Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

From Pines to Mesquite and Life in a Prairie Dog Town

Location: Lake Arrowhead State Park (el. 915 ft); Wichita Falls, Texas

(pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 cell phone AND Nikon D5100)
(click picture to enlarge)

Yesterday's trip was 248 miles long and I never turned the radio on. It was just the sound of Freedom, Liberty and the road. It was surprising how much of a change can happen in 248 miles. The trees changed from the tall pines to the short mesquite. That is one of the things that draws me to traveling. To be able to drive a few hours and have all the surroundings change. I believe when you stay in one place too long, your senses get dull. They don't have to work as hard because everything becomes so familiar. But when traveling, they have to work overtime because everything is new. That overtime of the senses, as they process new stimuli, gives an overall sense of being alive. It is a good feeling.
There were several large fields of hay. Some had a dozen hay-bailers working.

Long open highway with very little traffic.

About every mile or so, a large ranch house would be situated on the highest ground around so they could sit on their porch and see for miles. 

One of the great things about traveling in Texas is the amount of picnic/rest areas they have along their highways. Most states only have them along their interstates, but Texas has them along their state and U.S. Routes. You can usually count on one about every 50 miles or so. 

My campsite in Lake Arrowhead SP. As I was writing this post, the only other camper in my loop just pulled out. My nearest human neighbor is quite a ways away now. 

I choose this park because it is close to Wichita Falls and on the way to Palo Duro. This area is on the southern limits of the Great Plains and is a combination of natural grasslands and very large ranches with their hay fields and cattle. The park is full of mesquite trees. It is also host to a large Prairie Dog Town inside the park itself. There are several holes/homes within 20 yards of my campsite. In fact, one home is right next to the electrical pedestal. That resident greeted me with a little "bark" when I backed Liberty into the campsite. It kept a close eye on me as I was setting up camp. Towards dusk, it seemed as if the whole colony near me came out for one last romp before bedding down for the night. You can always see at least one of the "dogs" keeping watch for predators that can come from not only the ground but also the air. When a predator is spotted, the look-outs barks and all the dogs run to the nearest hole.

My nearest neighbor that kept an eye on my as I set up camp.
The "Look-out"

The "look-out" checking me out. I think I heard him say, "I see you over there with the camera and know what you're doing. I didn't just fall out of a mesquite tree."

Something spooked them and they all ran for cover. I promise, it wasn't me.

As dusk settles in, they all begin to head home for the night. 
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Still a day behind you. In Terrell east of Dallas having lunch. Headed for Caprock Canyons SP.

    1. Safe travels Barney. I will be at Caprock sometime next week.

    2. Great post -- loved the little pararie dogs---you will have fun watching them --wishing I was on the road ----Someday my ship will come in

    3. Hello Jenny. I hope your ship comes in soon.

  2. Glad your having fun. The pics of the blue sky is beautiful. Safe journey.

  3. Good to see you back on the road. Love the way you write and observe your surroundings.

    1. Thanks Shawn. Ya'll be careful if you have to highball it back to Missouri