Author Topic: Amarillo and The Caprock  (Read 97 times)

Online ksp313

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Amarillo and The Caprock
« on: September 23, 2017, 04:10:19 PM »
I have passed through Amarillo several times on my travels west on Interstate 40. You don't realize it as you approach from the East, but you've been gaining quite a bit of altitude, Amarillo sits at 3,605 feet above sea level. It also sits what Texans call the Caprock. A Mesa that rises up from the surrounding countryside by nearly a 1000 ft. In some places, the Caprock is the size of New England, encompassing a large part of north-western Texas and Eastern New Mexico, easily seen by satellite imagery or Google Earth. Once up on it, the Caprock is flat as a pool table with Amarillo setting on its northern edge, Lubbock and Odessa are also on it. When first discovered by the Spanish by in the 1500's it was nothing but grassland, no trees,no bushes, no shrubs, in fact early explorers had trouble navigating without a single point of reference, just grass and very little water.

Native Americans did know how to navigate the Caprock and where the water was. I've read that they would sometimes lure unknowing soldiers out onto this place, turn them around, them simply leave, leaving the soldiers to die of thirst if they couldn't find their way off. Now days, through aquifers, this area is large producer of a variety of agricultural products, including, strangely, cotton.

If your ever in Amarillo, The Big Texan Steakhouse is there, where if you can eat a 72 oz. Steak and all the trimmings in 1 hour, it's free. No, I didn't try.


Online GopherBroke

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 699
  • Half Haas Farm
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 05:03:32 PM »
My hope for this early arrival in Oct for the gtg was to explore north east Texas, but that has sort of out of the picture now because the suburban that I bought won't flat tow  behind my coach. So I had come to face the fact that trip wasn't going to happen. Now you have peaked my interest again.   Texas is a big place an with luck I will get to explore someday. 
zone 5b Half Haas Farm
Bill
Riley, Indiana for the summer

Online Monroe

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1496
  • We are still here
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 05:06:23 PM »
313 that is great information, about 20 miles from Amarillo is Palo Dura canyon, the land, like you say, is flat then there is an 800' drop into the canyon floor. Jewel & I have been there three times, we love the Musical --TEXAS-- for an out door theater the acoustics are unbelievable. The Indians knew this area and used it. Quanah Parker--great history. He is the Chief who said,"I will fight no more forever". We pulled the travel trailer there once and camped out at the bottom. Jewel made me laugh just before she took this picture--she said smile-- you look like that Indian.

                                                  Monroe
Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together

Online Monroe

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1496
  • We are still here
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 05:52:08 PM »
one more thought, the musical Texas is a depiction of the rancher Charles Goodnight who started some major cattle drives. The TV series Lonesome Dove was a fictionalized version of the Goodnight--Loving third cattle drive.
Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together

Online ksp313

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 06:59:18 PM »
Yes monroe, I'm quite familiar with the story of Palo Dura canyon and by extension Quanah Parker. I read an outstanding  book on the Comanche and their rise and fall, the book is nothing short of a collage level course on the history of the Comanche, the plains Indians, Texas Rangers, the Caprock, Palo Dura, the blue coats The Great Horse Dispersal, broken treaties, Kit Carson, Adobe Walls, Samuel Colts, the Buffalo hunters and so forth. I think I've read it 5 times now.

After the Comanche left Palo Dora, two men started ranching beef cattle there, Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. These served as the basis of 2 great characters in American cinema,  Captains Augustus McCray and Woodrow Call of Lonesome Dove, the greatest film I've ever seen. I suppose Blue Duck from that film could've been modeled very very very loosely on Quanah Parker. In real life Goodnight and Quanah we're quite close friends. Mr. Parker actually became quite a celebrity and to this day has an extensive family tree. Internet had much space devoted to Mr. Parker.

The overarching theme of the book was sad to me. A once free people rooted from their homelands as the plains Indians met up with America's Manifest Destiny. Things got ugly, really ugly. Before the advent of the repeating revolver/rifles, the plains Indians were considered the great light calvery force in the world, their absolute mastery of their weaponry and astonishing horsemanship were the reason that the central plains were the last part of the country to be settled.

Monroe, a lot of what happened in that book happened near you!

Online Monroe

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1496
  • We are still here
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 07:10:14 PM »
I can sure fell the sadness with you as we unravel the truths of our Native Americans. Jewel's ancestry is Cherokee, although her great grandparents lived in peace there are relative descendants in OK who didn't.

                                                       Monroe
Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together

Online ksp313

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 07:38:40 PM »
Monroe, my wife has Cherokee in her family. The Trail of Tears passes through a lot of Western Ky. And original routes are marked with signs. I hiked this summer to Mantle Rock in northern Livingston County where those on the trail overwintered in 1838-39, waiting for the Ohio River to thaw. Kinda eerie there for me.

Online Monroe

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1496
  • We are still here
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 08:43:53 PM »
I did the research for Jewel on the Cherokee side. Her G-grandfather was born 1817 in PA -married in Ohio where the first son was born in 1845, I followed them through Ky. and on into Stewart co. Tn. Jewel's Grandmother was born I believe without looking it up in 1856. She married a white man, Jewel's grandfather. They ended up in OK where there were other relatives of grandmother.
Jewel's Dad never knew his father, he contracted TB right before Dad was born, went to Tucumcari NM where he died working on a cattle ranch. All this research took miles, time and money but at last between the two of us the family learned who they were on their Dad's side of the family. I wish Jewel's Dad could have known all we learned.
Jewel & I have had a beautiful journey together

Online Daniel Grant

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 542
  • Richmond Hill, GA
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2017, 11:48:47 PM »
ksp313,
What is the name of the book you were referring to?
Kubota 7100, L210, Allis G, TroyBilt, Horse, Gravely, Dr. Bush mower, Tuff Bilt tractor

Online ksp313

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #9 on: Today at 07:46:55 AM »
Empire of the Summer Moon by S C Gwynne, a New York Times bestseller.

Online ksp313

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Amarillo and The Caprock
« Reply #10 on: Today at 09:43:08 AM »
I'm with you Gopher! I could spend a great amount of time in the Hill Country west of Austin and the canyon lands and prairies of central and west Texas visiting historical sites, Oklahoma too, as the Comanche spent a good deal of time north of the Red River.