Day 4- Palo Duro Canyon (put the car in park)
Ah. Our first full day without a drive. It feels good knowing we can just chill today and check out our surroundings. We woke up slightly hungover, but nothing a handful of ibuprofen and caffeine can’t handle.
Marc cooked us some eggs and bacon for a make your own breakfast burrito bar ( caveat emptor- I will eat a lot these in the next 5 1/2 weeks and will tell you about each one) and we added roasted salsa verde, sour cream, and fiesta blend cheese (cuz who doesn’t like party cheese?) After a quick breakfast hang, Marc and Katie and Frank packed out for a haul to Sante Fe. We’ll be circling the wagons again with them soon so stay tuned.
We decided to check out Palo Duro State Park and what a great decision it was. The landscape of the canyon is so beautiful and colorful. Really. I never ever pictured anything in Texas to be so beautiful. The canyon walls are layered with many different colors, but the rich red is what stood out the most. The shrubbery was many different colors of vibrant green with flowers of yellow purple, red, and more. I’ll post pics on Facebook for all to enjoy.
We went into the park with the intent to do some hiking. On a tip from a neighboring camper, we took an alternate route within the state park (away from the main loop) and found a natural cave that we hiked to and had a much needed cool down from the heat of the day. The cave must’ve been 20° cooler than high temp of 93° for the day. We each found sitting rocks inside the cave where we munched on some fresh fruit and drank some water. After a nice break we headed back down to the car to push further into the canyon and see what we could find.
Near the bottom of the loop, we found the Mesquite campground which is where we will plan to camp next time. With 360° canyon views, water and electric hookups, and a covered picnic table area, it’s everything we would want in a campsite here. We are already looking forward to that.
So, this is where it got dicey. I was driving these curvy roads that cut through the base of the canyon, and true to many mountainous areas, every turn seemed to unveil a more beautiful view of the horizon. I wanted to get a pic of the road disappearing into the landscape and found what I thought was the perfect spot. I quickly pulled off, jumped out the car leaving the drivers door open and ran to the middle of the road to snap the pic. The Subaru was beeping relentlessly to tell me what I thought was that it could not read the access key that was still in my pocket. I paid it no mind as I knew I’d be right back. It wasn’t until I heard Maggie and August screaming that I finally looked over to see the Subaru rolling towards a small cliff edging a tributary to the river. Now I’m not sure about you, but I’ve secretly always wanted to be in a situation where I could come to the rescue and save the pretty lady and her child from their impending doom by darting to their runaway vehicle, jumping in the drivers door, and slamming on the brakes just before the car rolls off the cliff; however, there’s something that takes away from the bravery and heroism of that moment when you were the one that caused their need for rescue in the first place. Oh well, crisis averted. At least I got a shitty picture of the road disappearing into the landscape.
After a good laugh (at me, not with me), we plotted out our next hike. We chose the paso del rio trail as it ran along the river, and we all love water. Now this river looked more like a weak stream, but it was a beautiful hike with shaded areas that we took advantage of for water breaks. We especially enjoyed the birds and lizards of the area and even got to see two dung beetles doing what they do best. To my own surprise, I was able to communicate with a wild turkey in the brush, gobbling back and forth at each other, but was I ultimately unable to call it to dinner.
My favorite part of these hikes today was hearing August proclaim how much he loves nature. I’m so grateful that we have the opportunity to show him the beauty our country has to offer.
We paid a visit to the museum and gift store that served as a proper cool down while supporting the park. With post cards and magnets and stickers in hand, we made our way back to camp for sandwiches and chill time.
After an hour or so of downtime, we headed back out to visit Cadillac Ranch and leave our mark until the next person comes along to leave theirs. The route we took had us passing the CR gift store first so we stopped to check out the three Caddy’s out front with mannequins of John Wayne, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Presley behind the wheels. We figured we’d get a sticker from the gift shop to add to our quickly growing collection, but we immediately exited after we saw how crowded it was inside. There was a sign on the door saying that only 5 people were allowed inside at a time, but no one was enforcing it. We bailed and headed straight for the ranch. This was one of the highlights for August (I mean, we all had fun, but being a kid and being granted permission to spray paint stuff is awesome. I get it.) My favorite one of his many pieces that he tagged was ☮️ is for everyone. Maggie also did a great #doussansbetrippin2020. I was proud of my who dat and large Fleur de lis.
After we emptied our paint can, we headed back to camp to grill up some puerco asado with cebollitas and black beans w/ corn and hatch chilis. It was delicious. I love cooking at the campsite. I am 100% in my element here. Beer in hand, of course.
I had originally planned to do a live stream show from here tonight, but we have still not found a WiFi hotspot device that I think will properly serve our streaming needs. If anyone has any suggestions, we are all ears! So, I recorded a couple tunes at 8:15pm to just post to FB pre-recorded right before a bad storm started to blow through. More high winds, more lightning, more rain. We rode out most of the storm in the car and are now currently back in the pop up at 11pm as it seems the worst has passed. The video has still not posted as the WiFi is so spotty here. I’ll try again in the morning.
Anyway, we prepped really well for the storm and packed a lot of stuff away in anticipation of an early departure in the morning for a private house show in Goodland, KS. We (knock on wood) should have an easy load out tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing and playing for our friends in Kansas!
Peace and love from the road!
Ps. Please check FB for all the pics that coincide with this blog post.