Thursday, January 6, 2011

Palo Duro Canyon

With yet another eating out night last night, I got in another 45 minutes of Nordic Track this morning before we headed out from the RV park for a day of exploring.

Our first stop was Cadillac Ranch just down the I-40 outer road from our park.






Ken and the dogs walked around a bit to select a place for some Frericks artistic expression.







Ditka and Sox stand guard as Ken goes to work with the can of spray paint we carried from back in Illinois, just for this occasion.



The final product….the TLS stands for Trevor, Leah, Stitch…the KC for Ken and Cindy…the KJ for Kyle and Jenni.


We then drove about 25 miles to Palo Duro Canyon.  It seemed strange to us that such long flat stretches of land could be home to anything more than just more flat land, but then suddenly there it is, this huge expanse of canyon.

We’d selected the perfect day.  We almost had the place to ourselves even though the weather was gorgeous with a clear sky, lots of sunshine and temps in the upper 50’s. 


The drive through the canyon is 16 miles long.   We drove and then got out to explore on foot some, then drove, then got out again, then drove.

A fork of the Red River winds through the canyon which was caused over millennia by water erosion.



Although it is very dry here right now and fires are strictly forbidden, there was still one place where we had to drive through water over the road.





There are 3 different campground areas.   These two ladies met us at the host site at the Sagebrush campground.



Actually we only saw one campground host site occupied.  Ken and I agreed these folks have one of the best jobs in the world.  What a totally gorgeous work environment!






We took a break at the park ‘trading post’ for lunch.  Ken found yet another really great cheeseburger with home cut fries.






I guess its easier to understand why the burgers are so huge around here when the cows are the size of these park resident  Texas longhorns.


The dugout below is a reproduction of what Colonel Charles Goodnight lived in when he first came to settle the area after the Red River War removed the Southern Plains Indians.




Rustic cow camp cabins like the one’s below were built by the CCC and are available for rent.


Our pictures just can’t do justice to the beauty of this place.  I must admit that neither Ken or I had even heard of Palo Duro before a visit was recommended by several RV friends.  We are now in agreement.  This is a must-see if you are ever in the Amarillo area.    

We are sure we want to come back here to stay for a much longer time, parking onsite.  We just aren’t real sure about the steep drive in to the canyon with a 40 foot motorhome although we are told that its done often.

Ken said its this kind of place is the reason he wanted to RV.  We want to wake up and sit outside enjoying a glorious morning here and maybe even more to sit outside under the stars here where you have nothing but you and an endless sky.

Finally, late afternoon, we pulled ourselves away and drove back in to Amarillo.  We dropped by Albertson’s (a grocery chain Ken had never seen before) for some supplies and then back to the RV park.



We decided we didn’t want to leave before trying the park’s pizza that we’d been told was excellent.  We walked up to the clubhouse to put in our order and snapped this picture of the park’s play on the nearby Cadillac Ranch.



Well, the pizza was ok but after the great finds in food over the last few days, we weren’t real impressed.

We are now in for another evening of temps in the mid 20’s before heading out tomorrow to our next stop, Roswell, NM. 

I leave you tonight with one final view of Palo Duro, the Lighthouse formation.


Hugs, C


Chuck-Kathy said...

Check out the Bottomless Lakes near Roswell. They say it's a very nice park now, back when we were stationed in Roswell,(1969)not so much. Travel safe.

Frerx Adventures said...

Thanks for the info...great to hear from you two! I think of you every time we play hand n foot or someone says 'that's nice'! ;-)

We made reservations at Red Barn in Roswell because we will likely only stay one night and were concerned about some bad reviews on Bottomless Lakes.

If we get a chance though Ken wants to take a drive and check it out since he much prefers state park and COE's over RV parks.

Look forward to seeing you guys back at Defeated Creek if not before!

Hugs, Ken and C