Day 02 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - Visit Caprock Canyons State Park
Turkey Day Trek to Texas
Our quest for the day was to visit Texas’s Caprock Canyons State Park just south of Tulia and about 50 miles east into the Texas Panhandle. For miles, the land was flat and covered with fields of cotton, sorghum, and corn. Cattle grazed peacefully in the pastures making us wonder what was out here worth spending an afternoon to visit.
As we got closer to the State Park we could see deep ravines and creeks that were cutting the red earth with their erosive powers. Just as we were about to enter the park we saw a coyote hunting in the grassland.
The park is home to the surviving Charles Goodnight buffalo herd. When Goodnight provided meat for the U.S. Army, he drove cattle on what is now know as the Goodnight Loving Trail. The cattle were driven from Fort Belknap, Texas to Fort Sumner in New Mexico and then on to Denver in Colorado.
Seeing the slaughter of the American Bison, Goodnight rescued a portion of the native herd to preserve the pure species. This Caprock herd is very unique as it has no cattle DNA.
The buffalo herd was grazing in a distant field as we entered the park. Warning signs everywhere reminded visitors not to get close to the huge mammals as they are not only wild, but tended to be aggressive.
We also saw a Prairie Dog colony, many doves, mule deer, and flocks of Sand Hill Cranes. The cranes were gathering for their annual southern migration. As we would stop for a photo opportunity we would hear them overhead with their distinctive trumpeting sounds.
Leaving the park at 4:00, we retraced our path and then rejoined I-27 going south. Even when we stopped at Lubbock for the night, the cranes were flying overhead and we could hear them in the sky.
These vistas remind me of Sedona, AZ. I was recently there for a week with some girls friends and it is a gorgeous place! Happy Holidays to you!
Actually, we used to go to Caprock hiking, but I was raised in Odessa - lived there for 18 years before leaving. Yhat is a desert....even though there are some trees. LOL
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Another interesting trip. Thanks.
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