Into the Texas Plains

The landscape changed from vibrant green rolling hills and roads lined with bluebonnets to flat, brown plains as we drove north to the small town of Buffalo Gap where we camped at Abilene State Park. Huge buffalo herds once traveled through the area where the town is today. Many of the cattle drives also came through the area.

Visiting with my friend Tim was the highlight of the day!
Visiting with my friend Tim was the highlight of the day!

We had a great visit with my high school friend Tim, a 7th generation Texan who has lived in Arlington most of his life. He picked a beautiful, sunny day to drive over to Buffalo Gap to see us.

We drove to nearby Abilene to see the western heritage exhibits at the Frontier Texas museum in Abilene. We learned a lot about the history of the area from the prehistoric days to the wild west. Everything was very well done through exhibits and two excellent films.

From Buffalo Gap we continued through the Texas panhandle driving through miles and miles of plains to Lubbock. Around Sweetwater we saw huge wind farms on top of the buttes and lots of oil pumps across the plains. As we approached Lubbock there were huge cotton fields on either side of the road.

The highlight of our trip to Lubbock was a visit to the Buddy Holly Center. Buddy Holly was born and raised in Lubbock and began his music career there. Two of his biggest hits with Buddy Holly and the Crickets were “That’ll be the Day” and “Oh Boy”.

Buddy’s music was a big inspiration to many of the British bands who became superstars later. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John all credit Buddy Holly as a big influence in their music. The Rolling Stones first hit, “Not Fade Away”, was a Buddy Holly song.

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson (“The Big Bopper”) died tragically in a plane crash on February 2, 1959 while touring across the Midwest. One of the members of Buddy’s touring band for the tour was Waylon Jennings. Waylon was supposed to be on the plane but gave up his seat to J.P. Richardson who had the flu.

To visit Abilene we stayed at Abilene State Park in Buffalo Gap. Our site was a large back in surrounded by woods with water and electric hookups, a picnic table and fire pit. Go here to read my review of this park.

To visit Lubbock we stayed at the Mesa Verde RV Park in Wolfforth. Our site was a large pull through with full hookups. The park has a swimming pool (not open when we were there), two laundries, free WiFi, two enclosed dog walks, and very nice, helpful owners. Go here to read my review of this park.

17 thoughts on “Into the Texas Plains”

  1. Have you ever been to ‘Head Smashed In’ buffalo jump south in Alberta? They have a similar exhibition with buffalo sculls. Very interesting history as well.

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  2. Howard and I both enjoy Buddy Holly music. You guys are having a wonderful time driving thru Texas! There are so many things to see and do. Glad you got to visit with your friend. Safe Travels!

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  3. Great pics! I have a steer skull in my back yard. The picture of you with the glasses at Buddy Holly Center is too cute! If you are able … one day try to go to Luckenbach, TX. A fun place.

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      1. Wow! How cool! So glad you got to go and singers were there as well. Yea!
        I will be heading to Texas sometime this summer and will try to get to some of the places you mentioned!

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        1. We were surprised to find so many people there in the middle of the afternoon! They said it was always like that on a sunny day. The dance hall wasn’t open and the entertainment was outside. A really fun place! Have fun on your trip through Texas this summer.

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  4. Well, you were actually reasonably close to my house at that RV park in Wolfforth! I’m guessing you are long gone now? Home sweet home for 57 years. Hope you enjoyed your time here!

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    1. How funny! We enjoyed our time there. In our travels we met several people from the Lubbock area. The first one recommended the Buddy Holly museum and I’m glad she did! After being in remote state parks for several weeks it was nice to be in an area where we could take care of some much needed chores. Yes, we are long gone now and heading east towards home. Thanks for following my blog!

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      1. I’m glad you opted to visit this part of the state. Most just bypass us, but we do have some great museums and award-winning wineries. If you ever come back and need a tour guide… 😉

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