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Sunday, October 25, 2015

First Stop in Texas - Caprock Canyon State Park

There are two amazing state parks in the Texas Panhandle that are in very big canyons.  But these canyons are NOT in mountains, but in pretty flat plains.  So you can't even appreciate the parks until you drive down into the canyons.  I particularly love the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

But I stayed there last year on my way to Galveston, so decided to revisit Caprock Canyon State Park, which I haven't seen for many years.  I planned to sleep there and then do a little hiking before going on to the Dallas area to visit friends overnight. 

I arrived about an hour before sunset and took time to wander around on the roads and check out the campsites. The sky was full of migrating monarch butterflies and the land was covered in sunflowers and blooming rabbitbrush to fuel their trip. 

This is the place where the Texas state herd of bison is kept.  These are descendants of the famous Charles Goodnight herd.  There are bison cut-outs everywhere but I didn't see any bison until deep dusk. Once again, I had to pass a car sitting in the road to  take it back from the bison. (Bison know exactly how to share the road and if you stop, they know it's their turn.  You just have to drive slowly and point your car in the direction you want to clear. ) It was too dark for pictures.

There were also little prairie dogs running around, especially near the only bathroom with flush toilets and showers.  I planned to take their pictures in the morning but they were still asleep when I decided to leave between showers.


There are a few small outcroppings above the ground that you can see as you approach the park

Looking at an outcropping on top of a valley

A long view down and out from the road

The soils were all very red and sparsely covered with mostly desert plants

A closer look


View down from my campsite

Another part of  the valley below the campsite


Closer view of outcropping


Bed is ready 

My car at a trailhead 


A bit of sunset occurred under the mostly cloudy sky


I liked the geometric look of these seed pods

Some of the caprock

One of the best things about this park is that the developed section is separated from the rest of the park by a really steep winding road down and through a canyon. So the trailers are in one area and the tent campers are in another.

And it is the trailhead for what must be a wonderful trail ride by bike.  That trip is still on my bucket list.