Abilene, Texas

April, 2006

Abilene was founded in 1891 and named for the town in Kansas; essentially the two ends of the cattle trail. 




We elected to stay in the nearby Abilene State Park.  This was probably the worst campsite in the park but it was the only one open enough to allow out satellite internet connection.






The other campsites were more shaded and secluded.  But we have become used to the instant information and communications provided by the internet and refuse to give it up.  Withdrawal symptom start to show up almost immediately; especially when there is also no cell phone service as was the case here.





There was some entertainment put on by a local organization called The Friends of Abilene State Park to raise funds for some ecological projects not covered by state funding.  There was a silent auction inside the building and some folk singers outside.  Another singer showed up later in the day.  He was not bad but the progressive jazz seemed a little strange in this rural Texas atmosphere.




There was also a small crafts fair.  There was nothing really unusual but it was interesting none the less.





We found two very interesting things to see in Abilene.  The first is Frontier Texas.  It is a display of local history housed in the tourist Information Center.  We have seen a lot of such displays all over the country but this one is unique.  Local history is presented by excellent holograms of the people who made that history.  It was very well done both technologically and historically.







The Indian side was told by this old Comanche warrior.  Incidentally, photographing a hologram is difficult to say the least.





This hologram represents Cynthia Parker who was captured as a child and lived most of her life with the Comanche.  She had two sons; one of whom became the most famous war chief of the Comanche, Quanah Parker.






This is the second interesting place we visited in Abilene.  This oil well shows that this is a lucky town.  During the centennial celebration in 1981, an oil drilling rig was set up in the fairgrounds to demonstrate how to make a hole in the ground.  During the demonstration, they struck oil.  It wasn't a big strike but it is still providing income to the city.

Abilene was well worth the two days we spent here.  Especially since we only stopped to wait for the weather to warm up further north so we could go to see the Palo Duro Canyon.