Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Texas Plains Trail

Map of the Texas Plains Trail___click to see larger___explore website
It might not be a trip for just "anyone", but I was in "heaven"...on the open road, with not much more than sky ahead. The Texas High Plains are EXTREMELY flat (...explains how the city of Levelland got its name). But to get there you must get UP on top to the flat place. Check out a topo map and you will see several escarpments in Texas. They all curve parallel with the coastline and separate Texas into several distinct elevations. I grew up on the Balcones Escarpment of Central Texas, at the very south end of the Great Plains. The High Plains are set apart by the Cap Rock Escarpment. It is an OBVIOUS slope upward from rolling hills to that flat place above. Here is where the great farms are: wheat, sunflowers, cotton, and the newest farms: WIND farms.
We drove in from the southeast, to Post, and took a left. The entire trail is about 700 miles...more unique beauty than you can imagine. Desolate towns, empty farm houses, yet LOTS of work being a quiet pace.
It was a brief adventure. My driver was an artist friend/former teacher/coach/ bus driver, Barbara Conitz. She did well behind the wheel of my new Ford pick-up. My rule is this: The driver has to stop when I want to, (and sometimes back up :) but they get to be in charge of the a/c AND the radio. Barbara filled my CD changer up with her music, but neither one of us could figure out how to take them out, so we listened to the same ones over and over.
I will spend the next few days talking about this trip, and showing the drive-by paintings I worked on.
Below is the water tower in the city of Panhandle, TX (which is in the panhandle of Texas!)...the day after we went through this area (including Dumas, Stinnett and Dimmitt, the Weather Channel reported at least 10 tornados!...even in this little town!) I was most amused by the graffitti! I wonder what the Round Rock connection is??? Since I am from Round Rock, I would like to know!...seeing this made me happy to be driving toward home!
I took photos of many different water towers. These are LANDMARKS on the plains! They have been the method for storing and regulating water pressure for over a hundred years, now. Like windmills, they are often the subject of drawings and paintings.


  1. I am SO intrigued. This is a wonderful adventure. Keep it coming.

  2. I love this new blog, V! I met my brothers in Kansas last summer for a "roots" trip. Combining geography, history and personal experience is compelling to me!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Anne G.