Second largest canyon in the USA

Trip Start Sep 29, 2012
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Trip End Nov 09, 2012


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palo duro canyon

Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, October 19, 2012

CHEROKEE TRADING POST TO PALO DURO CANYON

Well after an overnight stop at the Cherokee Trading Post Oklahoma, which we felt was very disappointing, much of the "artefacts" of the Cherokees appeared to have been made in what must have been their original reservation China.

The drive here had been somewhat hairy in really strong winds, not the best experience in a 34 foot RV, still evie got us there, we saw that evening on the tv that there had been a massive dust storm on our route behind us that had reduced visibility to zero and caused a 20 vehicle pile up which had shut the road completely, we were at least in sunshine.

There were roaming Buffalo, well three of them in a pen, looking pretty sad in fact, there was also a tepee and plastic totem poles with a so called mural of the trail of tears, impressive in that it was 150 foot long, but not much else.

Dave and Terry did try a Buffalo burger in the local Cherokee restaurant, that is they decided to take it away because yet again we have arrived on a dry hill, but luckily we had already stocked up on our supplies. Liz and I had the Indian staple of a subway.

Well that was it I put my foot down, WE ARE NOT STOPPING SOMEWHERE LIKE THIS AGAIN. Terry was ordered on to his I pad to find a site and he did, a national park near Amarillo, the Palo Duro canyon. When we saw the photos on the web he was ordered to book in straight away, which he duly did.

Next morning then it was off again towards Amarillo and mainly along what is left of Route 66, signs all along the road to tells us this. As we got to the Oklahoma / Texas state line we really began to see Cowboy country.

I try to get Terry to take some photos as Dave is driving, useless article kept getting the fly mesh or things too distant, well at least he tried.

In to Texas and on towards Amarillo, every thing really is bigger here, even the speed limit is now up to 75 mph. A stop at the welcome centre outside Amarillo to firm up our directions and our first sight of signs warning us to look out for rattlesnakes.

Our route now involved a drive through downtown Amarillo, interesting in a 34 foot long RV, little did we know how much more interesting this drive was going to get when we arrived at the canyon.

After a drive along a totally straight country road we arrive at the canyon entrance, Terry and Dave go to book in and Liz and I find the herd of Texas Longhorn cattle, along with an ominous sign, No open containers of alcohol or public drinking in the canyon. Thank god for the green plastic beakers.

Terry comes back to evie, having pulled yet again, impressing the female park ranger booking us in by catching a fly in his hand as she is registering us. Some people are so easily impressed.

Liz and I let Terry know that we have walked a bit down the road and it looks steep, he is driving. As we set off he says it is not too bad, then we turn a corner. Bloody hell down down we go hairpin bends all the way.. But OMG what a view, absolutely fantastically beautiful, this is what we have been looking for.

At the actual sagebrush site things were just as good, really well laid out and roomy with both a fire pit and grill. So Bar B Q tonight. Tomorrow explore the rest of the canyon.

Tried to get booked on a horse back guided tour of the canyon but unfortunately it was fully booked today. Decided to walk instead. It is 94 degrees today in the shade, there is none but what a breath taking awe inspiring sight it is, this is the second biggest canyon in the USA, can't wait until the Grand Canyon if this is anything to go by.

We managed about a 4 mile round trip and were totally drenched with sweat at the end, imagine our surprise that this weekend there is a charity run around the canyon, you can opt to do 20km, 30km, 30 or 50 miles. We ran into one guy who had just finished the 30 mile run and was now riding around the course on his mountain bike picking up the litter, thought the sun would be too strong for some. We of course, after careful consideration opted for a cold shower and even colder beer. We are the English men, you work out the mad dogs are.

Our only moan about this site is the flies, it is like something from the amyteville horror in the day time, but come dark they disappear for the night, the upside then is that the stars come out, this is wonderful with no back light. Really clear view of the milky way and everything else in the sky.

Tomorrow on to New Mexico stopping at Albuquerque.
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