Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Grand Canyon of Texas." Battle of Palo Duro Canyon. Purple Heart. Kon-Tiki.

For “Travel Tuesday”: let’s go to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX.

“Welcome to the "Grand Canyon of Texas."

“Palo Duro Canyon is approximately 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, 600 to 800 feet deep, and it’s elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. It is often claimed the second largest canyon in the United States. You will enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding in the area. "Palo Duro" is Spanish for "hard wood" in reference to the juniper trees common throughout the canyon.  At the end of the video, I read a poem about the canyon by David Knape.”


Palo Duro Canyon State Park (By Texas Country Reporter)

“Visit a Texas state park where you can stay in a cliff side cabin.”


“Humans have resided in the canyon for approximately 12,000 years. Early settlers were nomadic tribes that hunted mammoth, giant bison, and other large game animals. Later, Apache Indians lived in the canyon, but were soon replaced by Comanche and Kiowa tribes who resided in the area until 1874. Palo Duro Canyon State Park opened on July 4, 1934 and contains 29,182 acres of the scenic, northern most portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. The Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's constructed most of the buildings and roads still in use by park staff and visitors.”  More at:  www.palodurocanyon.com


Palo Duro Canyon State ParkPalo Duro Canyon is a canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment located in the Texas Panhandle near the city of Amarillo, Texas.  As the second largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 193 km (120 mi) long and has an average width of 10 km (6.2 mi), but reaches a width of 32 km (20 mi) at places. Its depth is around 250 m (820 ft), but in some locations it can increase up to 304 m (997 ft). Palo Duro Canyon has been named "The Grand Canyon of Texas" both for its size and for its dramatic geological features, including the multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls similar to those in the Grand Canyon.

The canyon was formed by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, which initially winds along the level surface of the Llano Estacado of West Texas, then suddenly and dramatically runs off the Caprock Escarpment. Water erosion over the millennia has shaped the canyon's geological formations.

Photographs of Palo Duro

Notable canyon formations include caves and hoodoos. One of the best known and the major signature feature of the canyon is the Lighthouse Peak. A multiuse, six-mile round trip loop trail is dedicated to the formation. The middle portion of the trail can be hot with little shade, and hikers should take plenty of water.


The second evidence of human habitation of the canyon dates back approximately 10,000–15,000 years, and it is believed to have been continuously inhabited to the present day. Native Americans were attracted to the water of the Prairie Dog Town Fork, Red River, as well as the consequent ample game, edible plants, and protection from weather the canyon provided.

The first European explorers to discover the canyon were members of the Coronado expedition, who visited the canyon in 1541. Apache Indians lived in Palo Duro at the time, but they were later displaced by Comanche and Kiowa tribes, who had the advantage of owning horses brought over by the Spanish. They had contact with traders, called Comancheros, in nearby New Mexico.

in Palo Duro Canyon is theA United States military team under Captain Randolph B. Marcy mapped the canyon in 1852 during their search for the headwaters of the Red River. The land remained under American Indian control until a military expedition led by Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie was sent in 1874 to remove the Indians to reservations in Oklahoma. The Mackenzie expedition captured about 1,200 of the Indians' horses and destroyed them in nearby Tule Canyon. Demoralized and denied their main weapon and source of livelihood, the Comanche and Kiowa conceded and left the area.

Soon after, in 1876, Charles Goodnight established the JA Ranch in Palo Duro Canyon. At its peak, the ranch supported more than 100,000 head of cattle. Goodnight operated the ranch until 1890. Although only a fraction of its original size, the JA Ranch remains a working ranch today.

Over the next half century, the canyon remained in private hands, but was an increasingly popular tourist spot for local residents. In 1934, the upper section of the canyon was purchased by the State of Texas and turned into the 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Amarillo is the largest city near Palo Duro Canyon State Park, but the smaller city of Canyon is nearer.

