The Canadian River begins in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, high up in a remote region of Las Animas County, Colorado. Thought to be either from the Kiowa name gúlvàu, [ɡúᵈl.pʼɔː], “goo-al-pah,” or the Caddo people’s word káyántinu, both mean red river. The tributary is the longest feeder into the Arkansas River, winding through New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, and Oklahoma. The Canadian is a slow-moving waterway that flows 1026 miles, painted by red mud flats. Historically, it was a treacherous crossing with stretches of quicksand. Ranches along the banks would keep a few “river horses” who knew to make quick steps through the terrain and sidestep out of danger, giving name to the “Canadian Two Step.” As the demarcation between the high plains and the Llano Estacado, its surrounding agricultural climate dominates in cattle production and pastureland to the north and irrigated, commodity crops to the south. To be exact, the cattle population is more concentrated in the northern High Plains region of the Texas Panhandle than anywhere else across the state, with three counties boasting over 400,000 head. The northeastern plains of New Mexico, without the large presence of the Ogallala aquifer and its affordability towards irrigated agriculture, carries legacy ranches that range from a quarter of million acres to the largest contiguous tract of land in the continental states: Vermejo Ranch. Pockets of fossil water in the Dockum and Morrison formations provide sporadic, isolated breaks of irrigated agriculture in areas like Sedan, Gladstone, and Nara Vista. Yearly rainfall averages, distilled down to 15yr. intervals due a fade in repeatable weather patterns or equilibrium, has dropped from 17 to 11 inches in recent years.