An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff resulting from erosion or faulting.  There are 22 escarpments in the United States.  The first one I saw was the Mogollon Rim near Payson, AZ.  The 2nd one was Caprock.  When I saw it, I was in Caprock Canyon State Park south of Palo Duro Canyon surrounded by bison.  At the time I did not know that Caprock was part of an escarpment.  The 3rd was the Balcones that can be seen in both Austin and Waco, TX.  Escarpments result in high cliffs and dramatic canyons. They are also called beastledges.

The Mogollon Rim is a geological oddity that crosses Arizona for 200 miles starting in Yavapai County and going east to the New Mexico border. This is pronounced “muggy on” and is basically a massive wall of rock often topped by pine forest.  There is a narrow, unpaved forest road (F.R. 300) on top of the Mogollon that someone made a video of and posted on YouTube if you want to experience it.  I was able to stand about half of it.  The truck is red, few cars are passed, and there is no commentary.  Another YouTube video gives aerial views of Mogollon and is far more beautiful and interesting.

In Texas the Balcones Escarpment caused The Hill Country to happen.  It extends from south of Waco to Del Rio, where it’s about 1,000 feet high.  The best place to see it in Waco is Cameron Park.  Emmons Cliff there above the Brazos River is part of the Austin Chalk Escarpment that joins the Balcones. This is sometimes called the Balcones Fault because it once was the scene of major earthquakes, but not any more.

My favorite escarpment is now Caprock and the state park called Caprock Canyon, while remote, has a very fine visitor center where the staff loves to talk about bison.  The herd can often be seen in the park, and its members are descendants of the Goodnight herd that formed when this animal faced extinction.

The 2 photos here are of Caprock, but they were not taken in the state park.



About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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