Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Palo Duro Canyon... Amarillo Part 2

I've been told many times that I needed to go to Palo Duro Canyon .  It's the second largest canyon in the country, second to the Grand Canyon.  Michelle's apartment in Amarillo is only about 20 minutes from Palo Duro.  So what the heck, let's pack a lunch, let's pack the dog, let's go hiking!

If you're thinking of going to Palo Duro you have several options.  You can go for the day (like we did) to hike and picnic, you can bring your honkin' RV and hook it up to one of the hundreds of camping hookups throughout the park, you can backpack, you can rock climb, you can primitive camp....  Mix and match!  There's something for everyone.  The land is just beautiful!

After paying the $5 a head, we stopped at the first look out area.  Belle was a bit scared we'd all slip off the edge of the cliff and hightailed it in the opposite direction.  It was a true test of Michelle's dog control skills lol.

"Okay, but I'm not going near that fence!  Are you guys crazy?!"  Yep, that's what Belle said once Michelle finally turned her back around.  Yep, I quote my dogs and what I think they are saying based on their "facial expressions."  Yep.

And this is the ledge Belle was so frightened of.  Ehhh.  It was pretty pretty!  And it was about 11a.m. so the sun was right in my face.  Shane told me I should have gotten their earlier, around 8 am, to have gotten a better picture.  I said I was on vacay.  Nuff said.

A couple of benches are by the overlook.  There's also some marker talking about Palo Duro.  I was too enthralled with the view to bother reading it though.

Michelle kept telling me she would pull over if I wanted to take pictures.  I'm a fan of pictures on the move.  I did ask her to pull over one time though.  We got a map from the welcome center and were on the look out for a short hike.  The lady at the center said the most popular hike was the Lighthouse Trail, which was 6 miles long.  Yeah, that got us looking for a light hike.  Belle doesn't like to be too active while she's on vacation.

We finally decided to try the Paseo del Rio Trail.  We figured all the trails would lead to a cliff.  This was a very light trail, 2 miles round trip, and it didn't lead to a cliff.  It was pretty well shaded and we were surround by trees most of the hike.  A negative factor was how close it was to the road.  The next time we go, this won't be the trail we choose.

This trail did do what I wanted it to do though.  It wore Belle the plum out.  She likes to pull, I mean lead, when she's hiking.  This meant a lot of sleeping once we got back to the apartment.  Awesome.

The fact that it was 60 degrees in January... well it was rather confusing considering the week before it was 2 degrees in Tulsa.  I even shed my jacket and tied it around my waste during the hike.  It was comfortable when we weren't on the move though.

After the two mile hike, we loaded back in the car to find a sweet spot to eat lunch.

This was our spot.  We decided on the Mesquite Camping Area.  No, we were not campers.  No, picnicking is not technically allowed in camping areas.  No, we were not concerned.  There weren't many campers in this large area.  We were looking for shade and picnic tables.  The site was a pretty sweet camp site, for RV's or tents.  Each site came with a fire pit, pergola, picnic table, and electricity.  Pretty sweet.  And the view.... wow the view.....

It made for some pretty great picnicking, even if it was "illegal" picnicking...  Notice who Belle was attached to during lunch.

Michelle is Belle's best friend.  EVER.

Whatever, I had pringles and grapes and pb&j.....mmmmmmm!

AND this is a sense of the camp sites at the Mesquite Camping Area.  Everything was so clean.  So fresh and so clean.  It may be worth putting up with RVer's to camp in this area.

We had a fabulous time at Palo Duro Canyon.  It was the perfect day to get out and hike.  It was the perfect Saturday for our Girls' Weekend.  While we only spent a few hours at Palo Duro I can't wait to spend an entire weekend the next time.  And the next time we'll be better prepared and better rested.  Palo Duro left us pooped and no good for the rest of the day.  We laid around, watched some quality HGTV, and order sushi take out.  Yes.  Sushi takeout.  We were that lazy.  And it was THAT good!  So our eyes were bigger than our stomaches.... we ended up making sunday lunch out of our leftovers lol.  It really was yummy sushi, but we'll order half of what we ordered this time next time.  If you go there, you must order the monkey balls.  That's all I'm sayin'.  YUM-OH!

Woops, I kind of got off track there.  "But Fran, there's a longhorn above your sushi....."  Oh yeah.....

This was the welcome, or in our case, the good-bye committee at Palo Duro Canyon.  Now if that isn't a good enough reason to return I don't know what is.  That sucker was like 5 times the size of a normal cow.


1 comment:

  1. Love it! Wore me out again just reading about our day haha :) Can't wait to go camping there!