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Seminole Canyon State Park

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BigBendHiker

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Seminole Canyon State Park
« on: July 22, 2007, 07:33:00 AM »
In today's San Antonio Express-News:

Quote

Rock art at Seminole Canyon is enigmatic, stunning

Web Posted: 07/20/2007 05:32 PM CDT

Louis B. Parks
Houston Chronicle

SEMINOLE CANYON STATE PARK Stand with your back to the wall of Fate Bell Rock Shelter and look down the length of this rugged border-country canyon. You see for miles.
 
Now turn to the wall and its ancient pictographs. You see into the past for thousands of years.
Binoculars help the view down the canyon. For the trip through time you just need a good guide such as park ranger Jack Johnson and a little imagination.

What were they feeling, those artists who stood right here, before Egypt's pyramids were built, to tell their story in brilliant and, to us, enigmatic pictures?

What were they saying? To whom? Surely they meant to preserve their stories, their lore, their faiths, for their children's children. Could they have dreamed people 100 generations hence would look at their work with wonder and strain to "hear" their silent message?

Standing before an unknown artist's work, I yearned to send a thought back through time, if only to say you're not forgotten, we still long to know your tale, your life.

On the Rio Grande and the U.S.-Mexico border 41 miles northwest of Del Rio, Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site is part of the Lower Pecos archaeological region. Its scores of ancient sites contain some of the most impressive rock art of this history-rich area. Some pictographs were painted by American Indians 3,000-4,000 years ago; others are the work of people perhaps 500 years ago.

Railway crews in the late 19th century discovered the major park site at Fate Bell shelter. The 2,173-acre park was opened in 1980. For the safety of the artwork, all canyon hiking is ranger-guided.

Like the rare bones that have come to represent all dinosaurs, or like Pompeii, which represents cities of its era, it is only a hint of much more that was painted and lost and forgotten.

Other aspects of the area's history are easier to interpret than the pictographs. Fossils readily seen in the rocks tell of life when this region was under water millions of years ago. We know people lived here 12,000 years past, when it was cooler, wetter and covered with trees and grasses that fed mammoths. More recent times brought the ranchers, the train crews and the settlers.

Explore human and natural history in the park headquarters' interpretive exhibits. Or just enjoy the stark beauty. Seminole Canyon is on the eastern edge of the vast Chihuahuan Desert, with hints of the Hill Country and brushlands. The terrain is rocky. But on our May visit, after rains, there was abundant plant life.

The park is a popular hiking and camping spot in three seasons, and while almost deserted in May our tent was all alone on a weekday night once school lets out many families dare the heat for summer camping.

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Ray52

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Seminole Canyon State Park
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 08:09:33 AM »
Quote
What were they feeling, those artists who stood right here, before Egypt's pyramids were built


Amazing.....and a nice post.  And one more reason to travel Hwy 90 to the park.

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SHANEA

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Nice Read.
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 01:46:10 PM »
Thanks for the post.

I wonder what the impact on the State Park will be if they build a border fence there?  See the map of the park @ http://tinyurl.com/2yge8h  This whole notion of building a border fence is bogus IMHO.

First time I've really looked at the park map.  The Rio Grande Trail looks like a nice hike to a vista over the river.   (BTW - correct me if I'm wrong, the map shows it to be Rio Grande River Trail, but I've always understood that it's not the Rio Grande River, simply, the Rio Grande. )??  Looks like the may have some kind of "shelters" along the trail for overnight camping, etc.?


 

See the TPWD park website @ http://tinyurl.com/qj5hk


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SHANEA

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Prehistoric: Lower Pecos
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 06:59:23 PM »
http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/pecos/

Be sure and check out the links along the top for pics of rock art, rock shelters, etc.

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Offline randell

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Re: Nice Read.
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 01:46:52 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Looks like the may have some kind of "shelters" along the trail for overnight camping, etc.?


They are sun shelters...because it gets really hot and there is absolutely no shade out there.  A bench with a wood slat roof.  First time I hiked out there it was 104 degrees.

Views are very nice:



There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline Boojum1

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Seminole Canyon State Park
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 11:59:27 AM »
For the Botany nerds, Seminole Canyon is a nifty intersection of Edwards Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems.  I visited with a bar owner in Comstock who was a laborer on the first UT digs at the buffalo jump.  Nifty conversation.  He said after some amount of digging the bones started getting bigger (ice age buffalo were larger)
Pithy quote free for years

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Offline uh_clem

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Re: Nice Read.
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 12:20:46 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
BTW - correct me if I'm wrong, the map shows it to be Rio Grande River Trail, but I've always understood that it's not the Rio Grande River, simply, the Rio Grande


  I guess saying Rio Grande River is like saying River Grande River (or Rio Grande Rio).
I'll be the jump start for the car parked in your mind, 'Cause you left the lights on all night long.

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Offline befree

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Re: Seminole Canyon State Park
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 06:44:00 PM »
If rock art interests you, you're in heaven in the Lower Pecos River Valley.  Seminole Canyon contains several sites other than the most famous Fate Bell site, and White Shaman is almost directly across the street on the other side of Hwy 90.  I believe the concentration of rock art sites is higher in this area than anywhere else in the world, and the Lower Pecos River Valley style is mystical and unique.  See www.rockart.org for more info.

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Offline xseption

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Re: Seminole Canyon State Park
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2007, 01:08:10 PM »
Bookmarked! I will have to check this out on the way to BiBe ... with all the information I have discovered from this site, I think my next three years are practically planned

oh my!
Be the kind of person that you will want to meet!

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oldfatman

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Re: Seminole Canyon State Park
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2008, 08:50:47 AM »
The trail is not that long and very easy walking.  Camping was not allowed the last time aI was there.  The official campground is pretty nice and only  a couple hundred yards from the trail entrance.  When you hit the end of the trail where the guard rails are, go around to the tight very carefully to near the park border fence and the views of Mexico and Amistad are wonderful.

 


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