Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Draw

A view of our house from the dam in the pasture.
The draw was running last night--something that doesn't happen very often anymore. The boys and I ventured out on the four-wheeler to get an up-close view of the water that's left today. (because, well, we don't see water in the draw that often)
This is where Happy Draw flows through the pasture south of our house. You can see Happy in the distance (off to the west). The draw is dammed up in our pasture. I'm guessing they did this to water livestock. I've seen water flow around the dam once or twice in my lifetime; we were nowhere near close to that last night.
Happy Draw starts in Randall County (north of here) and flows south until it reaches the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River. It is so-named because a bunch of Cowboys were so "happy" to find water. I looked up a brief explanation of all of that here. It is/was a spring-fed draw. I don't know if the spring still flows. I'm pretty sure it is dried up. Either way, lots of people have dammed the draw in places so it wouldn't run all the time.

In 1891, Hugh Currie established a homestead and post office on a site near the trail that followed the draw. A stage coach exchange was set up here as well. (We have a dugout--or the impression of a dugout--that was a line camp as part of the JA Ranch on our land--it would have set very close to the draw.) The original Happy is about 2 miles Northwest of our house. When the railroad came through, Happy moved two miles west to its present location. You can read more about that here.

These last pictures are of the draw as it meanders through the pasture just East of our house. We spent lots of evenings following the draw with my grandmother and poking sticks in holes. You can see that we have been extremely dry. The native grass in the pasture has been waiting for moisture before it greens up. I imagine that we'll be green sometime next week.