Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Magical Place

May 4, 2010

I couldn't sleep anymore. I tossed and turned, and looked at the time. 7am. We wouldn't be departing for a few more hours yet. Well, I guess it was time for a shower and a hot breakfast which I had missed yesterday! I had a relaxing morning, taking short walks around the parking lot and taking pictures of birds.

Today was going to be a down day, so we decided to kill some time and work our way to Amarillo. The winds were really hauling from the south today... it was very toasty, almost reaching 90 F but at least it was a dry heat. I thought today would be a great day to make a trip down to the Palo Duro Canyon, since we had blue sky.

We made a stop in Weatherford, OK for a quick snack and Ben also needed a new piece for his camcorder microphone because it broke off. I decided to get a sundae and of course it started melting all over me. I was wearing my camera around my neck and the ice cream just had to drip on it. Okay I get it already! I will never eat ice cream with my camera again! Last year I managed to get melted chocolate on my lens. Maybe I should just not eat anything that will melt in hot weather period. We hung around here for a while and took off to the west again.

We made a stop at an Allsups outside of Amarillo to fill up on gas, so of course I had to do the chaser tradition of grabbing a burrito. Oh dear! Let the "rear flankage" begin! The southerly winds were still blowing pretty hard, which got me pretty excited. Those winds are going to bring back the much needed moisture from the Gulf of Mexico for potential chase days later this week and next week. The atmosphere was recharging!

The Palo Duro Canyon State Park is located south of Amarillo and is only $5 to get in. Holy cow. Just taking the first glimpse of this magnificent terrain was worth the fee. We got out of the van to take it all in... cliffs of red, with touches of green under a bright blue sky was simply eye candy. Then the peaceful silence was broken with first "pfffffffttttt!". Oh no... my Allsups burrito was making a come back!

After taking a bunch of pics we took a road to lead further down into the canyon. There were a lot of great places to stop along the way. We climbed up some of the rocks, took pictures and continued on, only to stop again and take more pictures. Really, it is so beautiful words cannot describe it. You have to be there yourself to experience this wonder of nature.

The roadway eventually lead to an area where a small river was overflowing and running across the roadway. Hmmmm. Ben and I saw a photo opportunity and got out of Scott's van. First, Ron went. Splaaaaaaash! Then it was Scott's turn. Splaaaaash! Weeeee let's do this again! Splaaaaash some more! The two vehicles went up the road a bit to turn around. While Ben and I were waiting for them to come back, I let another one rip... louder this time while Ben was filming! Ben and I looked at each other and started howling, bent over holding our guts. I coulda sworn our laughing was echoing off the canyon walls and someone could hear us. The vehicles came back and we continued further down the road, only to say "Holy crap!" and stop some more.

The colours, formations and wildlife were quite amazing. By now the temperature was close to 100F and I was sweating! I already had polished off a couple bottles of water. The road looped back around to the end, so it was time to go get something to chew on. After all that sight seeing, we were pretty hungry!

We had a steak dinner at The Big Texan in Amarillo and spent the night at La Kiva Hotel. It was certainly a nice way to spend a down day. We had met kind people and saw great scenery. The caprock is truly a magical place.

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