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Ghosts of the Cross Timbers Road Trip

The Texas pioneers' war with the Comanches began in 1836 at the dawn of Texas' Republic and the Victorian Age. Troopers and Rangers alike adorned sabers and adopted the manners and valiantry of ancient European knights. In the Cross Timbers, the knights were usually cowboys riding patrol, dividing their time between Ranger and ranch duties.

A. J. Sowell's PictureTravel a few minutes west of Fort Worth and enter the Cross Timbers. Visit historical sites made famous by Lonesome Dove's Gus and Woodrow and John Wayne's classics Stagecoach, Red River and The Searchers. Versions of its blazing battles have been told and retold in everything from dime novels to television productions, but nothing compares to the first-hand accounts.

Click on Sowell's picture for his first-hand account of Comanche Chief Oska Horseback.

I'm Rick Steed and will serve as your road trip guide. I have lived all over the Cross Timbers and spent much of my early years working as an oilfield roustabout on many of its ranches. I began to read this frontier's history in the mid 80s while living at Possum Kingdom painting landscapes. Many of "my favorite places" seemed to have stories to tell and I hoped I could pin a few down.

Maybe it got out of hand, but through the years I continued to collect stories related to this countryside even though my subject matter turned to interiors and figures. Besides, there is a lot of pioneer something in the people who live here.

Artist Rick Steed Loving Arms by Rick Steed
Rick Steed, artist, with
Ledge at Hell's Gate
Palo Pinto Hideout, Steed 1990
70" x 70" Acrylic on Canvas
Loving Arms, Steed 1992
12" x 24" Acrylic on Paper

Pass over countryside mostly unchanged through the centuries, knowing that beneath wildflower-covered prairies, soil once soaked with blood bears witness to horrors and glories equal to any in history. Discover how this scenery comes to life when you know the real accounts of what once occurred around you. Our road trip begins at Jacksboro on the northeast corner of the Texas Forts Trail. There are several alternate routes besides taking 114 west from D/FW.

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All Fort Tours maps created with Delorme Mapping Software Copyright © 2004 DeLorme
Additional Graphic Designs by Arturo Martinez--Opening Page by Breanne Trammell
Email: rick@forttours.com