Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Got Beef?? A visit to Palo Duro Canyon State Park

The Gentleman above just might be my dinner tonight!

Today we took a 1/2 day side trip to Palo Duro Canyon State Park just south of Amarillo.  If I didn't need to work we would have camped here as it is a beautiful place but there is no cell signal and I needed my broadband today to get some things done.

To get here one must drive thru miles and miles and miles of country that can best be described at a flat, dry, wasteland devoid of any identifying landmarks.   This area has been suffering from a multi-year drought and all you hear from anybody is how they need rain.  There are signs everywhere saying "Pray for Rain"  The weather broadcasts talk about the need for rain.   Walking on the prairie and the dead grass crunches beneath your boot.  (notice "boot" - one is gone)

Entering the Canyon however one enters a different world.  First you drive down a 10% grade (means STEEP) for 2 miles to the canyon floor.   Once on the floor water seeps from the canyon walls and a free flowing stream along the base of the canyon provides the water to sustain a beautiful green environment.

At one point the road crossed the stream bed & the stream flowed across the road.  This area is very prone to flash flooding and in that event you could get stuck in the canyon until the water receded.  Today was not one of those days.

The contrasting colors of the red rock make for a real visual treat.   If you like this - just wait till we get to Zion National Park!

Tomorrow we pack up the wagon train and mosey on down the trail to either Great Sand Dunes NP or Mesa Verde NP.  If the weather reports are ok for Wolf Creek Pass then we go first to Sand Dunes.  If the weather looks iffy - I don't want to get stuck on the east side of the pass and we will bypass Sand Dunes and head straight for Mesa Verde and spend an extra day there.

Either way - we still win!

1 comment:

  1. Great photos, really beautiful places. I am really enjoying this ride. Thanks for the images and the story, I know it takes an effort. This is such a great way yo document a trip...


We love to hear from you... Please leave us a comment and let us know you are reading. If there is something that you'd like to hear about please let us know. Thanks for visiting!