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It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Round Mountain, TX

Home Care Round Mountain, TX

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic The Round Rock gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Round Mountain, TX is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Round Mountain, TX

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I work for this team and it's a wonderful team , great communication and support for our clients, their family members and our caring team of staff .”

Antoinette G.

“Ken and Bonnie are wonderful people to help care for your loved ones. their staff was so caring to my mother and so nice to my family I highly recommend them to take care of your loved ones. I think there ought to be more than just five stars to give them”

Mark A.

“Ken and Bonnie were wonderful to work with. They were able to provide my mother with care and a very short notice. Their staff was some of the most caring people that I've ever met. Not only were they wonderful to my mother but also to my family. I would highly recommend using them.”

Mark A.

“Very professional and welcoming people so I would definitely recommend my friends and family to Always Best Care in Boerne.”

Laurie K.

“The owner is so understanding and supportive of how I want my loved ones cared for. He and his staff actually listen to what I would like done for my parents. Very thoughtful, very professional and very caring. It’s such a relief to have help in caring for my loved ones”

Kristen B.

“ALWAYS BEST CARE is certainly a warm & caring business owned & operated by Ken Thomas. I certainly would recommend them for you or your loved ones excellent care.”

Shirley S.

“Kenneth is kind, patient, experienced and knowledgeable. We are thankful to him for all his efforts and for going above and beyond.”

Chae S.

“For those who are searching for qualified caregivers for their loved ones, contact Ken Thomas at Always Best Care Senior Services. Mr. Thomas provides an authentic and professional guiding hand when discussing available services for your precious senior family members. When it is time for a beloved senior to receive assistance, Mr. Thomas understands the importance of providing trustworthy and quality support.”

Melissa C.

“Ken leads his Always Best Care Senior Services Agency with compassion for his clients and their families. He is a local senior care expert and leader in his community. If you are need of assistance in navigating your local senior care options, then do not hesitate to give Ken a call!”

Kelly B.

“Kenneth is knowledgeable and trustworthy. I can’t recommend him enough. You’re in good hands with Kenneth.”

Chae S.

“I will be forever grateful for the love you showered upon us and my grandmother”

Jill &.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Round Mountain, TX?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Round Mountain, TX

Types of Elderly Care in Round Mountain, TX

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Round Mountain, TX
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Round Mountain, TX
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Old Settlers Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Round Mountain, TX
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Roaring Fork or visit Round Mountain Tower, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Round Mountain, TX

Benefits of Home Care in Round Mountain, TX

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Round Mountain, TX, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Round Mountain, TX

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your TX's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Round Mountain, TX

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Round Mountain, TX understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Round Mountain, TX

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Round Mountain, TX

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • A Touch of Home Assisted Living
  • Fairway Assisted Living, LLC
  • Round Rock Assisted Living
  • The Rose at Round Rock
  • Double Creek Assisted Living and Memory Care
  • Court at Round Rock
Home Care Round Mountain, TX

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Round Mountain, TX

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Round Mountain, TX 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Round Mountain, TX

Latest News in Round Mountain, TX

New Trinity Oaks Preserve Development Underway in Highland Lakes

ROUND MOUNTAIN, Texas, Aug. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 281 Round Mountain LLC announces the development of Trinity Oaks Preserve, the Texas Hill Country's newest master-planned, gated residential community. Located ten minutes south of Marble Falls along TX State Highway 281, Trinity Oaks Preserve aims to deliver ranch living on 3+ acres with a family-friendly lifestyle that is less than an hour commute to Austin and San Antonio. The 34-tract development is among the first to feature build-on-your-own homesite acreage with first class amenities...

ROUND MOUNTAIN, Texas, Aug. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 281 Round Mountain LLC announces the development of Trinity Oaks Preserve, the Texas Hill Country's newest master-planned, gated residential community. Located ten minutes south of Marble Falls along TX State Highway 281, Trinity Oaks Preserve aims to deliver ranch living on 3+ acres with a family-friendly lifestyle that is less than an hour commute to Austin and San Antonio. The 34-tract development is among the first to feature build-on-your-own homesite acreage with first class amenities, underground utilities, private water system access, curbed streets, high speed Internet connectivity and natural green belts.

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"The Austin and San Antonio job market is outpacing the housing supply at an unforeseen rate. Builders and residential developers are both having a difficult time keeping up with the demands of an increasing population. Now more than ever we are seeing a dramatic rise in the need for residential living options," said Grant Dean of Trinity Oaks Preserve.

