The small tree stands in full bloom, or so it seems. The beautiful small flowers are actually leaves, but they bring a smile to my face all the same. This tree seems out of place in this vast land, but it’s one of many interesting plants we see along the way.
When some people think of deserts, they often think of emptiness, but here are Seminole Canyon State Park in Texas, there’s much to be discovered along the trails.
As I look across the vast landscape, the park definitely looks like a desert. To my young ones, who think of a large amount of sand and not much else when they hear that word, we’re definitely not there.
But they still enjoy looking at the cactus plants. And despite some grumbling, they eventually start to enjoy the hike.
The trail starts with a gorgeous view of what K-girl calls “the grand canyon.” I gently remind her that this is a canyon, but it’s not that one. Her response is “well, it is a grand canyon.” Smart kid. Indeed, it looks grand, and the view is gorgeous.
We start our walking on easy ground, but it soon becomes a little more challenging as we go over rocks and uneven terrain. Along the route, we see several different plants, and signs explain what they are and how they were used by the indigenous people who once called this area home. While the place seems uninhabitable, small tribes skillfully used the edible parts of these unfriendly-looking plants. They also used interesting ways to hunt buffalo, such as purposely causing them to stampede off a cliff.
During other seasons, you can tour the canyons and see first-hand the rock paintings that these early tribes left behind. We are here in the off-season, however, and without a tour guide, you cannot enter the canyons. So we satisfy ourselves with looking at a replica of early rock paintings in the Visitor Center.
Also in the visitor center, we learn a great deal about how the early people of this area lived—from how they hunted, to how they taught their young, to how they used the scarce plants of the desert for food. Displays give us an idea of how life was lived in this remote area.
Between the beautiful scenery and the rich history of Seminole Canyon State Park, this is definitely a location I’d like to return to and spend more time in eventually. Texas State Parks have been so wonderful that I want to return to Texas one day and see all 51 of them.