The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 208
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
at the south edge of this middle crossing of the Plains. Other
roads and branches of roads lay to the north, proving that this
part of the Plains-sometimes called the shallow water belt-had
watering places enough to permit passage over quite a spread of
country. This belt in which there were early roads (and Mexican
cart trails) was about sixty miles wide at the state line from
Portales northward." It was about a hundred miles wide from
Lubbock northward. This entire belt was what should be prop-
erly considered the middle crossing of the Plains. Most likely any
well-informed High-Plains Indian could have zigzagged about
almost at will among the watering places which dotted this part
of the High Plains.
Which of these three crossings of the Plains did Coronado
follow? The southern crossing-by Pecos, Odessa, and Big Spring
-may be eliminated in short order. This route began more than
350 miles down the Pecos River from the Pecos Pueblo, while
the arithmetic of the Coronado Expedition-four days travel be-
low the Pecos Pueblo downstream to the bridge and about thirty
leagues beyond that point-plainly shows that the southernmost
point at which the Spaniards traveled the Pecos was less than 150
miles below the old pueblo.
The Canadian River route may be eliminated almost as quickly
as the southern route. The Canadian River when chosen as a
crossing of the Plains was followed because of the many streams
that served as watering places. To pass from one of these streams
to another from day to day, one constantly encounters broken
country. Only once did Marcy in his 1849 journey along the
Canadian River travel out onto the High Plains as much as a
whole day. The Coronado party on the other hand spent day
after day upon the high flat prairies. Wherever the Spaniards
came to a small creek the descriptions plainly showed that the
land all about continued as monotonously level prairies."6 To have
55Since a full listing and explaining of the maps and land plats necessary to show
the various roads of this area would be of such great volume, most of the details
are omitted here. Much of the detail of roads and road fragments may be obtained
from the following General Land Office maps: Deaf Smith County (1881), Bailey
County (1884), Cochran County (1884), Lamb County (1884), Lamb County
(1914), Hockley County (1884), Hale County (1879), Briscoe County (1879).
5OBureau of Ethnology Report, 505.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/271/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.