked Crappie (imported from Arkansas), Rattlesnake Stew, Armadillo Chowder with Pone Dumplings, and more, all served with “Desperate Spuds,” crustless white “Get Along Li’l Dogies,” and double-lard “Pecan Puddin’ Pie.” Breakfast? Head on over to Hannah’s Lone Star Nosebag for three kinds of hoecakes, chili-cheese grits, and their famous Bacon-Wrapped-Grape-Jelly-Stuffed Pork Balls!
Relaxation? Take off your boots and set a spell under a live oak and let that warm breeze unwind your tight spring! Try a mesquite oil massage over to Arlene’s Pamper Station. Stay for a red mud facial, a “foot-cial,” or a bunion bath. Watch the sun go down over the Fracas with a pint of “Desperate Measures Black Stout” at the Lone Gunman Brewery on Main Street or with a Desperado cocktail at The Broken Spoke Dude Ranch just outside town.
Fun? How can you ask? It doesn’t get any better in scenic Old Texas than Desperate. A romantic getaway, a memorable family vacation, or days of history, exploration, and adventure await you! One Desperate visit will surely not be enough! Y’all come back now, hear?