“It is a Land I doubt will be Inhabited into the Next Century”


Sunrise over the trail of Randolph Marcy

Sunrise over the land traveled by Randolph Marcy and George W. Kendall


Such were the words from the journal of Randolph Marcy during his expedition into and through the badlands along with South Wichita river in the year of 1854. Obviously Mr. Marcy was not impressed with the land that dealt his party so much hardship as he often complained of the harshness of the water, soil and vegetation that he encountered along the way. At one point he complained that the country was so forbidding that even the Indians skirted the canyons, with only the bears living there in large numbers. How I wish I could have witnessed some of the sights that he so disdained all those years ago.


Storm over the exact landscape described by Marcy

"...the melancholy truth visible in almost every face that we were lost among the wilderness prairie of the west." George W. Kendall. August 15, 1841. Storm over the exact landscape described above by Kendall.


I was born and raised on the very land described by Marcy and grew to love the canyons and emptiness that describes this often times forbidding rangeland. On horseback and afoot I worked cattle and hunted over the 40 section ranch that my father managed for some 30 years and realized only at a later age what a significant and positive impact this environment would have on my life.


Lightning bolt at sunset over the badlands

Lightning bolt at sunset over the badlands


Fond are the memories of riding horseback the 10 miles to Benjamin on a Saturday morning through the badlands, crossing the boggy arroyos and observing intimately the ancient landscape beneath the horses hooves. Eroded creek banks offered a glimpse of life from our distant past as the occasional buffalo skull or other relics teased my curiosity from their  final resting place in the crumbling walls.


Double rainbow over my boyhood country

Double rainbow over my boyhood country


Corroded cartridge casings or lead slugs from calibers of yesteryear, uncovered by the erosive effects of wind and rain, also played on my imagination. Could the source of these archeological finds be the men from Marcy’s party or maybe even the Kendall expedition of 1841? Perhaps the great Indian trail described by Gallagher, a member of the Kendall party, on August 14, 1841 may have been a contributing factor in the evidence of so much life from another century. My youth was immersed in these items of wonderment and even today I retain a youthful fascination with a land and the life that existed long before the heavy hand of civilization. 

Hope you all can enjoy these recollections from almost a half century ago and take a moment to reflect on what was important to you in those formative years of your youth.


Drama over the Texas/Santa Fe trail 3 miles west of Benjamin

Drama over the Texas/Santa Fe trail 3 miles west of Benjamin

Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 6:51 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kendall should see Kendall County today.

    It’s mostly asphalt and rooftops.

    All except for the far northwest corner … where a few many-generation ranchers are holding on despite the many obstacles offered by development pressures, property taxes, and death taxes.



  3. I’m a super huge fan of Wyman and never knew that he had a blog. I’m so excited!! You show how beautiful this great State of Texas really is and especially the part of Texas most people think is ugly.

    I admire every photo you produce.

  4. Wonderful shots!
    I’m not a Texan by birth; actually, I’m pretty new here. But I’ve grown to love its diversity and beauty while traveling to dog trials.
    Your blog has definitely fast tracked this education.


  5. Incredible. More than ever I would like to talk to you about putting some of this in the paper. It is so fascinating to me – thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  6. With every photo and story I miss Texas more and long to be there again. You capture the heart and diversity of it so very well.

  7. I love the landscape shots and the lightning is super great. Always enjoy visiting each one of your books.


  8. Great job Wyman, the true beauty of the area is like fine wine, gets better with age!

  9. I got this site from my friend who informed me about this web site and
    at the moment this time I am browsing this website and reading very informative posts at this place.

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