Trinity Oaks Preserve is among several master planned communities slated for the Highland Lakes region, an area well known as a top travel destination and retirement hotspot. The region's pristine constant level lakes, resort golf lifestyle, award winning wineries and thriving economy have long lured newcomers to the region.

"We're excited to be among the first to offer acreage living along the centrally located HWY 281 corridor," said Travis Dean of Trinity Oaks Preserve. "A key feature that really sets Trinity Oaks Preserve apart is the ability to telecommute and work from home via High Speed Internet. We are the first to offer this level of connectivity in the area."

Nature and sustainability are at the heart of this safe and friendly golf cart community. State-of-the-art amenities planned for Trinity Oaks Preserve include a large outdoor pavilion, community firepits and BBQ's, a fully stocked fishing pond, organic gardens and native hiking trails. Two gated entrances are monitored 24/7 providing residents and guests secure access from HWY 281 and CR 305 (Old Marble Falls Rd.) Access to top medical service providers is four minutes away at the new Baylor Scott & White Marble Falls Medical Center, and award-winning education is offered at Marble Falls ISD and Johnson City ISD schools.

Father son team, Grant and Travis Dean, are spearheading the construction and development for Trinity Oaks Preserve. The Dean family has been involved with the Highland Lakes building industry for over 37 years. Key partners in the Trinity Oaks Preserve development include partial funding from FirstCapital Bank of Texas and architectural designs by Delineations.

Land tracts are currently for sale with pricing starting at $39,500 per acre. Property tours are offered daily via appointment. Visit or call 830.637.0030 to find out more.

About 281 Round Mountain LLC281 Round Mountain LLC is a premier privately held land developer located in Central Texas. 281 Round Mountain LLC is recognized for expertise in the development and management operations of residential land properties in the Texas Hill Country region. 281 Round Mountain LLC is headquartered in Marble Falls, TX. More information is available by visiting

Media contact infoFor interviews & follow up, contact:Jen StoutCommuni-c8 | brand marketing design[email protected] m. 713.817.8813

SOURCE 281 Round Mountain LLC

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Homestead Community Planned in Blanco County

Pardon our dust as we’re updating the look of our posts.Feature Photo: Round Mountain Reserve, the unique new nature- and architecture-focused community in the Texas Hill Country, offered exclusively by the TT Ranch Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.Posted: 5-16-2023Round Mountain (Blanco County) — TT Ranch Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is already developing the Round Mountain Reserve, a homes...

Pardon our dust as we’re updating the look of our posts.

Feature Photo: Round Mountain Reserve, the unique new nature- and architecture-focused community in the Texas Hill Country, offered exclusively by the TT Ranch Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

Posted: 5-16-2023

Round Mountain (Blanco County)TT Ranch Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is already developing the Round Mountain Reserve, a homestead community in the Hill Country.

The project, which will be developed in five phases, aims to preserve the natural surroundings as a place for responsible residential architecture and shared green spaces.

Round Mountain has easy access to Fredericksburg (42 miles), Austin (49 miles), San Antonio (75 miles) and beyond, along with many sporting, restaurant and spa options.

Inside Round Mountain Reserve, roads wind around mature trees and across the terrain, with its 40-mile views, sunsets and open starlit skies. Native plants and animals flourish here, as the reserve is protected through diligent planning and wildlife management with the guidance of Texas’ top environmental-planning groups. The necessary preparations for modern living have been integrated without interrupting the land’s delicate ecosystem.

Many of the sizeable 6- to 15-acre homesites are situated around the foot of Round Mountain and all overlook untouched countryside. Each has unique terrain and habitats, with generous green spaces that create wildlife corridors, preserve the views and enhance privacy from neighboring residences. Community amenities include trails, parks, creeks, fishing ponds and wildlife-viewing areas.

Each home at Round Mountain Reserve will be an extension of the natural landscape, designed and crafted with authentic materials of the area. A thoughtful set of guidelines ensures that every home complements the surroundings, aligning with the local vernacular while maintaining a spirit of flexibility and individuality. Sustainable building practices will respect the native conditions of each property.

The $140 million Round Mountain Reserve is represented exclusively by the TT Ranch Group, with homesites from $395,000.

Ready to find out all the details on projects before they make it to the news? Subscribe to our Concept & Design Service where we do the research for you. Click here to get it now or call us at 1.877.221.6418.

