Monday, June 2, 2014

6/1 Palo Duro Canyon State Park

This state park encompasses a very large canyon, about 35 miles south of Amarillo. It is surprising to see a canyon because the panhandle of Texas is very flat and very dry. 

The entrance gate is on the top, but you must drive down a very steep 10% grade to get to the campgrounds at the bottom.  I had a reservation. but because there had been a fund-raising dirt bike race, they did not know which sites were open and which were still occupied.  So I had to drive down the steep curving road and then eight miles to the furthest campground.  I wrote down some potential numbers and drove back up.

On the way, I had to pass several stream crossings.  On two of them, it looked like they were building bridges, but on another two or three, you just drove through. 

The orange measuring stick tells you how deep the water is, although you are not supposed to drive through any water deeper than 6".

I also checked out another campground closer to the entrance, but still down in the canyon.  By this time, the outside temps were in the 90s, so I was happy to get registered in the following space. 

Most state parks in the U.S. allow you to reserve a specific spot ahead of time.  I like that because you know what spot you have before you start, and there is none of this driving back and forth hoping no one picks the same spot as you had picked out.  Add to that waiting in line to register, and the whole thing took an hour!! 

By the time I got parked in my spot, it was 100 degrees out, per my new weather station!  I was not in the mood to go walking, so was happy to just wait for my AC to cool the place.  Only problem is that few RV air conditioners do a very good job of cooling, so the system did not shut off until the middle of the night, but 82 was still a lot more comfortable than 100!

I saw a parade of three hen turkeys go by, so I grabbed my camera and jumped up.  They were just on the other side of the road.

The ladies were being followed by this big guy.  Isn't he impressive!  Based on his attitude and the face that he did not seem to be worried about the people taking photos, I think he owned the campground territory.

I had originally planned to spend two nights here, but I had also originally planned to be able to ride my bike and explore some of the shorter hiking trails.  With the temperatures expected to go up even higher the next day, I packed up the next morning and headed for cooler Colorado.

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