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The Sand Mountain Armadillo War : Frank S Johnson :

Return to Book Page. Cal Gibson rode horses with his father as a boy. Now, fifty years later and a lone rural relic, his lifestyle continues in the countryside of Missouri as well as in its neighboring states, the South, and West, despite the impersonal advances of technology. He is a cowboy.

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake-Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia

Southwest Missouri's oak forests, native prairies, grass-covered hills, and cattle operations second o Cal Gibson rode horses with his father as a boy. Southwest Missouri's oak forests, native prairies, grass-covered hills, and cattle operations second only to Texas, are Cal's home.

Here as a young man, he gains the devotion of a lovely woman, but is forced to walk away. He makes do, however painfully, throughout his remaining years.

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Yet, here, too, Cal has held tight to friends that last and stand with him when the going gets tough. Cal and his six lifelong companions provide a final burst of heartfelt determination and courage that unknowingly fosters revolution in a land written off as soft, spoiled, and doomed by greed. Cal's violent but heroic end spells out how this brave cowboy near sixty contributes more to his small community, his state, and his country during a cold December and January, than anyone could dare hope in a string of lifetimes.

This intense but uplifting story tells of the heartland and its real people, their loves, tragedies, and spirit in terrible times. Cal Gibson grows to be a lone rock of decency and hope holding on in midstream as a fearful river rises. He provides the steady hand his community needs to cope with a calamity that today is all too possible. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Today, the state park protects a 3,acre section of a dune field that stretches miles across Texas and into New Mexico.

The sandhills in the state park reflect nature in careful, balanced flux. Throughout the year, the dunes change shape with the prevailing winds. During rainstorms, the dunes act like a giant sponge, absorbing rainwater and preventing it from evaporating. In places where a layer of hard ground—known as caliche—forms, the rainwater gathers into temporary ponds, providing a water source for thirsty desert animals. People, too, have been coming to the sand dunes for thousands of years, digging beneath the sand to find fresh water. This unusual oak forest may surprise you—the trees are only a few feet tall, looking more like desert shrubs than the sprawling oaks found elsewhere.

But shin oaks are quite impressive—the small trees have massive root systems that stretch up to 70 feet beneath the sand. As I explored the park, I discovered that the reflective properties of all that sand, combined with the hot afternoon sun, can be a little overwhelming. The display features old letters, airplane parts, uniforms, and a number of other objects that evoke the World War II era. The highlight of the Million Barrel Museum, however, is the eight-acre, bowl-shaped reservoir that was constructed during the oil boom with the idea that it would hold—you guessed it—a million barrels of oil.

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Then, Barlow explained, in the s, a big-dreaming entrepreneur filled the hole up with water, hoping to turn it into a West Texas recreation destination for boaters and water-skiers. Unfortunately, the reservoir held water about as well as it held oil; soon, that plan was abandoned, too. I made sure to return to the park in time to witness the sun setting over the dunes. A dozen or so people were doing the same thing.

In one of the picnic areas, a family took advantage of the strong sunset breeze to fly kites.

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Sever-al couples had staked their claims on different dunes in order to appreciate the romance of the moment. I scrambled to the top of an unoccupied dune just as the sun began to sink below the horizon. The sun flashed orange and the dunes took on an eerie, unexpected shade of green.

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All campsites are also equipped with water and electric hookups. The restaurant, which opened in , occupies a large, high-ceilinged building that dates to As jazz music played over the speakers, our server told us that over the years, the building has been a movie theater, an auto-parts store, and even a gymnasium.

In the darkness, it was easy to understand why the West Texas skies are so popular with stargazers; the multitude of shining stars made it hard to identify individual constellations. Instead, we just sat back and appreciated the entirety of the vast, spangled night sky. Maybe it was all the sand dune-inspired exertion, or maybe it was my full belly, but I slept peacefully and dreamlessly all night. When I awoke, the sun was just starting to rise.

I wriggled out of my sleeping bag and walked into the dunes. The first gusts of wind whisked through the low desert plants and ruffled the small, delicate tracks left behind by nocturnal critters.