Edited from news release.

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50 years later, accident survivor reunites with man who saved him

SAN ANTONIO ? Felipe Gutierrez didn't hesitate after hearing the voicemail left for him on his daughter's phone. He had to know if the caller was real. He called the number back and listened to what the man had to say.“My name is Steve Connatser," the voice on the other end of the phone said. "I was involved in an accident 50 years ago and was saved from that accident by three men, one of whom was Felipe Gutierrez. Would that be you?"“That’d be me," Gutierrez said.As Gutierrez fought...

SAN ANTONIO ? Felipe Gutierrez didn't hesitate after hearing the voicemail left for him on his daughter's phone. He had to know if the caller was real. He called the number back and listened to what the man had to say.

“My name is Steve Connatser," the voice on the other end of the phone said. "I was involved in an accident 50 years ago and was saved from that accident by three men, one of whom was Felipe Gutierrez. Would that be you?"

“That’d be me," Gutierrez said.

As Gutierrez fought back the tears, Steve Connatser realized he had finally found one of the three men he's been trying to find for 50 years.

"I found you? Oh my gosh. After all these years? Wow," Connatser said.

Four days later they were meeting face-to-face for the first time since the accident happened on July 10, 1971. They shook hands and embraced in a hug 50 years to the day of the crash.

“It really never crossed my mind that I’d ever see you or your wife," Gutierrez said.

“You were hard to track down," Connatser replied.

The reunion took place at a cafe in Marble Falls, Texas. Connatser traveled from his home outside of Dallas, while Gutierrez came from nearby Austin.

You would have thought they were old friends reflecting back on the accident and rescue, even though their recollections differed some after half a century.

“I couldn’t get out. Somebody helped us get out of the car," Connatser said.

“It wasn’t us," Gutierrez countered.

The "us" he was referring to was himself and his friend Jay Slaughter. The two buddies were driving down Route 281 in Round Mountain, Texas, that Saturday afternoon when they saw smoke. Neither hesitated to run toward the burning car and help Connaster and his wife at the time. A third unknown man was also there. That man and Slaughter have since passed away.

Both Gutierrez and Slaughter received the Carnegie Medal, North America's highest honor for civilian bravery.

After a breakfast full of laughs, tears and many memories, Connaster and Gutierrez hopped in the car. They made two stops before the day was over.

The first stop was the family gravesite of Jay Slaughter. Connaster wanted to say thank you, even though Slaughter lost his battle with cancer two years prior.

"Hell, I'm still living because of you and him," Connatser said to Gutierrez as they stood at the base of Slaughter's grave.

The final stop was six miles down the road where the accident actually occurred. The moment was emotional as Gutierrez's family looked on from a distance.

“I just always knew my dad was a hero. So to me, he was my hero," Amanda Gutierrez said. "But then I found out he was somebody else’s hero before me. People should know this story.”

Now, thanks to Connatser, people will know the story. They will know what happened right there on route 281 in Round Mountain. They will know how three men’s selflessness helped save two lives, and forge a friendship that will last forever.

“We are brothers," Connatser said while clasping Gutierrez's hands.

The Ultimate Bucket List For Anyone In Texas Who Loves Waterfall Hikes

What’s better than chasing waterfalls in Texas? How about Texas waterfall trails that lead you right to them? The following nine trails in Texas kill two birds with one stone by letting you explore before showing you the breathtaking sight that is a towering wall of water cascading into a pool below.These nine trails are some of the ...

What’s better than chasing waterfalls in Texas? How about Texas waterfall trails that lead you right to them? The following nine trails in Texas kill two birds with one stone by letting you explore before showing you the breathtaking sight that is a towering wall of water cascading into a pool below.

These nine trails are some of the best waterfall hikes in Texas.



The Marvelous 1-Mile Trail In Texas That Leads Adventurers To A Little-Known Waterfall And Natural Spring

We Bet You Didn't Know There Was A Miniature Niagara Falls In Texas

If True Paradise Was In Texas, It Would Be At Madrid Falls In Big Bend Ranch State Park


Have you ever seen any of these waterfalls? What are your favorite waterfall hikes in Texas? Let us know in the comments. If you can’t get enough of Texas hiking trails, here are 13 more of the best hiking trails in Texas.

Want more Texas in your inbox?

Get the latest on things to see, do, and eat around Texas!

