Palo Duro Canyon--Texas

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Palo Duro Canyon--Texas

Postby CaptnMorgan » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:16 pm

Okay, I know this isn't as impressive as the beautiful castles and architecture from some of ya'lls countries, but Palo Duro Canyon is in the Amarillo area where I'm from. It's the 2nd biggest canyon in the US, the Grand Canyon being the largest. From the time I can remember, we went to Palo Duro Canyon for family reunions, church youth group campouts and with our friends just to hang out and hike. It's so beautiful there. It's funny because you can be driving along the road and everything for miles and miles is just flat and then all of a sudden, there you are, at the canyon rim. They have found many indian relics, dinosaur bones and Charles Goodnight's dugout is even in there still, just like it was when he was living in it. If ya'll have seen the movie Lonesome Dove, it's really about Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving. The Goodnight Loving Trail actually starts up here in North Texas where I live and goes through Palo Duro Canyon and the Texas Panhandle all the way up to Ogalalla. Anyway, I just thought I'd share with ya'll. :)

The Lighthouse
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Scenic view of Palo Duro Canyon
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Palo Duro Canyon State Park opened on July 4, 1934 and contains 26,275 acres of the scenic, northern most portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. The Civilian Conservation Corp of the 1930's constructed most of the buildings and roads still in use by park staff and visitors.
The Canyon is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. It is often claimed that Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. The largest, the Grand Canyon, is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 ft. deep.

Palo Duro Canyon was formed by water erosion from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The water deepens the canyon by moving sediment downstream. Wind and water erosion gradually widen the canyon.

Early Spanish Explorers are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed the canyon "Palo Duro" which is Spanish for "hard wood" in reference to the abundant mesquite and juniper trees.

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. At that time, Col. Ranald Mackenzie was sent into the area to transport the Native Americans to Oklahoma. Col. Mackenzie and the 4th Cavalry were able to capture over 1,400 horses belonging to the tribe. After keeping some of the best horses for themselves, the remainder were taken to nearby Tule Canyon and destroyed. Cut off from their only means of transportation, the Native Americans soon surrendered.

In 1876, Charles Goodnight entered the canyon and opened the JA Ranch. 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.

http://www.palodurocanyon.com/

There is an amphitheater in the canyon and every summer for about the past 30 or 40 something years, they have a play called "TEXAS". It's all about how Texas got it's start and the early settlers up on the Llano Estacado and the High Plains. If any of you ever visit Texas, this is a beautiful place to go!!
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Postby Maya » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:31 pm

That is beautiful Capt. I appreciate all types of landscape :D
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Re: Palo Duro Canyon--Texas

Postby tonto » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:16 pm

Magnificent. Hope to get to see it one day
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Re: Palo Duro Canyon--Texas

Postby CaptnMorgan » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:43 pm

It really is beautiful there. I have so many wonderful memories of good times spent there. :) It makes me very homesick sometimes, but I like where I live now too.
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