The Caprock

The Caprock (HM1MOU)

Location: Odessa, TX 79763 Ector County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 45.272', W 102° 33.284'

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A range of flat-topped ridges and cliffs stretching from Texas panhandle to 20 miles south of this point and extending into New Mexico. The name also refers to tough limestone that caps ridges. Rising sharply 200 to 1,000 ft. above plains. This section, Concho Bluffs, marks western edge of Caprock escarpment. Called the "Break of the plains" because it divides the staked plains from the north central plains of Texas.
Observed by Coronado's expedition, 1540-1540, provided shelter in storms, but delayed entrance of settlers to staked plains. Herds of stampeding cattle at times plunged over its edge. In the area, the Caprock blocked eastbound wagons, including some from California gold fields in 1850's. Because of scarce surface water, staked plains were too dry for farming or ranching until wells were drilled and windmills installed.
Ridges and canyons here hindered railroad building. In 1881 workmen earned $2.50 a day-highest wages ever paid until then on a Texas railroad job-at "Colt's Big Rock Cut" (the mile-wide, 17-ft. chasm visible here). A tragic accident with dynamite injured several of Colt's men and killed three. Their graves, known to the pioneers around Odessa, were on a hill northeast of the tracks, but cannot now be found.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967
Marker Number5299
Year Placed1967
Placed ByState Historical Survey Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 9th, 2015 at 6:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13R E 731613 N 3515830
Decimal Degrees31.75453333, -102.55473333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 45.272', W 102° 33.284'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 45' 16.32" N, 102° 33' 17.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)432
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 16531 Interstate 20 Service Rd, Odessa TX 79763, US
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