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Mar 12, 2019
Tule Canyon has an amazing history, tragic in many ways. You see, the Panhandle of Texas was the hold out of the Comanche Nation. It wasn't until the 1870's that the Comanche left Texas for the reservation in Oklahoma.
The incidence that brought an end to what history calls the Red River Wars, happened not far from the this Mesa. One of the things that allowed the Comanche to hold out so long against the western expansion of the United States was Palo Duro Canyon. Colonial "Bad Hand" Mackenzie didn't let the steep walls of the canyon keep him from pursuing the Comanche.
Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon system in the United States and in places those walls are over 800 feet deep. Until Mackenzie, the Comanche found refuge in the canyon. Mackenzie pursued the Comanche into their natural stronghold and found all of the horses Quanah Parker (the great chief of the Comanche) had in reserve. Quanah and the Comanche were left mostly afoot. A year later, Quanah surrendered.
I find myself under this Mesa in Tule Canyon often. It has a feeling and I love trying to catch that feeling. One night while trying to capture the movement of the stars over the Mesa a very bright white light appeared and made a transit across the sky. I knew it was not a plane or satellite. I have seen lots of those. I wasn't sure what it was. And it took a number of minutes for the light to go across the sky but really it was much faster than a plane.
Come to find out, it was the International Space Station and its transit across the sky. To date, this is one of my favorite photos, in part because of the fact I caught the space station without even knowing it.
This old rock has witnessed many transits.
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