A Trip to Benjamin,Texas

Raf and I had never been to Benjamin, Texas, and we decided it would be fun to go there on a day trip.  It takes about 2 and one-half hours to get to Benjamin from Mineral Wells.  We headed up Highway 281 to the blinking light and turned west toward Graford and then northwest to Graham.

Past Graham the land got as flat as a pancake, and you could see for miles.  Lovely, but I wouldn't want to live there.  We traveled through Newcastle and Olney, and then we turned west on Highway 114 toward Seymour and on to Benjamin

As we were driving along, about seven miles east of Benjamin, we came to a lovely little rest area dedicated to someone whose last name was Sams or Sam - I didn't write it down.  The rest area had been freshly painted and gardened, and it was beautiful.  The weather was magnificent, with sunlight and fluffy white clouds after a huge storm the night before.  The temperature was 71˚F, and a slight breeze was blowing.

The rest area is on a spit of land called "The Narrows."  Wikipedia says of this land:  "The Narrows is the name given to a geological feature located 4[1] to 6[2] miles (6.4 to 9.7 km) east of Benjamin in Knox County, Texas. It is a narrow crest running east-to-west along a hogback dividing the watershed of the Wichita River to the north from that of the Brazos River to the south.[2][3] That is, precipitation falling to the north of the crest will flow into the Wichita River, and thence into the Red River and ultimately the Mississippi, while precipitation falling to the south will flow into the Brazos and then directly into the Gulf of Mexico.[2] Before white settlers arrived in the area, buffalo were drawn to the spot due to the presence of buffalo grass and fresh springs, with the result that the area was known as prime hunting ground to several tribes of Indians, including the Comanche, Wichita, Kiowa, Apache, Seminole, and Tonkawa. Evidence of their battles and campgrounds is still being discovered.[2] The new settlers used these same Indian-worn trails to traverse the area.[2][3] Today the canyons and ravines of the area's badlands topography are used for ranching purposes.

"US 82 runs directly along the crest, and the area, being picturesque, has become a popular tourist attraction;[1] a roadside park and historical marker have been set up along the highway."

And, as we looked out, on both sides of the highway, we saw beautiful breaks in the land and red dirt with copper blue stripes running through it.  It was one of the loveliest vistas we had ever encountered...like a mini-Palo Dura Canyon.

We then drove on to Benjamin where Wyman Meinzer's wife has a shop called Santa Fe on the Brazos.    Wyman is the state photographer of Texas.  There we looked around and bought a few goodies, like olive oil soap, Mexican vanilla, and some ceramics.

From Benjamin we went back through Knox City, not the county seat of Knox County--Benjamin is (and I would love to hear the story of the battle that must have gone on over the county seat!).  We ate at a place called Bud's...a greasy spoon that is a favorite of locals, and we returned via Breckenridge.

On the way back both a bobcat and a roadrunner crossed our paths, but another interesting sight was cowboys chasing some cows.

All-in-all, it was a lovely day!


Sue said…
That does sound like a mighty fine day. I always like to find neat things like that
and make a "Date Day" out of it with Hubby. Can't let the garden take all of my time-ha ha.
Have a great weekend
Anne said…
The shop has a charming exterior. Nice trip, Sue.

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