In the Frontiersman Camping Fellowship of Royal Rangers, the West Texas District is known as the Palo Duro Chapter because of the importance of the canyon in the history of the region.” More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palo_Duro_Canyon


“The Battle of Palo Duro Canyon was a significant United States victory that brought about the end of the Red River War.

Ever since the summer of 1874 the Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa had sought refuge in Palo Duro Canyon. There they had been stockpiling food and supplies for the winter. Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, leading the 4th U.S. Cavalry, moved up from the south intending to trap the whole force in their Palo Duro Canyon holdout. Fighting several skirmishes with Comanche warriors along the way Mackenzie reached Palo Duro in late September.

Early in the morning of September 28, one of Mackenzie's scouts found the Indian camp and notified the colonel. Mackenzie brought the whole regiment to the edge of the canyon and planned a surprise attack. Mackenzie's troopers were unable to find a suitable path down, so instead plunged straight down the steep canyon cliffs. Mackenzie first hit Chief Lone Wolf's Kiowa camp and routed it. Chiefs Poor Buffalo and Iron Jacket managed to effect some resistance but since the camps were so spread out over the canyon floor, a unified resistance was impossible. Many of the Indians fled leaving behind their possessions and headed for the open plains. Few warriors remained sniping at the soldiers but by nightfall, the canyon belonged to Mackenzie and the villages were destroyed.

The loss of the Palo Duro camp meant the loss of the Indians' safe haven and all their winter supplies. Some horses fled with the Indians onto the plains but Mackenzie was able to capture 1,400 ponies. The horses Mackenzie did not need were slaughtered to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Indians. Casualties were light in the engagement since it had been a complete rout, but without sufficient mounts or winter supplies the tribes could not hold out over the winter and many returned to the Fort Sill reservation by November 1874. Lone Wolf's Kiowas did not return until February 1875.”          From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Palo_Duro_Canyon


“Flight through Palo Duro Canyon.”


Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Things to Do

“Activities include camping, horseback riding, hiking, nature study, bird watching, mountain biking and scenic drives. While in the park, stop by and enjoy the Visitor Center located on the Canyon Rim. This rustic native stone building was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 and houses a Museum and Museum Store.”

“The store is located in the Visitor Center and features books, pottery, jewelry and educational items pertaining to the canyon.”

Palo Duro Canyon is home to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parks in the Southwest.Take a ride by horse or mountain bike, or explore on foot in almost 30,000 acres of canyon carved out over a million years.A Limited Service Cabin in the Cow-Camp loop.

“Experience Palo Duro Canyon up close and personal, the way the cowboys did: on horseback. The equestrian-use area covers approximately 1,500 acres of the park, offering trails strictly for equestrian use. Other trails within the park are shared with hikers and mountain bikers. Visitors may bring their own horses. (Original Coggins papers are required.) Two large trailer parking areas are located at the designated equestrian campground near the Equestrian Trail, with six primitive campsites and a corral and water nearby. Visitors must provide their own water buckets for horses.

The Old West Stables, located inside the canyon, offer guided tours to Timber Creek Canyon and the famous Lighthouse formation. Other services offered include wagon rides, campfire breakfasts, souvenirs and a snack bar. Bring the whole family! Reservations are required. Please call Old West Stables at (806) 488-2180. http://www.texas-show.com/

From: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon/


Palo Duro Canyon Downhill.

Bicycling downhill on some very precipitous mountain trails. 

“One of the first trails of the canyon, close to the gift shop.
The video has some cuts, but you can have an idea what looks like.”


Partners in Palo Duro Canyon      On Facebook.

Saturday   “Please remember the Park is still under a Burn Ban. That means no campfires, no wood or charcoal grills, only propane grills. This also means we're extremely dry and HOT! Please keep in mind that not only you, but your pets as well, need A LOT of water when hiking in the Park. We hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and staying cool!!”


The main Palo Duro FaceBook page is often updated with items about the different trees and flowers, etc: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Parks-and-Wildlife-Department-Palo-Duro-Canyon-State-Park/363911541530




On This Day:

Washington creates the Purple Heart, Aug 7, 1782:

“On this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the "Badge for Military Merit," a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action" and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree's name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a "Book of Merit."

