the

The Red River - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

(wind blowing, water flowing)

>> DON'T EVER UNDERESTIMATE

RED RIVER.

YOU CAN'T TELL WHAT IT'S

GONNA DO.

YOU CAN'T PREDICT WHAT

RED RIVER'S GONNA DO.

WHATEVER THE LORD DECIDES TO DO

WITH IT IS WHAT IT'S GONNA DO.

(music)

>> ALONG THE NORTHERN EDGE OF

TEXAS, THERE IS A FORCE WHICH

CONSTANTLY REDEFINES THE

STATE'S BOUNDARY.

WE'LL TRAVEL DOWN THIS RIVER TO

SEE HOW IT HAS SHAPED THE LAND,

THE TOWNS, AND PEOPLE'S LIVES

ALONG THE WAY.

THE RED RIVER DEVELOPS FROM A

COLLECTION OF SMALL CREEKS AT

THE EASTERN EDGE OF NEW MEXICO.

THE CREEKS GATHER IN THE

CANYONLANDS OF THE TEXAS

PANHANDLE.

IT IS HERE THAT THE PRAIRIE DOG

TOWN FORK OF THE RED RIVER

BEGINS.

(sound of raindrops)

>> IN PALO DURO CANYON,

MELTING SNOW AND RAINFALL CARRY

SEDIMENT TO THE RIVER ADDING

NATURAL SALTS AND RED CLAY

PARTICLES TO THE WATER.

TRIBUTARIES LIKE THE LITTLE

RED, WHICH RUNS OUT OF CAPROCK

CANYONS, ALSO SUPPORT THE

PRAIRIE DOG TOWN FORK.

BUT HERE, DRY SPELLS CAN TURN

THE RIVER BED WHITE FROM GYPSUM

AND OTHER MINERAL DEPOSITS

FOUND IN THE WATER.

AT THE HARDEMAN COUNTY LINE,

THE PRAIRIE DOG TOWN FORK TAKES

THE SOLE NAME OF RED RIVER AND

SEPARATES TEXAS FROM OKLAHOMA.

OUR JOURNEY DOWN THE RED

BEGINS IN QUANAH.

(sound of passing cars, horn honks)

>> AS THE SEAT OF HARDEMAN

COUNTY, THE TOWN WAS NAMED

AFTER QUANAH PARKER, THE LAST

GREAT COMANCHE CHIEF.

AN AREA ONCE ROAMED BY THE

KIOWA AND COMANCHE INDIANS,

ROLLING PLAINS AND SANDY LOAM

SOILS MADE FARMING AND RANCHING

BIG BUSINESS HERE.

>> AT ONE TIME THERE WERE LIKE

10 DIFFERENT OIL COMPANIES IN

HERE THAT HAD OFFICES.

EVERYTHING WAS ON A BOOM,

WHEN THE BOTTOM FELL OUT ON

THE OIL PRICE AND EVERYTHING

WELL THEY JUST MOVED OUT.

AND THEN IT REALLY DID,

IT HURT EVERYTHING DOWNTOWN

AND IT HURT OUR COMMUNITY WHEN

THE OIL INDUSTRY WENT DOWN,

BUT IT'S PICKED BACK.

>> TRAVELING DOWNSTREAM PAST

THE CITY OF WICHITA FALLS,

WE ENTER MONTAGUE COUNTY,

AT THE SITE OF RED RIVER STATION

AND THE TOWN OF SPANISH FORT.

(music)

>> IT WAS NEAR THIS MARKER THAT

COWBOYS HERDED THOUSANDS OF

CATTLE ACROSS THE RED RIVER

ON THE HISTORIC CHISOLM TRAIL.

FOR DRIVES HEADING NORTH,

RED RIVER STATION WAS THEIR

LAST CHANCE FOR SUPPLIES BEFORE

REACHING ABILENE, KANSAS.

WHEN THE RIVER WAS UP,

SOME CATTLE DRIVES WOULD CAMP

HERE FOR SEVERAL DAYS, WAITING

FOR THE WATER TO SUBSIDE.

LESS PATIENT DRIVERS USUALLY

LOST CATTLE, AND SOMETIMES

THEIR OWN LIVES TO THE

SWIFT CURRENT.

>> OF COURSE I LIKE THE RED

RIVER CAUSE I FISH IN IT

ALL THE TIME.

BUT THE RED RIVER HAS, IT'S HAD

A GREAT IMPACT, IT'S SOME OF

THE MOST FERTILE LAND IN TEXAS

IS ALONG THE RED RIVER.

>> THE TOWN OF SPANISH FORT WAS

SO NAMED IN 1854 WHEN PIONEERS

THOUGHT THEY FOUND RUINS OF A

SPANISH PRESIDIO HERE.

BUT IT WAS ACTUALLY THE SITE

OF A TAOVAYAN INDIAN VILLAGE.

