The Great Plains
By Alex, Jack, Emma, and Renee
Today we left Coppell at 8:00am to get to San Angelo. While driving to San Angelo, Liam Neeson stole 1/2 of Jack’s Candy bar when we were eating breakfast. On our way to San Angelo we drove through Eola and stopped at a kolache festival. Eola was founded by Czechs, but after world war II most of them moved out and it went downhill a little. Czechs celebrated Christmas, but a bit differently. It starts with a dinner on December 24th. The tables for this dinner can only be set for an even number of guests, because an odd number will bring bad luck. All of the lights in the house must be turned off until the first star comes out, and when is comes out. Dinner can start. The first person to leave the table when the meal is finished will be the first person to die that year. So everyone must stand up at the same time.:( It was 256 miles and took 4 hours to get there. On our way we crossed the Colorado river for fun. Later in San Angelo we crossed the Concho river. It was long as the eye could see and we swam across while we were swimming in the river. We were there for 1 hour. And we let Rowan Atkinson hitchhike with us on our trip. Apparently Liam Neeson was chasing him all over town for a candy bar. We also kidnapped Liam neeson so he wouldn’t eat Rowan Atkinson’s candy. Then we went to Fort Concho. Fort Concho was built to protect frontier settlements, and patrol and map the West Texas Region.
Boy was today a blast! The drive wasn’t quite bad! When we made it to San Angelo we stopped at a “Shell” gas station. At that gas station, there was a group of dressed up “Comanche Indians”... It was very random, but very cool! They were telling people all about the Comanche Indians and what they were like. They told us all about what they lived in, what they looked like, etc... It was so interesting. Their costumes were beautiful! They had feathers, face paint, etc… They looked just like the Comanches! Some of the information they gave us was that…
“Like other Plains Indians, the Comanche lived in unique tipis. They decorated their bodies and made a majority of their clothing from buffalo hides. The Comanche woman had very short hair. Most of the men allowed their hair to grow long, parting it in the middle with a braid on each side.” One of the dressed up Comanche whispered to us. Another one of the Indians looked at us for a long time and started to speak to us about “The Lipans and Comanches”.
“The Lipans and Comanches cooperated at first. But, the newcomers soon decided that they wanted the Lipans’ buffalo hunting grounds! This made the Lipans very angry… A very long and bitter conflict soon resulted. And of course, the Lipans soon realized they were no match for the Comanches. Because of the Lipans living in villages part of the year, they were easy to find. The Comanches made regular raids on their villages. Later around 1750, the Lipans had left their northern lands and moved directly to the South toward San Antonio. And that was that.”
Then we went to Motel 6 to finish our day after spending a few hours with the Indians.
Today's Expenses: Breakfast: 1 candy bar per person, 2 meals a day. Breakfast= $4.00 Dinner= $4.00 Motel room= $77.94 12.8 gallons used. Gas Expense= $0.00 Today's Expenses= $85.94 Miles Traveled= 256
On the second day we drove up to Midland. On our way there we stopped by Stanton, which the germans founded in 1881. Stanton It was one of the first agricultural settlements in the west part of the state. Germans planted vineyards, but were eventually destroyed by drought. Most of the German colonies thrived. Germans celebrate Christmas like us, but with some key differences. Christmas day is usually spent with family or close friends. Some attend church services and many sing traditional Christmas carols. They also have a large meal in the afternoon. Some dishes include Roast goose or duck stuffed with apples, chestnuts, onions or prunes, Red cabbage with onions and apple, Boiled potatoes, and Dumplings. While there we saw George W. Bush childhood home which was very interesting but we had to make it to Odessa in time for lunch so we drove to Odessa and checked into Motel 6 and ate our candy bars. Then we walked around town all day. Somehow Liam Neeson escaped and started to cause havoc in the city but Rowan Atkinsonman aka The Bean (The hero that Odessa deserves) caught him and put him back in the motel closet.