Washington's "Purple Heart" was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell, Jr. The "Book of Merit" was lost, and the decoration was largely forgotten until 1927, when General Charles P. Summerall, the U.S. Army chief of staff, sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to "revive the Badge of Military Merit." In 1931, Summerall's successor, General Douglas MacArthur, took up the cause, hoping to reinstate the medal in time for the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. On February 22, 1932, Washington's 200th birthday, the U.S. War Department announced the creation of the "Order of the Purple Heart."

In addition to aspects of Washington's original design, the new Purple Heart also displays a bust of Washington and his coat of arms. The Order of the Purple Heart, the oldest American military decoration for military merit, is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who have been killed or wounded in action against an enemy. It is also awarded to soldiers who have suffered maltreatment as prisoners of war.”



Wood raft, Kon-Tiki, makes 4,300-mile voyage, Aug 7, 1947:

“On this day in 1947, Kon-Tiki, a balsa wood raft captained by Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl, completes a 4,300-mile, 101-day journey from Peru to Raroia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, near Tahiti. Heyerdahl wanted to prove his theory that prehistoric South Americans could have colonized the Polynesian islands by drifting on ocean currents.

Heyerdahl and his five-person crew set sail from Callao, Peru, on the 40-square-foot Kon-Tiki on April 28, 1947. The Kon-Tiki, named for a mythical white chieftain, was made of indigenous materials and designed to resemble rafts of early South American Indians. While crossing the Pacific, the sailors encountered storms, sharks and whales, before finally washing ashore at Raroia. Heyerdahl, born in Larvik, Norway, on October 6, 1914, believed that Polynesia's earliest inhabitants had come from South America, a theory that conflicted with popular scholarly opinion that the original settlers arrived from Asia. Even after his successful voyage, anthropologists and historians continued to discredit Heyerdahl's belief. However, his journey captivated the public and he wrote a book about the experience that became an international bestseller and was translated into 65 languages. Heyerdahl also produced a documentary about the trip that won an Academy Award in 1951.

Heyerdahl made his first expedition to Polynesia in 1937. He and his first wife lived primitively on Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands for a year and studied plant and animal life. The experience led him to believe that humans had first come to the islands aboard primitive vessels drifting on ocean currents from the east.

Following the Kon-Tiki expedition, Heyerdahl made archeological trips to such places as the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island and Peru and continued to test his theories about how travel across the seas played a major role in the migration patterns of ancient cultures. In 1970, he sailed across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados in a reed boat named Ra II (after Ra, the Egyptian sun god) to prove that Egyptians could have connected with pre-Columbian Americans. In 1977, he sailed the Indian Ocean in a primitive reed ship built in Iraq to learn how prehistoric civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and Egypt might have connected.

While Heyerdahl's work was never embraced by most scholars, he remained a popular public figure and was voted "Norwegian of the Century" in his homeland. He died at age 87 on April 18, 2002, in Italy. The raft from his famous 1947 expedition is housed at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway.”



It was trash day.  Usually I just have one small bag of trash, as I recycle most things.  But this time, I had a big bag of puppy newspapers, too.  I had used so much that I was calling around begging for newspaper.  Jay’s mother had the Sunday paper for me, so Misty and I drove down there for our walk-about.  Then she and Jay went shopping.

Streaker: Chihuahua, Dog; Conroe, TXThe smallest puppy, “Streaker”, sure is a demanding little sod!  He wants what he wants - when he wants it, and let’s me know it. I hope he gets over that, or he will have a miserable life, just like most demanding people who always want to be the center of attention.  Here is his webpage on Petfinder: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/23744832   The other three pups are quiet, but energetic.

When Ray came back from his doctor, we packaged up some auto parts ready to send back for refunds.  He had some more newspapers, so I might make it for a few days.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Newspapers are becoming a thing of the past.