Today we traveled from Rockdale to Abilene State Park, a distance of 235 miles and an elevation change from 466’ to 1909’. State Highway 36 was used for most of the route and took us through several communities including Buckholtz, Gatesville and Buffalo Gap.

Buckholtz is like many Texas towns in that it was established when a railroad was built through the area. The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway was the reason the town was founded in 1882. The land in the area is good for farming, we saw cotton ready to be harvested near Buckholtz.

Gatesville was founded around 1854 and was named for Fort Gates, which was nearby. This was one of the frontier forts whose primary purpose was to protect settlers from hostile Indians. At that time there was a string of forts from the Rio Grande River to the Red River. These forts were often used for only a few years and then were abandoned as the army established new forts further west to protect the ever increasing influx of settlers.

In 1850 – 1851 Lt. George Pickett was stationed at Fort Gates, he later became a Confederate General. You may remember Pickett’s Charge during the Civil War.

Tonight we dined at the Perini Ranch Steakhouse, we each had mesquite grilled steaks and they were delicious. Tomorrow we plan to explore Buffalo Gap.

The Rambling Toad now has a first name, Myles. It is appropriate, since he will be rambling many miles with us this year.

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