Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Palo Duro Canyon

Although our hotel was in Amarillo last weekend, we spent much of our time about 30 miles south of the big city in the town of Canyon, TX. Canyon has a fabulous history museum, The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum.  I won't bore you with photos considering I've already bored you to death with all the museum trips we've been to. PPHM had a fabulous exhibit on the history and establishments of the gas and oil fields in Texas. There was also a great dinosaur exhibit and my boys were especially fascinated with a video an Indian butchering a buffalo with stone tools. Check out their website and they have some video casts to watch if you can't make it to the museum. 

But the big draw for Canyon, Texas is the Palo Duro Canyon State Park and is hailed as the Grand Canyon of Texas. 

What a sight! I've been to the Grand Canyon and though Palo Duro is much smaller it is still very impressive! 

There are numerous trails and opportunities to explore the canyon. But if you visit be prepared to bring plenty of water. It may look like there are lots of trees and shade down there but there isn't nearly as much as you'd think on the trails. 

The family and I spent two mornings hiking the park while it was cool. 
I'm not sure what this photo is all about. My monkeys were watching Super Why on PBS that morning so I imagine these are their best Super Reader stances. They look formidable to me! 

As we were walking on the trail Yap pointed up at the rocks and told us we all needed to whisper so we didn't cause an avalanche...which only prodded DR to start a shouting conversation! LOL, and then Yahoo spent the whole day saying, " fall on us!" with a serious expression on her little face. 

Our first trail we walked from the top to the bottom of the canyon which was about a mile and a half long. This was the view of the road through the canyon we drove the second day. 

The scenery was just gorgeous, especially first thing in the morning. 

Isn't he handsome? :) 

After two mornings of hiking we were sweating, worn out and ready for breakfast. As we ended our last trail and were loading up into the car ready to leave for good we met a gentleman that told us about one more sight we had to see before we left the canyon. 

He told us we had to see the cave because the kids would love it! See that dark shadowy place on the left side of the picture...above the trees? That's the cave.

Most people probably thought we were terrible parents dragging a two year old through hot canyon trails and up into a cave, but really, she had it easy because this was how she got around most of the weekend. Yep, I'm a pack horse! 

It was a quick climb up to the cave although a bit steep. Once at the top the cave is only about 30 feet deep but there is a hole at the top where the wind blows through and there is a very cool breeze rushing through cooling off the worn hikers. 

My car was full of red dirt and I had three hot, cranky, hungry kids but oh, for a view like was definitely worth all the hassles of traveling with little kids. 

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