Todays Expenses: Breakfast: 4 candy bars= $4.00 Lunch: 4 candy bars $4.00Motel 6: $86.60 Gas Expense: $50.00 Miles travelled: 132 Gallons of gas used: 5.3 Todays Expenses: $143.60
Day 3: We took a long drive to Lubbock, and The Bean protected us on the way. On our way, we met some scottish salesmen who wanted to hitchhike with us. We let them come. Then,
We went to Alex's’ grandparents farm! It was cool. We all had so much fun! Surprisingly, they knew so much about a Indian tribe called the “Kiowas”. The Kiowas earlier history is highly unknown. They came into Texas very late… after 1832. They then occupied only the very northern part of the Panhandle. Their main territory lay to the north of Texas. The Kiowas raided a lot of other groups in Texas for many, many years before they finally settled here in the Great Plains. The Kiowas’ attacks brought them in lots of conflicts. One of the conflicts they were involved in was with the Comanches. For at least 50 years, the two peoples were bitter enemies… Around the 1790 timing, they made peace for good. They became allies and began raiding white settlers moving into Texas. The Kiowas culture was just like any other in the Great Plains. They were Nomads and buffalo hunters who rode horses, lived in tipis and traveled in bands. Their diet, clothing, and appearance were similar to those of the Lipans and Comanches.
As we passed fields after fields full of buffalo in the middle of nowhere, a huge memory came to my head all about the Comanche Indians!
The Comanche Indians lived in the northern part of the Rocky Mountains that is now called Wyoming. They were all mostly poor hunters and gatherers, their environment also did not provide lots of food... Once they acquired horses from the Spanish, they started to hunt buffalo. Once they started hunting buffalo, their life started depending mostly on buffalo. These animals provided clothing, shelter and most of their meals. In small groups, the Comanche hunted buffalo year- round. The best time to hunt was during the summertime because the buffalo were fastest. Which was very helpful when they needed food. In fall, that was when their hides were thickest.Which was also very helpful for clothing and other items.
The Comanches butchered the animals in the exact place they would fall. They wrapped the meat in hides and carried it to camp on horses or mules. The meat they did not eat right away they dried it out, pounded it into a paste and mixed with fat and berries or nuts. They stored this food, also known as pemmican, in animal intestines or buffalo hide bags. Just like jerky, it was high in food value and was very easy to carry. On top of it all, it stayed fresh for a very long time! All of these qualities made it easy food for nomads… Nomads are people who wander from place to place in search for food.
Todays Expenses: Breakfast:4.00 Lunch:4.00 House stay: 0.00 Gas used: 5.5 gallons; 9.2 left miles travelled:137 Todays Expenses: $8.00
Day 4: Today we headed from Lubbock to Amarillo and we decided to stop by the Palo Duro Canyon. The Palo Duro Canyon is the 2nd largest canyon in America. It also lies in the heart of the Texas Panhandle. The Palo duro canyon state park opened in July 4th 1934. The Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide, and has a depth of more than 800 feet. People have lived in the canyon for over 12,000 years. Nomadic tribes were early settlers in the Canyon. They hunted mammoth, giant bison, and other large animals. Later on, Apache Indians lived in the canyon, but were soon replaced by Comanche and Kiowa Tribes. We then went to amarillo with 3 gallons left and got 17 gallons of gas for 64.6 dollars. Then we drove up to Lake Meredith and back. It’s a reservoir formed by the Sanford Dam on the Canadian River. It historically was a major source of drinking water for Amarillo, Lubbock and other small towns. The record high capacity was in April 1973 when the lake was 101.85 ft deep. On August 7, 2013 the lake reached its record low of 26.14 feet.
Today's Expenses and Total Food: 8.00 Motel 6: $55.21 Gas Expense: $64.60 $5.41 on Palo Duro Canyon State Park.Miles travelled: 232 Todays Expenses: $132.68 Gas used: Before Bought: 6 gallons After bought; 4 gallons
Total Expenses for trip:Total money 378.22 Hotel: $219.75 Gas Prices: 114.6 Gas Used : 48.6 gallons Total Food: 40$ Total Miles: 790
Liam Neeson- http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/liam-neeson-narrated-motorcycle-racing-697152
Palo Duro Canyon- http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon
Mr. Bean as Batman- blog.xfree.com