THE TAOVAYAS WERE INDUSTRIOUS

PEOPLE.

LIVING IN GRASS HUTS,

THEY FARMED IN FENCED AREAS

AND STORED THEIR CROPS.

BUT THEIR VILLAGE ON THE RED

RIVER MADE HISTORY IN 1759.

WITH THE AID OF FRENCH GUNS

AND AMMUNITION, THE TAOVAYAS

DEFEATED A SPANISH ARMY COLUMN

SENT TO SEEK REVENGE FOR AN

INDIAN RAID ON THE SAN SABA

MISSION.

SOME SAY THIS VERY BATTLE

STOPPED THE SPANIARDS

NORTHERN MIGRATION.

>> CONTINUING DOWN THE RED,

OUR JOURNEY BRINGS US TO LAKE

TEXOMA AND DENISON DAM.

>> THE LAKE HAD TWO MAJOR

PROJECT PURPOSES.

FLOOD CONTROL AND HYDRO-POWER

PRODUCTION, AND TO THOSE ENDS

THEY'VE MET THEIR OBJECTIVES,

THEY HAVE INDEED CONTROLLED

FLOODING AND PRODUCES A LOT OF

HYDROPOWER, SO, IT'S DOING

THAT.

AND RECREATION, MY GOSH, JUST

FISHING ALONE HERE ON TEXOMA,

THE DIRECT INCOME IS ABOUT 25

MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

THAT'S JUST FROM FISHING.

SO IT'S AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE

RIGHT HERE.

(crow calling)

>> ELEVEN MILES DOWNSTREAM

FROM DENISON DAM, THE RED RIVER

FLOWS UNDER A ONE LANE BRIDGE

AT CARPENTER'S BLUFF.

>> THERE'S ALWAYS BEEN A

CONTROVERSY AS TO WHETHER THE

RIVER RUNS EAST OR WEST, AS FAR

AS I'M CONCERNED, AND I'M 67

YEARS OLD AND STILL DON'T KNOW

WHETHER IT RUNS EAST OR WEST

AND I WAS BORN DOWN THERE.

BUT I HAVE SEEN THE WATER COME

UP TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BRIDGE.

MANY TIMES, MANY TIMES I'VE

SEEN THAT.

>> CONSTRUCTED IN 1908 AS A

RAILROAD BRIDGE, IT ALSO

ALLOWED HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLES

TO CROSS.

THE BRIDGE GAVE COMMUNITIES

EASIER ACCESS TO MARKETS WHEN

FERRY BOATS WERE THE ONLY OTHER

CROSSINGS NEARBY.

(car sounds)

>> IF IT WASN'T FOR THE BRIDGE,

AND IF IT WASN'T FOR THE

DENISON DAM, THIS PART OF EAST

GRAYSON COUNTY WOULD JUST BE

ISOLATED FROM EVERYTHING OVER

IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF

OKLAHOMA.

(truck passes)

>> OUR LAST STOP ALONG THE RED

LIES 35 MILES NORTHEAST OF

PARIS.

JOINED BY THE KIAMICHI RIVER

FROM OKLAHOMA, THE RED MAKES A

BEND, AT HISTORIC JONESBORO.

THE ORIGINAL "GATEWAY TO TEXAS."

>> OH THERE'S A LOT OF HISTORY

HERE.

THEY SAY DAVY CROCKETT

AND SAM HOUSTON CROSSED THE

RIVER IN THIS AREA.

>> ELIZABETH POOL NOW LIVES

ON THE SITE ONCE KNOWN

AS JONESBORO.

A TOWN THAT BEGAN ITS

DEVELOPMENT IN 1814 AND WAS ONE

OF THE FIRST ANGLO-AMERICAN

SETTLEMENTS IN TEXAS.

>> THERE WAS A COURTHOUSE,

A HOTEL, A JAIL, AND THREE

STORES, GENERAL STORES

UP THERE AT THAT TIME.

WELL THAT RIVER IS UP ISN'T IT?

AND LOOK AT THOSE CRACKS.

THAT'S GONNA GO.

>> THE RED'S CHANGING COURSE

AND THE ECONOMY MADE JONESBORO

A GHOST TOWN BY THE MID 1800'S.

TODAY THE RIVER CONTINUES TO

REDEFINE ITS PATH.

OVER THE YEARS MS. POOL HAS

SEEN HER PROPERTY GRADUALLY

DISAPPEAR.

>> I GUESS THE LORD TAKETH,

THE LORD GIVETH.

(music)

>> THE RED RIVER STILL SHAPES

THE LAND AND LIFE ALONG ITS

BANKS, AS IT HAS FOR CENTURIES.

ITS COURSE HAS BEEN ALTERED BY

MAN, BUT IT LARGELY REMAINS

UNCONTROLLED.

AND SO IT IS THAT THIS RIVER

ON THE BORDER ROLLS ON.

(sound of lapping water)