Monday, December 22, 2008

There's More to Texas

Cristina Henriquez wrote "This is how a lot of people think of Texas: dusty plains and broad prairies freckled with tumbleweeds and sagebrush; ...a place occupied by ranchers and cowboys and horses; all of this under a huge, open sky" ("Texas," in Weiland and Wilsey (eds.), State by State, 2008).

I think we're members of that group.

So, we headed north of Fredericksburg (TX) to see a different part of Texas--the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

Enroute we saw this scene on a hillside as we approached the park's entrance. A quick glance at the angled trunks made it appear as though these trees were rolling down the hill.

After arriving, we learned that the park was "popular with rock climbers, hikers and campers." There were several sets of procedures for each group to follow once they registered at the ranger's station. Since we did not fit any of those groups, we took the trails less traveled.

It is this pink granite that characterizes the large mound in the park.

Tonkawa Indians believed ghost fires flickered at the top of the domed rock, and they heard weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say resulted from the rock's heating by day and contracting in the cool night.

A conquistador captured by the Tonkawa described how he escaped by losing himself in the rock area, giving rise to an Indian legend of a "pale man swallowed by a rock and reborn as one of their own." The Indians believed he wove enchantments on the area, but he explained that the rock wove the spells. "When I was swallowed by the rock, I joined the many spirits who enchant this place."

Yes, Texas is more than its geographic stereotypes. Every place is. Its just that, in Texas, you have to travel farther to find that out.

No comments: