Saturday, August 25, 2012

On the Road: Big Spring, TX, to Quitaque, TX

We pulled out of Texas RV Park about 7:30 the morning of Sunday, August 19. After a brief stop at McDonald’s for coffee and parfaits, we were on the road heading north shortly after 8:00.

Just north of Big Spring, the land is dominated by cotton, with an occasional field of sunflowers appearing from time to time. The towns along the way all depend on agriculture for their income. The treeless land is green this time of year, with crops in varying stages of maturity. Farm houses dot the land, surrounded by trees forming wind breaks from the punishing winds of the South Plains.

This is the South Plains, and Lubbock is the hub of the South Plains. Look at a map, and you’ll see that all roads in the area seem to lead to Lubbock. Home of Texas Tech University, the city continues to grow and sprawl. Lubbock is a busy town, the financial and commercial hub of the South Plains.

Just north of Lubbock, the landscape begins to change, with corn replacing cotton as the main crop. The interstate skirts small towns – New Deal, Abernathy and Hale Center. We stop in Plainview for gas. In 1980, our daughter Courtney was born in a hospital on the north side of Plainview. I’ve always liked the town. Home of the “Flying Queens” of Wayland Baptist University, the progressive town appears neat and orderly.

We continue heading north. Just south of Tulia, we pull off the interstate into a parking area. Donna had made tuna sandwiches the night before, and we pull these out the fridge for a light lunch. Just a few miles farther on, we turn off the Interstate at Tulia, another neat little town of the southern Panhandle. We head east along Highway 86 and watch as the farmland gives away more and more to ranch land. We pass through the small town of Silverton, where we stop once more for gas. We have plenty of gas for now, but towns in this area are few and far between, and I don’t want to take any chances. In fact, I’m carrying 5 gallons in a container in the back of the truck just to be sure. After all, in the next few weeks we will be passing through some sparsely populated areas.

About 5 or 6 miles west of Quitaque, we descend from the Cap Rock into the broken red sandstone country. The canyon country of this part of Texas is not like the Grand Canyon, which really appears like a furrow plowed in the earth. This is broken country that essentially falls off from an extended mesa. It crumbles from the edge of a table into a rolling country.

Caprock Canyons State Park will be our home for the next 3 days.

Our route from Big Spring to Caprock Canyons SP

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