Moving On

We had a pretty slow and easy day yesterday. Most mornings start with some embroidery. Now I've filled my hoop again.

It's almost all done. Just the upper right-hand corner needs stitching.

So I've hooped that up, and I'm ready to start again. This one should be finished in the next day or two.

After that, I got out for a walk with Smitty.

You have to watch your step around here. The entire park is littered with bison dung. Here's a nice little pile right next to our fire ring.

Speaking of bison...

We decided to drive into town and to do a little more sight-seeing in the park. This one was moseying across the road as we passed by.

Can you stand a few more pictures of prairie dogs?

Interestingly, they are less perturbed by passing cars than they are by walking human beings.

We've worried about this little guy who can be seen sitting in the middle of the road most of the time.

We figured out that his hole is right there in the pavement.

Now...how do you suppose...?

There's actually quite a bit of wildlife in this park. Of course, we've seen the bison and the prairie dogs. Also three large white-tailed deer walked through our campsite while Mike was out barbecuing the other night. We could barely make out their bodies in the darkness, but their white tails shown as if someone was walking by carrying a lantern. The same evening, we heard a wolf howl relatively close by, and then another one answered far off in the distance. We've also been awakened by coyotes yipping in the night.

According to park literature, there are also bobcats and a few prong-horn antelope. Small mammals include the grey fox, raccoon and jackrabbits. Also, one can see a great diversity of reptiles with 14 species of lizards, including collared lizards and over 30 species of snakes, including prairie rattlesnakes. With the warm weather, we've been careful of rattlesnakes. In addition, there are some 175 species of birds. We've seen cardinals, woodpeckers, and what I call LBJ's (little brown jobs).

So, as I was saying, we decided to drive into town for a few things. Along the way we passed by Lake Theo. The level of the lake is down, but there is a boat ramp and fishing pier here. Signs tell you to swim at your own risk. Missing are any warnings about alligators. I guess we've moved outside their territory.

We followed a sign to a "Historic Site." When we arrived, we found this enclosure that allowed us in, but kept the bison from passing through. I'm not sure if they were to stay in or out.

It's a little maze-like, and too narrow for bison.

At the historic site, we read this sign. It seems sad to think of a "bison kill site," but this was actually somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 thousand years ago. Back then, bison would have been killed sparingly and used completely. This wouldn't have been the bison slaughter we became all too familiar with during westward expansion of the United States.

After that we drove into the small town of Quitaqua. It's mostly boarded up old storefronts, but there was a small cafe open. We had a bite of lunch and then visited the very small grocery store just across the parking lot to pick up a few essentials.

This morning we're headed out for our next stop at Palo Duro State Park in Texas, which is just about an hour up the road. Palo Duro is known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas." When we get there, I guess we'll see what we see. Just know that we two have seen the Grand Canyon of Arizona, and so when it comes to canyons, we're not easily impressed. No offense intended, Texas. We'll have three nights at Palo Duro and then move along to New Mexico. I've spent some time mapping out the route between here and our month-long stay in Hemet, California, and there's still some fun sight-seeing to do along the way. I'll say more about that as we go.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Mama Spark said...

I missed what park you are at currently but will be following you along your journey now! We have a fifth wheel and in a few years I get to retire and we will be traveling. Smitty is so cute on his leash. I wish I could get my boys to walk on a lead!

Lyndsey said...

Your stitchery is very cute. The photo of the bison is great, but I love the prairie dogs especially the crazy one with his hole in the middle of the pavement.

Linda M @ Pieceful Kingdom said...

I love the prairie dog photos! About a dozen or so years ago our local zoo added a prairie dog enclosure where the kids could walk around and pop their heads up in bubbles inside the enclosure and watch the prairie dogs - my daughter's favorite thing at the zoo! I was just wondering if you were getting antsy yet to head back home. You've been gone so long! Hemet should be nice this time of the year. I worked in Riverside for a long while and we lived in Moreno Valley. Have safe travels!

Charlotte M. said...

Texas is pretty big. Glad you've seen the wide open spaces there. I move to San Diego last year and live here with my sister. I looked up Hemet on the map to see where it was. I told my sister of your upcoming trip there and asked her what was in Hemet. Nothing but a small town, she said. So I am wondering what you will do for a whole month there. I am curious.

Karen F. said...

I live here in the Texas Panhandle and came across your blog a couple of days ago. It's fun to see this area through the eyes of a visitor. I'm glad you've been able to come through when the weather is nice. Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States and has a lot of history. It's very busy and people packed in the summer.
Just southwest of the town of Canyon is the Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge. You might enjoy stopping there for a day if it's not too much out of your way. I haven't been over there in years but it used to be one of my favorite places.
Hope you continue to enjoy your travels!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This a very different park from the others - landscape, floral and fauna, animals... I was wondering about the snakes, keep Smitty safe on his walks as well as yourselves. You are moving closer to home - and warmer weather is probably most appreciated.

Brown Family said...

Small towns all across Texas are boarding up old buildings and drying up. It makes me wonder how the people that still live there survive. I have seen the Grand Canyon, but not Palo Duro Canyon! My folks loved it when they went in the Spring to see the Production of Texas!


I just can't believe that prairie dog has a home that comes out in the road--that is funny really--and a bit scary for the little doggie!!!
Keep truckin--
enjoy, di

WoolenSails said...

That would not be too pleasant to step in, lol.
Cannot imagine camping in an area where Bison are walking around, very neat.


crazy quilter said...

So glad you are enjoying the great state of Texas. The prairie dog are so darn cute. no gators in the panhandle that I have ever heard of but do be careful of the snakes ! Eek! I hate snakes... Safe travels!

piecefulwendy said...

I wonder too how the heck that little guy made a hole in the middle of the road? Never seen that before, but I guess it happens! You find such interesting places on your travels; I'm not sure I've ever heard of the canyon you are heading to. I've not been to the Grand Canyon either, so I'll just explore this canyon with you. Snakes -- yikes. No thank you.

Kate said...

The little guy with the hole in the road might have taken advantage of a common pothole that tends to plague the roads in the northern part of TX and OK. We have very cold winters where we tend to get ice rather than snow. Then very hot summers. That heat/cold cycle does a number on the asphalt, so potholes form regularly. In fact we get ones that can swallow small cars around here. Looking forward to seeing your shots from Palo Duro.

quiltzyx said...

The stitchery looks wonderful. I like the little birdie on the roof. :)
Lots more wonderful pics of the bison & prairie dogs. I hope the pot-hole-fillers don't plug up that one dog's doorway!