Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Village Bend-Brazos River-Palo Pinto County, TX ...

which is another one of my favorite places. It was on the northwest corner of my Uncle David's 800 acre ranch. That is my 1983 Jeep in the foreground, that is Ward Mountain in the background site of a fight with early settlers and Comanche Indians long ago. The photo was taken in 1983, I know because my Jeep was stock in this photo. It did not stay that way long. The bend in the river is called Village Bend and 200 years ago you would have seen Indians camped out there beside the Brazos river. This was Comanche country and a lot of battles were fought in this area when the white man moved out west. If you know where and how to look you can find flint arrowheads in the area. You can't see it in the photo but just behind the jeep is a limestone cliff that drops straight down about 70 feet to the river below. I spent many an hour sitting on the edge of that cliff with my legs dangling over the side during the summer and early fall with a .22 rifle shooting snakes, turtles and huge Alligator Gar some in excess of six feet in length and well over 150 pounds. Those big gar would come up for air and if you shot them in the right spot, they would head straight to the bottom of the river and you would see a cloudy mud trail rise up as the monster gar tried to make its escape. One year I was riding across the ranch near the river and ran into a game warden driving up out of a creek bottom. I was turkey hunting and it startled me as I knew there was not supposed to be anyone else on the ranch that weekend. I got out of my Jeep and introduced myself to the warden. He had three guys in the back of his truck . He told me they were under arrest for telephoning down on the river. If you don't know, that is when you take an old crank phone and connect wires to the generator and drop them in the water to shock fish and bring them to the surface when you turn the crank. He was going to pick up his fellow game warden that had been hiding in the cedars up by the cliff. His buddy secretly watched as the three lawbreakers drifted by in a boat. He radioed down to the warden I spoke with who was hiding on the bank downriver in a narrow spot. When the lawbreakers drifted by, he jumped out and politely asked the offenders at shotgun point to come ashore. They were going to see the judge. I bet that fishing trip was going to cost those guys a pretty penny. I could not resist waving and smiling at the lawbreakers and the warden as they drove away. The warden smiled and waved back, the other three just glared. I don't think they were having a good day.

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