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Jennifer Young | March 22, 2022

What are three of the best kid-friendly trails in Texas?

If you're an avid hiker and have kids, you probably already know how challenging trails can be. To help you out, we've compiled a list of three kid-friendly hikes around Texas. These are perfect for whenever you want to bring your kids along on your hiking adventures. Each of these easy hikes in Texas can also be experienced by all skill levels.

Three of the best kid-friendly trails in Texas include:

1. Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Texas' Santa Elena Canyon Trail, which is located inside Big Bend National Park, is a 1.4-mile, out-and-back trail that's mostly used for hiking, running, and walking.

2. Cedar Brake Trail via Cattail Pond Trail

Located inside Cedar Ridge Preserve is the Cedar Brake Trail via Cattail Pond Trail. This 2.7-mile loop trail is popular for hiking, running, and walking.

3. Balanced Rock via Grapevine Hills Trail

Texas' Balanced Rock via Grapevine Hills Trail is a 2-mile, out-and-back trail that's located inside Big Bend National Park. Most people use this trail whenever they're in the mood for a hike.

What are three of Texas' best and most scenic hikes?

Have you ever wondered to yourself "Where are some of the best and most scenic hiking trails near me?" If so, wonder no more. We've got you covered! Listed below are three of the best and most scenic hikes in Texas. You'll want to do them all.

Three of the best and most scenic hikes in Texas include:

1. Lost Mine Trail

Texas' Lost Mine Trail, which is located inside Big Bend National Park, is a 4.8-mile, out-and-back trail with a moderate rating of difficulty. Most people use this scenic trail for hiking. It's also open year-round.

2. River Place Nature Trail

Located inside the Nature Preserve at River Place is River Place Nature Trail, a 5.5-mile, out-and-back trail with a moderate difficulty rating. This trail is open year-round, and most people use it for hiking, running, and walking.

3. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Trail

Texas' Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Trail, which is located inside Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano, has an easy rating of difficulty. It's 2.5 miles long and is primarily used for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Like the other two trails, this one is also open year-round.

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The Promise and Peril of Fueling the Clean Energy Transition

Could the green energy revolution start in one of the reddest states?For nearly a decade, Bill Addington has been keeping a wary eye on a project that could drastically alter the landscape of Sierra Blanca, the small West Texas mountain town he calls home. Back in 2014, Texas Mineral Resources Corporation acquired a 950-acre mineral lease at Round Top Mountain from the General Land Office, the agency that oversees the state’s natural resources. Buried deep i...

Could the green energy revolution start in one of the reddest states?

For nearly a decade, Bill Addington has been keeping a wary eye on a project that could drastically alter the landscape of Sierra Blanca, the small West Texas mountain town he calls home. Back in 2014, Texas Mineral Resources Corporation acquired a 950-acre mineral lease at Round Top Mountain from the General Land Office, the agency that oversees the state’s natural resources. Buried deep in the mountain’s geological layers are substances like beryllium, uranium, yttrium, and thorium, all crucial for developing products like renewable energy generators, batteries for cars and cellphones, and GPS technology.

When the Round Top mining operation starts in full force, it will entail pulverizing the mountain’s rock and treating it with chemicals; the crushed rock and minerals will then sit in open pits, where they will soak in chemical solutions that separate the minerals from plain rock and dirt. Addington worries that the region’s groundwater could be poisoned if any of the pits leach into the soil. “We also have deep concerns about how toxic the materials they’re bringing up [are], and how the particles could be suspended in the air above our town,” he says. Beryllium, in particular, if inhaled as a particulate, can cause a host of chronic respiratory diseases.

Today, most of these metals are produced in East Asia. The United States imports roughly three-quarters of its supply from China, and politicians have long railed against that dependence. The Biden administration has thrown its support behind shoring up “critical minerals,” investing hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts for plants that would mine, sort, and process them in the US.

Along with the mining project, two rare-earth metal processing plants are slated to open in Texas within a few years. Combined, these projects could put the state at the forefront of the newly minted domestic industry. “The current administration’s push for these minerals is the need for all these components to transition to renewable energy sources,” says Brent Eliott, an economic geologist at the University of Texas. “The environmental and regulatory process, labor costs—it all makes it easier to import these materials from foreign sources.”

