Saturday, October 6, 2018


We left Oklahoma City last Sunday morning heading for Amarillo, Texas.

We thought the construction traffic we encountered on the way into the city for our visit to the Memorial during the week would be gone on a Sunday morning.   Wrong.   Evidently they take care of the detail work on Sundays.    Traffic was backed up for miles while a police car escorted two men slowly pushing a manual painting contraption down the center line of the interstate.   Sigh.

Once the jam finally broke up we continued our journey west through miles of big sky country, just sky and flat land.   Oddly restful scenery.

simplicity is peaceful

We eventually arrived in Amarillo Sunday afternoon and set up camp at the Amarillo Ranch RV Ranch for one night before our scheduled stay in nearby Palo Duro State Park.    Our stomachs chose the "Ranch" because it's practically next door to the Big Texan restaurant  (home of the free 72 oz. steak.) and because it offers free, yummy donuts in the morning.   We had to stay somewhere for the night, might as well have happy tummies they told us.

We've enjoyed visiting Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the past and we were looking forward to reconnecting with it's red rocks again.

we stayed down there

It's always a shock to be driving through a totally flat landscape and suddenly coming to it's edge.    That's how it is driving south from Amarillo, through Canyon and into Palo Duro Canyon.   One minute you can see forever and the next the ground has dropped away and you're following the road down and down a twisting road to the Canyon floor.

Campsites are assigned at check in (at the top of the canyon),  therefore you're not sure of what your site looks like until you drive down into the canyon and find your number.   Since I'm a control freak I don't really like that arrangement and, of course,  found a site I liked better than the one assigned.   Back up the switchbacks to the entry shack to change sites.     Dave is so patient.

Beluga's campsite view
There is no cell service or internet in the canyon.   We did some auto hiking (it was very very hot) and even managed a little hike to an interesting cave-like formation on an overcast day.

We parked the Jeep on the shoulder of the park road and hiked back and up into the cave.

At first I was reluctant to try my knee on the rocky route into the cave but Dave encouraged me and I took my time.    Another milestone for me.   I made it up and in and then back down to the Jeep with no ill effects.

you can do it......

view from inside the cave....can you see the jeep in the distance?

Dave peeks through a hole in the roof

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Palo Duro and look forward to our next stay at the Panhandle's other Canyon State Park.....Caprock Canyon State Park.

We're back at the Amarillo Ranch RV Park to wait out some severe thunderstorms and rain events before moving down into the next canyon.   We expect the weather to straighten itself out by Tuesday so we'll leave then. 


  1. Palo Duro looks like a fun park to do a little hiking. Glad you knee is up to it, or we all would have missed the fun hike :)

  2. Who manual paints lines anymore!! Crazy! Hope you had dinner at the Steakhouse! I love the sampler meat platter with ribs, brisket, and smoked sausage. It fed me at the restaurant and then both of us the next night at home with the left overs. So, so good!! That is just so awesome your knee made that hike. It must feel great to be back. Hope the weather moves through quickly so you can move on to Cap Rock!

  3. So nice to have you guys on the road again. I've missed your travel bkogs, I guess.

  4. Twenty-five years ago they were using automated line painting trucks in California! Your views from the campsite look worth the trip back to get it changed :-) Yay for the knee getting to the top and back over all those rocks. I'm really missing canyons!!!!

  5. So great that your knee was up to the challenge of that rocky hike! Congratulations. :-) And it's wonderful to have a supportive partner encouraging you along the way. We travel so often through Texas that it's standard procedure for us to arrive at check-in, circle the campground, and return with a site we like better than the one we were assigned. I think the last time we were at Palo Duro it was extremely hot and humid in late September. But it sure is beautiful! I'd like to return in late fall.

  6. Awesome news that your knee is improving. I am more than a little familiar with the confidence-building process when it comes to hiking with "improved" knees. Every little bit helps... Glad you were able to make it through with no setbacks!!

  7. So what was the site number you choose? Im an excited to camped there in a few weeks and hopefully the weather has improved by then!
    Congratulations, slowly and surely your knee is on the mend. I was impressed that you made it through the rocky trail!