Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Wednesday May 18, 2011
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Site 20
Canyon, Texas

I must start this post by
thanking Paul Dahl for correcting us
on what we thought we were seeing
going down the highway in front of us.
He set us straight that it was
a wind turbine blade.
And it was BIG

Today, since we knew we would be
phoneless and internetless for the days
we were in Palo Duro,
we spent the first couple of hours
this morning in Amarillo getting
work done that required each of those.

I posted another catch up blog from this past Saturday
and resigned myself to
getting even further behind.
Although I did download Live Writer
so perhaps I can learn to use it and have lots of things
to post when we climb back up to electronic land.

Pretty sure it will be too hot in the canyon
to hike during mid day so perhaps
I can use that time to start my education.
I’m a tad lazy and hate learning new
software so I’m not much looking forward to this.

We left Overnight RV Campground about 11am
and made a grocery run
before starting down to the Canyon
since it appeared that the closest town
there was 18 miles away.

It was an easy 30 miles drive.
When we got to Palo Duro there were two
other RVs pulling in right behind us. They had reservations
so we were concerned about camp site availability
and quickly
took the car off the dolly,
drove down into the canyon
and checked out the three campgrounds.

Susan at registration warned us to bring back several
site numbers since the one we wanted
might be reserved while we were gone.

There is, as at Red Rock, one road going into the canyon.
This one was steep and curving just like Red Rock
but luckily it was a tad wider.

T&W 051
The three campgrounds available for RVs are placed
at the beginning, middle and end of the road.

We chose a pull through site, #20, in Hackberry,
the middle campground.  

The other two, Sugarbush at the beginning of the road
and Mesquite at the end both have 30 amp and 50 amp service
for $25 a night.

Hackberry has only 30 amp service for $22 a night.

Hackberry also seemed to have the most trees
and thus shade.

We drove the 3 miles back up to registration,
paid the $22 a night for the campsite PLUS
the $5 PER day PER person
USE fee
bringing the total to $32 a night for water and electricity.
There is a dump station at each campground.

Texas state parks are by far the most expensive we have
been in or expect to be in.
Can’t see any reason for it yet. They are no nicer,
if as nice as, Petit Jean in Arkansas which was
$9 a night with the senior discount.

No discounts in Texas
unless you are a Texas resident AND over 65.
Then you get 10% off.

You can buy a parks pass for $60 a year
which will do away with the USE fees.
So if you are going to be in Texas for a while,
it is probably worth it.
We are just passing through
so we paid our $64 for two nights and
will see whether we want to extend over the week-end.

While up at the registration center we got a chance to
see a few of the longhorn cattle herd which
the park keeps in honor of its past as the
largest cattle ranching operation in Texas.


These were our first views as we headed
down into
the canyon. 

T&W 072


It was hot in the canyon. Over 90 degrees.
We got set up, turned on the air conditioning
and thought about how lucky we were to live in
the century which invented it.

Here is a shot of the campsite
and the “duckie view” out the window.

T&W 040 

T&W 079

of our neighbors.

T&W 078

We drove back up the road about half way in order
to go to the Visitor’s Center for information about
the trees and wildflowers here. 

The visitor’s center was constructed in 1934
by the Civilian Conservation Corps
as the El Coronado Lodge.

David is quite enamored of
the CCC as those of you who
read this blog frequently know.
The center had a room devoted
to CCC history at the park.


It also had some GREAT archeological exhibits
of skulls, fossils, spear points and other
amazing finds from the canyon.

A Mammoth tooth.
I can’t even imagine a lower jaw with say 20 of those
in it.

a camel’s skull


and bones from other
very unusual creatures
who made this canyon their home
eons ago.




The center also had some beautiful pieces of Native American
pottery, jewelry and clothing for sale.
This was my favorite of everything including
the Native American earrings for which I have a weakness.


After dinner,

T&W 044

we went out to hike a short 2 mile trail,
the Juniper Trail Riverside.


The trail began through the low mesquite and
juniper trees but soon we were out where
we could see the canyon walls.

With the drought going on since last October
it isn’t much of a river anymore

Although it looks bigger than it is from
this vantage point.

We happened by this mule deer on his way
to the river.


The colors were beautiful.


It was an interesting hike that
went in and out,
up and down


T&W 136 

and all around gorgeous canyon walls.
But the sun began sinking and
it was time to go.

T&W 100 

I must say, I’ve never felt
quite so tall as I did on this hike!

Can’t wait for tomorrow,
Aint’ Life GRAND!!



  1. Life is, indeed, grand!
    Great post, as usual :)

  2. LOL..I love that shadow pic! That was a nice way to wrap up a nice day. Safe travels.

  3. Thanks for the tip on how to make myself look tall. I'm gonna start taking some shadow pics.

  4. Sherry, please post your experiences with Live Writer...I'm interested, but like you, hate learning new software!

  5. Look at those turkeys!!! Aren't they cool? Saw some in Junction, TX. Life is grand!

  6. Takes me back to my travels out West! So many colors :)


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