In other areas of the state, the critical minerals boom may already be in full swing. In Fort Worth, General Motors has partnered with MP Materials to open the country’s first rare-earth metal magnet facility. In a press release, the company states that it will be able to produce up to 500,000 electric vehicle magnets annually, processing nearly 1,000 tonnes of neodymium-iron-boron, which is used for things like motors and MRIs. The facility is located in an industrial park, surrounded by data centers and warehouses, and there appears to be little opposition to it. The company has promised to create 150 new high-paying jobs in exchange for a seven-year tax abatement. And while MP Materials stresses the importance of its magnets to shoring up renewable generation in the US, it will install 44 new natural gas generating units at its Fort Worth plant to power operations, according to permits filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

In 2021, Lynas, an Australian mining company, received two contracts from the Department of Defense, totaling $120 million, to develop rare-earth separation facilities on the South Texas coast. Details are sparse, but the plant may import rare-earth metals—including some that are radioactive—from its mines in Western Australia. Initial press releases from the Department of Defense stated that the company had chosen the small Hill Country town of Hondo as its home. The town’s mayor told the San Antonio Report that he and the city council were “surprised,” and had been unaware that the decision had been finalized when it was announced.

Residents sounded off on the city’s Facebook page after a company brochure detailing the project’s scope was posted on the account. Citizens expressed concerns about the plant’s impact on local air and water pollution and the possibility of radioactive waste. “When will it be discussed publicly? How can citizens learn more to better understand the process and the company’s intentions,” one resident commented. “Or is this decision already made, and we, as citizens, have no say?”

But by 2022, Lynas seemed to have chosen a different location for its plant—the company applied for tax breaks to build the facility in Calhoun County, an industrial corridor on the Gulf Coast. In an email, the mayor of Hondo confirmed to Sierra that Lynas has moved out of town but did not answer further questions about the decision. (The region’s reigning environmentalist, Diane Wilson, who has taken on most of the companies in town, said that she hasn’t heard about the plant at all. Other worries—like nuclear reactors being placed at the Dow Chemical Plant in the path of hurricanes—are top of mind for her.)

Mining and processing critical elements has long had a dirty reputation, and for good reason: In Chile’s Atacama Desert, lithium mining is drying up water sources that have nourished Indigenous communities and native flora and fauna for centuries. In China, abandoned mines with plastic pits of highly concentrated chemical solutions haven’t been cleaned up, leading to soil, air, and water pollution.

The three companies—Lynas, MP Materials, and Texas Mineral Resources—have touted their environmental track records and commitments to sustainability with US operations. Residents, of course, aren’t all convinced, despite the promise of jobs and economic growth. (None of the companies responded to requests for comment before publication.) “Rare-earth mining [and processing] is closer to uranium than it is to gravel or sandstone,” says Aaron Mintzes, a policy expert at the environmental watchdog group Earthworks. “The radioactive qualities make it riskier.”

In Texas, the Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas production in the state, would oversee any uranium mining operations; the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would regulate air, water, and soil pollution associated with the plants. But the agencies don’t have a proven track record of handling radioactive waste and pollution—and companies might be able to avoid scrutiny from federal regulators, like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, since they’re not seeking to solely process uranium, Mintzes says. “The scariest part for me is the air pollution. When they crush the metal and ore, that dust goes up in the air and floats downstream.”

While the two processing plants appear to be done deals, for now, the mine in West Texas is still in an exploratory phase. In documents filed with the Security and Exchange Commission, the company has stated that the quantity of minerals at Round Top may make it an unprofitable enterprise. (A spokesperson for the company could not be reached by phone.) If the mine were to fail one day, it would join dozens of other boom towns turned ghost towns: old silver, copper, and mercury mining outposts nowadays host campers and adventurers soaking in stunning West Texas desertscapes.

“You know, people think we're just a dry desert when they drive through at 80 miles an hour,” says Addington, who has been fighting off ecologically damaging projects since the 1990s. “And that's why they look at us like we're a dumping ground. But this region, the whole Big Bend region, is a treasure.” The Chihuahuan Desert is the largest in North America, and it’s among the most biologically diverse desert ecosystems in the world.

Climate change is still top of mind for Addington, and he says he recognizes that displacing fossil fuels is a worthy goal. But he remains skeptical of the project. “Should we destroy that mountain, and pollute everyone downwind to make electric cars? I don’t think so. I think there have to be better solutions.”

Amal Ahmed is a journalist based in Dallas, covering climate and the environment. Previously, she was a reporter at the Texas Observer, and a fact-checker at Texas Monthly.

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