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The Thundering Herd-October 2020

Here at Caprock, we’ve been staying busy!  A quick burst of cooler temperatures signaled our visitation to spike!  We’re officially “off to the races” so to speak with our busy season in full force.  As I type this today, Caprock is completely full of reservations for camping in all camping loops through the end of this month.  There may be an occasional cancellation, but don’t wait!  Make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure your overnight stay with us!

Labor Day weekend was a busy one with lots of day use visitors enjoying the trails and recreational opportunities by Lake Theo.  We even filled up the hike-in primitive campsites in both North Prong and South Prong!

Caprock Canyons hosted our annual Cross Country event again this year.  There were some changes to the event in order to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines and the event went off without a hitch.  Students representing 8 different schools participated in the event including both Junior High and High School divisions.  We are proud and honored to offer this event to schools as a unique, and very challenging cross country course.  Did I mention challenging?  Yep, the students who participate in this event are to be commended for their strength, determination, and endurance!  Way to go participants!

Although Caprock didn’t host a major event for the second observance of Quanah Parker day this year, Quanah was still on our minds.  Quanah Parker day, held every year on the second Saturday of September, is a special day to celebrate and honor the life of Comanche leader Quanah Parker.  Quanah’s life of leadership and now legacy will continue to be a large part of the heritage of the Comanche people and their life on the plains here at Caprock Canyons State Park.  We look forward to hosting another Quanah Parker Day to commemorate such an amazing figure in history in the near future.  For more information about Quanah Parker and Quanah Parker Day, visit the following website: Quanah Parker Day

They say that Autumn began on September 22nd, but does that include Texas?  (Just asking for a friend…)  🙂  Just kidding.  Yes, that was the first day of Fall but Summer still wasn’t ready to pack up camp here at Caprock Canyons just yet.  Just this past weekend (September 26th and 27th) rescue personnel and park staff responded to 7 different calls to help visitors in distress.  All of the rescue calls were related to heat illnesses due to temperatures that escalated to upwards of 100+ degrees.  All visitors, park staff, and rescue personnel are doing well and we want to thank each and every person who helped out with these rescues.  We are truly grateful.

What to See & Do This Month:  Embrace the Change!

Changing seasons and, most importantly, temperatures are welcomed with open arms here at Caprock.  Look forward to milder temperatures and fall colors as you… sip on some spiced cider…in a thermos…with a light jacket…watching the winter migrants land on the lake…while listening to the rustling of leaves…  (Sorry, just trying to set the scene for you and give you some ideas.)  🙂

Ranger Recommendation:  Fall Foliage & Flowers

We call these the 3 f’s here at Caprock-  Fall, foliage, and flowers.  Where should you look to find all of these?  Look for Fall foliage at Lake Theo where the cottonwood leaves will be turning yellow and the lake mirrors the beautiful scene, the Trailway where you can see yellow leaves of the cottonwoods in the distance following the creekbed and the brilliant orange leaves of the western soapberry lining the trail, or travel the park road to see the crisp contrast of yellow Maximillian sunflowers (Helianthus maximilliani) against a red canyon backdrop.  You can also hike down a trail and be greeted by the purple blooms of the blazing star, also known as gayfeather (Liatris punctata).  We’re in the early stages now, but keep looking for our updates on social media so that you won’t miss out!

Here’s a look at the current stage of Fall on the Caprock Canyons Trailway:

Quote of the Month:

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”  ~Henri Bergson

Interpreter’s Corner:

Change can seem scary, but in reality, is there anything more natural?  Change is often a hard concept to accept, but here at Caprock Canyons State Park, we are reminded of change all the time and it helps us to remember that change can actually be a good thing.  Changing seasons and temperature brings about many changes.  For trees, the leaves change color and then actually fall off the tree.  Natural erosional processes such as wind and water often carve and sculpt the canyons creating such dramatic changes that some canyon features are unrecognizable from their previous state.  Lake Theo undergoes various changes in water levels and the prairie landscape takes on dramatic episodes of seasonal drought.  These are just a few examples from nature here at Caprock Canyons.  Through it all, perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn about change from nature is to aspire to be resilient.  How many plants, animals, and insects can you name that are known for their resiliency?  Can we even count the ways we see adaptation at work?  To help us in this process, nature often tells us to stay in the present, fix your thoughts on your priorities, and practice self-care.  Afterall, isn’t that what we observe nature doing each and every day?  Change isn’t really a bad thing.  The trees take advantage of changing seasons to rejuvenate, the canyons are more dramatic and beautiful, and the prairie needs the drought to increase the strength of its native plants to outperform the competition.  So, aspire to embrace the change like nature does!  It might be hard, but it’s worth it!

Have a great Fall ya’ll!