Sunday, July 8, 2012

Go West XXV - The Old West

Twisted Deadwood, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
 © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved



Becky and I found Palo Duro Canyon a fascinating setting. It is the second largest canyon in the U.S., after the Grand Canyon, and has a similar likeness in geology, some of the formations dating back 300 million years. Hiking along the trails through the canyon, we were struck by its rugged arid beauty, its starkly beautiful terrain of towering mesas, and oddly shaped hoodoos. The American landscape artist Georgia O'Keeffe, who once lived nearby in Amarillo, said of Palo Duro, "It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color."


Palo Duro was the home of prehistoric peoples who hunted giant bison and mammoth. The first Europeans are thought to have passed through on Coronado's expedition to find the "Seven Cities of Gold" in 1541. Palo Duro was also the homeland of pre-horse Apache. It was a major camping ground of Comanches, Kiowas, and Cheyennes, who were eventually driven out by the U.S. Calvary. In 1876 Charles Goodnight drove a herd of cattle in to begin the first commercial ranching operation in the Texas panhandle.


Not far from Lighthouse Rock Trail, I found the twisted remains of an old juniper tree lying on the desert floor. It made an interesting organic foreground for the pyramid-shaped rocks in the background. The scene seemed symbolic of this ancient land which is rich in the geology and history of the Old West. 

21 comments:

  1. What an amazing adventure you and Becky had. I can feel the breath of those mammoths in your images.

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  2. even seeing that color in person it's hard to believe for those of us from the east coast. just beautiful, doug.

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  3. What a lovely sand castle. ;o)
    Absolutely marvellous, D!
    This is America's answer to Ayer's rock, eh?

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  4. What an impressive landscape, such wild beauty!
    God bless you!
    Cezar

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  5. and here, with that red dirt, i thought you may have been in Utah! nice!

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  6. superb foreground! fine commentary

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  7. What a gorgeous capture of the red rock. Wonderful!

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  8. Nice composition with excellent foreground interest, good sky and an attractive layered rock formation.

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  9. Your framing is spectacular and fabulous colors. I like the red earth gives a lot of heat to the images

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  10. Only seeing the photo, before to read your text, I thought at O'Keeffe again!

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  11. The aged and tortured look of the wood fits in perfectly with the arid and barren scenery to create a wild and spectacular ambience.

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  12. Love this shot Doug! Really nice composition with the tortuous juniper in the foreground. This may be the quintessential shot of the west.

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  13. a most attractive and effectiv compo, doug, with the dead tree trunk pointing the way! gorgeous colours, too ... once again !

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  14. i can see myself living close to this scenery.. great shot! :)

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  15. You always see great composition to make when you shot landscapes! This one is brilliant with the dead tree!
    Have a nice day.

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  16. Excellent composition, not the usual photo of our lovely canyon. I live about 10 miles north of it and never tire of seeing and photographing it.

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