Saturday, March 17, 2012

Travel - Caprock Canyons

Hi!  I hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break (if it happened to be yours).  Most people in Texas seemed to share the same week this year.  We stuck with my New Year's Resolution to camp at least once a month this year...and since we had a couple more days to do it, we traveled up to Caprock Canyons State Park to start our trip.  Here's the story of our travels:

It was about a 7 hour drive, which the kids handled pretty well.  They watched a movie or two, we stopped to putter and let them run around, and just kept driving on.  It rained and was cold all the way there, with a chance of snow on arrival.

We got there after dark, seeing lots of mule deer on the way there.  There was one particularly huge male with the biggest set of antlers I've ever seen on a live deer.  It was amazing.  If we weren't driving and it wasn't dark, I would've snapped a picture.

It stopped raining right after we got there, and we pitched our tent and set up camp in the dark.  Mr. Tupelo made a fire and cooked some steaks for us.  I played with my camera in the dark.

We cooked dinner for everyone, fed the dogs, and got in the tent. It was in the mid 30's overnight, so I was thankful for the electric blanket.  Now, I'm not a travel trailer kind of camper, tents are our thing, but we stretch the season with a nice warm blanket.

The next morning we woke up to beautiful views of the canyon walls.

Cold boys waiting for breakfast

We cooked up a quick breakfast of eggs and bacon, and went to see the sights.  We drove the park roads, checked in and got our map (and our nifty hangtag).

LOL - it actually says, "Do not approach bison" but my photo taking ability suffered from distraction.
 Then the first bison showed up right by the visitor center - isn't he gorgeous? We didn't approach him.  Well, we did with the car, somewhat.

Bison!  They have the Texas state herd at Caprock Canyons.

We parked at one of the trailheads, and walked a total of almost 3 miles, with C in the baby carrier and A walking and running the whole way.

 We played in the creek "walls", areas where the creek had carved mini canyons.
Mr. Tupelo's best "carrying the world on his shoulders" pose
 We walked by countless sights - canyon walls, bluffs, buttes...
 The trail we chose was full of creek crossings - we crossed sooo many times.  Turns out that was A's favorite part.

At the point where we turned around, the map said "extremely steep and rugged".  Now most times, I find when they say things like that, they are really exaggerating.
Not so much here.  You climb to the top of a cliff, along a ridge, and there's a 35 mph wind gusting around you. They win.  No way.  Maybe with no dogs and children.

But the view from the top of the ridge was astounding.

We got almost all the way back before I had to carry A on my shoulders. That extra 40 pounds wore me out..

We made lunch, took a break, and Mr. Tupelo and C fell asleep.  For 2 hours.  Wait, why didn't I get a nap? Geez.  :)
Through the tent screen..don't they look cozy?
So A and I took a drive to find more bison and see more sights.  I didn't want to miss the day, since we only had half a day left the next day.We spoke to a nice ranger who informed us the strong winds spooked the bison into the pastures adjoining the park, but there were a couple more bulls up another road.

A loved seeing them!

We drove around and saw tons of mule deer too.  They were kind enough to pose for us.

At dinner, the winds picked up so much we couldn't start a fire. We cooked dinner on the camp stove, then put ourselves in the tent for the night.

And the wind only got worse all night - stuff blowing around, people leaving in the middle of the night, the tall tents collapsing...I was glad ours was a low profile tent, though it took a beating too.

We packed up the next day, and on the drive out, a huge herd of bison stood by the exit road.  This was only a small portion of them.

I loved Caprock - and I can't wait to do more of the trails next time!
You can rent horses to ride the trails I think, and there were plenty of bikes around. I found it fairly kid friendly for one's our ages, and the facilities were all quite nice, especially the visitors center.

The only issue I had was the route we came - there were no decent grocery stores, and the tiny Walmart was out of our way.  Walmart is kind of important when you have small children who need diapers, you are running out of propane, and the weather gets colder.

All in all, we had a great time!  I think we'll be back.
Can you tell everyone is wearing out?
I'll be back soon to talk about the next part of our camping trip -  Palo Duro Canyon State Park.


  1. Looks like fun. Cute pics of the family, too. :)

    1. Thanks! We really enjoyed both parts of that trip. The drive was long though...thankfully through the hill country it's at least scenic.


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