Llano Estacado means “staked plain”. A better translation is “palisade plain.” A palisade is a wall of wooden stakes, used for military defense. Evidently, to early explorers approaching the high escarpment of the high plains, the sight appeared as something similar to a defensive wall as effective as a palisade. Thus, “staked plain” has won the day, language-wise. Complicated, I know.
Llano Estacado is part the American Great Plains, which lie east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Mississippi River. The Plains stretch from the Texas Panhandle all the way into western Canada. The Llano Estacado is mostly in Texas but some in New Mexico.
Anyone who has lived on the Llano Estacado, in Lubbock, for example, knows three things about the high plains of Texas– they are mostly flat as a pancake, the cotton fields go on forever and there is nothing quite like a high plains dust storm. I have stood in downtown Lubbock, and watched as a huge wall of brown dust rolled into town. Wind gusts up to 80 miles/hour knocked over 18-wheel trucks, and blew sand into every vehicle and home, no matter how well sealed the windows. Now and again, a tornado touches down.
Actually, the Llano Estacado is not all unbroken flatness. Near Amarillo, Texas, is Palo Duro Canyon, second largest canyon in the United States.
You should click on this link to visit www.llanoestacado.org, A WEBSITE BY TEXAS NATURALIST STEVEN SCHAFERSMAN. He has a truckload of information about the history of that region.
The above illustration of the Llano Estacado in Texas is courtesy of www.llanoestacado.org