CA to OR via AZ, NM, OK, KS, IA, ND, etc. Spring 2015 travel blog

Capstone canyon

Layers of rocks

Capstone canyon


Drove through an interesting little town...Quitaque, TX (pronounced quit-a-Q). Had been a big town with a winning high school basketball team from the '60's. But...the mill closed and now the town is boarded up except the Thrift Store, a Corner Market, and not much else. The shop windows were decorated by the historical society with memorabilia, and antiques.

Nearby is Capstone Canyon so we decided to go out and see it. As we entered, there were half a dozen bison with babies...very cute...part of a larger herd. We unhooked the car, left the RV in the Visitor Info lot and meandered deep into the canyon.

Gorgeous red canyon walls, swollen river winding through the floor, little tent campgrounds alongside the river's edge.

As we were returning, we got out to look at an overlook, and a Texas Ranger drove up...big and intimidating. We didn't have our park pass hanging from the rear view mirror (it fell down) and I thought he was going to get us for no pass. Jim thought he was going to get us for parking in the wrong spot. But no, he was there to clear us all out of the canyon...a tornado alert for tornadoes and heavy hail (2-3" in diameter) was issued to happen in the next hour!

We raced back to the RV, didn't bother to hook up and both drove quickly to town. But then what? We went into the little corner market a bit wild eyed and just stood there vibrating. The checker looked at us curiously and we blurted out "there's a tornado coming and we are in a motorhome. ..where should we go!?!?" Nobody had an answer except "you just never know what its going to do"

One lady asked "no one ever told you how to take cover?" We said " lie down in a ditch?" "Yes".

Well, the upshot was we didn't think it was a good idea to try to outrun it...if we were caught out on the long lonely highway, we might end up lying in a ditch. We ended up parked next to a large, old stone building protecting the side we thought the tornado would approach. We walked the dogs, preparing for a long siege. A man was working outside on heating and we talked to him for about 1/2 an hour. It started raining, rained about an hour and that was it. Later we heard it touched down in Tipton, about 20 miles from where we planned on staying.

Jim and Doris, Tank and Koko ( who were very glad they didn't have to be in the ditch with us on top of them.)



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