Wheelin’ adventures

Watch for more clips and a full trip report from our latest outing in the days to come:




A brief, but much-needed outing

Saturday found us at the Canadian River, where a number of friends were spending the weekend camping and wheeling. It was great to see everyone, and spend just a little time playing in the hills overlooking the Canadian River.

Watch for a video synopsis, coming soon, and head over to our YouTube channel (SmokeyTheJeep) to catch a couple of highlights from the trip.

Chasing history: Caprock Canyons State Park

Following our recent day trip out of town for our daughter’s school function, my wife struck upon a fun idea. Her mother had trekked to the Texas Panhandle from northwest Louisiana for the occasion but, now that the academic frivolity was over, Jen suggested we take the long, scenic route home to show her mother the picturesque Caprock Canyons State Park.

Near the small community of Quitaque (that’s “kitty-kway” for those who are wondering), Caprock Canyons is among a pair of natural gems situated at the top of Texas. The other, of course, is Palo Duro Canyon State Park. But, while we regularly make the 17-minute jaunt from our house to Palo Duro, we’ve seldom made the hour-and-a-half journey to Caprock. And, we’d never taken my mother-in-law.

It wasn’t a hard decision.

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To the bird’s eye, Caprock Canyons is the southeastern extension of the rugged carving that is Palo Duro Canyon. On the ground, Caprock exudes the same rugged beauty of Palo Duro, with striated caprock towering above the canyon floor and a wealth of natural plant and animal life to delight hikers, campers and daytime sightseers such as ourselves.

Caprock Canyons feels more expansive than its northern neighbor, the canyon walls spread farther way. It gives visitors like us the sense we’re intruding upon an artistic presentation on a scale only God could master. Various bird calls and coyote howls echo across the canyon walls. The sound of a coyote pack barking and howling shortly before sunset provided immense delight.

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Of course, the most impressive animal life to call Caprock Canyons State Park home are the bison. The official state bison herd, more than 130 descendants of the herd started by legendary rancher Charles Goodnight in 1878, freely roam the park. Visitors are cautioned to give the large creatures a wide berth. But, these majestic leviathans, while certainly wild, are used enough to seeing park visitors that they wander fearlessly around people, cars and into campgrounds as they forage.

Words simply can’t capture the breathtaking beauty of this place. We’re already planning a camping trip this fall. At $14 per night on top of the daily $4 per person admission fee, it’s a bargain!

J26 Pano