Thursday, April 4, 2013


From the drive-in theatre we continued on Lubbock's loop road to the northeast side and took the 62/82/114 towards Caprock Canyons State Park. We needed to zig zag our way on some secondary roads to get there but being Sunday morning of the long weekend it was very quiet.

Also very flat - again. An easy drive through the farmland of Texas - seems to be mainly a cotton growing area.

The landscape changing close to our destination sure got our attention. Hills! Valleys!

The entry town into the park is Quitaque - they even sound it out for you on their entry sign - Kitty - Quay. 

As we drove in and stopped at the main intersection we noticed that their downtown strip seemed neat and very well kept. So we parked and walked a bit. Not much to it but we got some great photos anyway.

Our favourite state!

Then on to the park - Caprock Canyons State Park. Since we had driven out we had decided to stay a couple of days. The $15 a night for water and electric and a dump station didn't seem like a bad deal. However, upon paying I realized that they charge a day fee $4 each for Derek and I plus the camping fee. Ok - but then they charge the entrance fee everyday - sheesh. Most just charge the entrance fee once. In the end it cost $23 per night - not great but not bad. 

There were two trails to hike leading from the campground - we decided to try the three mile on Sunday afternoon - it was a beautiful day but still too hot when we struck out at around 3:00 pm.

Great views of the canyon.

We only made it about 1/2 mile before we headed back - it really was too hot and Cassia can only walk so far. There was no way that either Derek and I wanted to be the one to carry back to our site.

 Just before dinner, Cassia and I went over to the playground. Small but it kept her entertained for awhile.

The restroom/shower building. I have NEVER been in a hotter room EVER. Very nice for taking a shower but anything else and you started to sweat. 

LOTS of gophers or prairie dogs in the park - I haven't seen many of them since I lived in Alberta!

Monday morning we decided to try the two mile hike down into the canyon on the other side. We had to first walk a bit to get to the trail head. 

This was the pathway by the playground - it looked so nice with the yellow flowers.

The trail head was near to the amphitheatre. Pretty neat display of bison statues.

There is a herd of Bison in the park. Since the chances of seeing them are slim - and certainly not up close - these guys are their stand ins. Cassia was happy with that - and more than convinced.

An amazing landscape sitting within the surrounding flatland of the Panhandle.

Unfortunately, even though it was mid morning we had trouble with the heat again. We didn't get much further than the hike the day before. This time we stopped on the side of the path in the shade for a snack and then headed back. 

It sure was good that we made the hike in the morning .... because look what happened in the late afternoon!

Yup - wet and cold! The sky was VERY dark - we knew we were in for a storm!


Marble sized!

It was a bit nerve racking - for me anyway. I'm not really a fan of storms - there was thunder, lightening, rain, sleet, wind and hail! At one point - with such strong winds Derek was talking about a tornado - great - that's all we need!

And guess what! When we were in a town the next morning getting propane the guy told Derek that there WAS a tornado out by us! A while later I was waiting in the gas station to pay and read that it was six miles southwest of the park - CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! We were SIX miles from a tornado! You can read about it here.

It didn't phase Cassia though - she just couldn't wait to get out into the puddles! Derek took this great picture - I was pretty impressed - guess I should pass the camera over a little more often.

We had a pretty soggy site by early evening - but so glad the storm has passed.

We left Caprock Canyon Tuesday morning after a very chilly night - good thing we had electricity for our little heater. It was cold, grey and wet - I'll show you those pictures and our trip north to Amarillo next post.


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: One thing you may not know about me is that I LOVE to read westerns! I'm a HUGE fan - I think I may have mentioned that before. Anyway, the bison roaming at the Caprock Canyon State Park today are descendants of Charles Goodnight's herd. 


  1. We have been pretty close to a few tornadoes and can be pretty unnerving. Glad you are safe.
    Really hate when they have a camping fee then all the extra add ons, make you wonder why?

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    2. Here in Texas the $5 daily entrance fee is waived if you buy a year pass you will only be charged camp fees. Buying the pass does help promote coming to the parks more often and pays for itself with a group of 7 or 8 with a weekend campout. Perk: you can also get a second pass for $15 to register with someone else. I buy a yearly entrance pass and give the other to my daughters family of five.

      Once upon a time the state didn't have an entrance fee into the parks; they ran it on an honesty system with a $5 suggested donation, unfortunately folks seem to think these parks are totally paid for and no other funds are needed to operate. The TPWD had a $6,000,000 shortfall this past year and we are most certain the cost to operate the parks will go up in the future.

  2. Caprock Canyons looks very inviting, I think that state park has an amphitheater where outdoor plays are performed. I think the Palo Duro Canyon is a bit more pronounced with a few lighthouses, well worth the trip for an adventurer and a welcome sight in the midst of the plains. Being the second largest canyon in the USA and dubbed the "Grand Canyon of Tejas" you should have a look. Bicycling or hiking the canyon are the ways to go, sitting on the rim just doesn't do it justice.

    We received some of that blessed rain, my neighbor stated her rain gauge was almost to the 4" mark overnight. This is our 3rd year of drought, those spring wildflowers we all love to see are slim pickens and going into summer with 100 degree temps day in and day out will play havoc on the ecosystems. We'll continue praying for more rain, hope that chemtrails are a farce and hope that this is just a cycle.

    Happy trails!

  3. Scary being that close to a tornado !!

    But, knowing you guys, the tornado would have picked you up and gently set you down in your Alberta park ... lol.

    Nice photos today ... take care ... TnT

  4. Glad you were a few miles off the tornado tract...someone is watching over you! The thunder is so fierce these days...goes right through you. Someone looks pretty darn sweet in her yellow boots! TOO CTUE!


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