May 30, 2013

Caprock Canyons is in Briscoe County, Texas in the panhandle where the Red River has carved the land into a network of red-walled canyons.


Fargo, Oklahoma and a cool and foggy morning.


Crossing one of the tributaries of the Red River.  In June, I might have expected to see more water than this.

Turkey, Texas is the home town of Bob Wills.  I've been through here a few times before, but have yet to stop and go through the Bob Wills museum.

They do have the band's tour bus along main street, looking like it was parked just as it was the last time the "Texas Playboys" were on tour.  The interior is furnished as a motorhome.


Caprock Canyons State Park was created in 1982 and includes some surprisingly rugged land.  People have been living here for thousands of years.  There's a herd of buffalo that seems to be free to roam wherever they want, but this time they weren't on the roads (which is good--I've always been nervous when riding a motorcycle through a group of these large animals).


There are a number of hiking trails in the park.  I took just one, and didn't go much farther than the canyon wall you see in the distance.

I think my timing was perfect; everything was in bloom.







Blair, Oklahoma

The Quartz Mountains are the western extension of the Wichita Mountains.  They're unexpected things in this otherwise flat country of southwest Oklahoma.

That storm in the distance?  At the same time I took this shot (standing in a wheat field), multiple tornados were striking near Oklahoma City.  I'm about fifty miles from El Reno.

The tornado that struck El Reno, Okla., on Friday night is believed to be the widest on record in the United States at 2.6 miles across, the National Weather Service reported on Tuesday.

The May 31 twister beat the previous record, a 2.5-mile wide storm that struck Hallam, Neb., on May 22, 2004.

The Friday tornado and its resulting flooding claimed 18 lives, including six children and a dozen adults, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner reported on Tuesday. Six of the victims remain unidentified. Area hospitals treated 115 injuries after Friday’s storm, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said.

The tornado’s width was measured by a mobile radar unit as the storm passed south of El Reno near Highway 81, the NWS said. The measurement only includes the tornado itself, and not winds surrounding the storm.

The tornado was also upgraded to an EF-5 classification, the most forceful category, according to the NWS.

El Reno is about 25 miles west of Oklahoma City.

The massive tornado struck less than two weeks after a tornado ripped through nearby Moore, Okla., leaving 24 people dead.

--by Matthew DeLuca, Staff Writer, NBC News

Taloga, Oklahoma

Little Sahara Sand Dunes is a large area of exposed sand on the north side of the Cimarron River.  It's open to off-road vehicles.






last edit: 6/2/2013