Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 7 away from home - August 16th, 2013 - part 1

First of all I would like to wish our son a Very Happy Birthday!  This is the first time in years that we have been so far away for his special day.  We'll be thinking of you son and we will give you a call somewhere on the road.

9.19 a.m.  Leaving the hotel later than usual.  There was fog first thing but it cleared off as it is very windy.  The breeze is nice.    We are heading for Amarillo, Texas.  Last night we stayed on the outskirts.  Another reason we left a little later than usual is that we took the opportunity to do a little laundry.  Gregg did the honors, he said to be sure to tell you that, so I am telling you Gregg did the laundry.  We were both too tired last night and as I am not a morning person, well, there you go.

On leaving the hotel we got into another conversation going down in the elevator.  A couple from Houston smiled, said good morning and asked us where we were from. That set the ball rolling until we got to the bottom floor and headed in opposite directions.  They were on their way to visit family.  They told us but I forget where.  Isn't it nice meeting people on holiday?  I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now I know I am in Texas.  Howdy Ronald, looking good!




There were a few other horses in town and I took photos of two.





We had a quick tour of the city but didn't stay for long.  Our mind was on the road, but we are still trying to get into a slower pace of life-mindset.

Today we are heading to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which you can read about here.

It is 11.25 a.m.  We have just spent an hour in Palo Duro Canyon Visitor Center.  This time I met a navy chief veteran.  I was waiting behind him as he was talking to the lady cashier, and as there were only three of us they included me in the conversation.  Everyone likes to know where you are from.  I gave them the short version.  Gregg was outside while I paid for some postcards.  It was another pleasant interlude.

When we arrived we watched a video on the area, a very good one telling the history of the canyon.  It was very interesting, poignant in parts.  A long video but worth watching from beginning to end.  I found another interesting article here that will tell you more about the Canyon.

There were large windows from floor to ceiling, with a great view.  Out of the corner of my eye while watching the video, I saw a hawk fly right by, so close!  When I looked it had already disappeared out of sight.  Later Gregg saw an eagle.  There are Golden Eagles living in the Canyon.  Gregg took this photo later.  All the photos today were taken by both of us.

This photo was courtesy of our new tripod which we set up not too far in front of us.  The sign behind us says, "Cliffs Subject To Caving".  Being the daredevils we are we decided to risk it.  Not really, we didn't hang around there for long.


And talking about daredevils, this gentleman and dog were waiting for their lady who was shopping in the gift shop.  Gregg said to him that they must have a good head for heights because there was quite a drop on the other side of that wall, not an immediate one but very steep.  I wasn't going to give it a try.  They seemed comfortable sitting there and I heard him say that they had been many times.


The view certainly was spectacular.




This is a place you really have to see with your own eyes to appreciate it.


1.09 p.m. and we are leaving Palo Duro Canyon.  Our verdict is that it is fabulous, a truly amazing area.  There is a road you can take down into the canyon.  We drove along roads with water running from one side to the other.  There are signs warning about flash floods.  All quiet now though.




This family was having a great time splashing around.






A family building great memories....




who had to pause and move out of the way so that we could continue on.




And so we drove through the water to get to the other side.  Why did Denise and Gregg drive through the water?  Why to get to the other side of course.  Chickens could learn a few tips from us.  This was the only road in and out of the canyon and we drove through many of these water-logged dips in the road.  Only one gave me cause for concern when all the muddy water cascaded up the sides of the car.  I really wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew but Gregg is more experienced about these things than I am and I listen to him.  As we drove through, however, I couldn't help myself.  "No. 3 Gregg, No. 3!"  You have to see my post where Gregg has listed our travel codes.  You can read those here.


"No. 3 Gregg, No. 3!"


You would not believe believe how mud-caked our car is.  I have seen similar 4-Wheel Drives in such a state when they have been off-roading.


We went for a walk and about a dozen small lizards scattered as we made our way down the trail.  They scurried in every direction and I managed to get a photo of one of them.


I saw this huge ant but in truth I had a hard time figuring out what it was. It seemed to be carrying something but this was as good a picture as I could get.  I certainly wasn't going to get on my hands and knees to use the macro lens.  The camera with the zoom was as close as I was going to get.


The same for this flying bug that flew passed my ear at what seemed like light speed.  He landed and I followed him for a while but he was moving fast.  I didn't get great shots but I put together four photos so that I could study it.  Its wings were a real pretty orange and he had an entirely black body and was about two inches long.  I would love to know what he is and will do a little research when I have the time.  One last shot of him below and then I will move on to other things.

There were lovely wild flowers everywhere.  I am assuming this was a Prickly Pear Cactus.




There is probably a lot more that I have forgotten about but I have lots of photos that I will share in future posts, and maybe they will come to mind when I share them.

1.29 p.m. and we are are driving on the same road on our way back.   This time I took photos of what I had noticed earlier.  We passed a large arrow that I found intriguing.  Its history can be found here, along with a few other stories of this area.


A sign in front of the train stated that this was The Sad Little Monkey Railroad.  That story can be found here.


In one area on the top of the iron fencing there were lovely castings of prairie scenes.


The following was a tribute to the owner's parents who had passed away.  There was another larger piece giving their names which I am sharing below these.  I have removed their names for the sake of privacy.  I thought it was a very sweet tribute.  Lovely little works of art on the top of the fence to remember them by and perhaps remind their neighbors that they are still very much a part of this community.




A curious stare from one of the local residents.  A mule?


There were others nearby, far too busy for the likes of us.


I saw mules and a llama near a big barn.  Blurry as all get out but at least it feeds a memory.


And that's about it for this post.  I have split this day up as it's way passed my bedtime and we'll be getting up early in the morning.  I feel like singing Willie Nelson's song, "On The Road Again". 

(There might be a few typo's in here and if there are any mistakes I'll fix them when I get back on line.)