We found a jewel in Amarillo we had never heard of. It's the Palo Duro Canyon State Park. They call it the "Grand Canyon of Texas". It was so outstanding, we are surprised we never even heard of it before.
The Canyon is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. It is often claimed that Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. The largest, the Grand Canyon, is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 ft. deep. Early Spanish Explorers are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed the canyon "Palo Duro" which is Spanish for "hard wood" in reference to the abundant mesquite and juniper trees. The steep sides of Palo Duro Canyon consist of bright, banded layers of orange, red, brown, yellow, gray, maroon, and white rocks. The colors were so vibrant it almost looks as if someone painted it.
You can drive your car all over the park and stop at viewing areas for photos. They also have a ton of trails and several campgrounds. We checked out several of the campgrounds and they were fantastic. They have very large sites with electric and water and dump stations. I didn't see any prices but it is a state park, so I expect is would be reasonable. We would definitely camp there when we are in the area again. We saw a ton of wild turkeys, three deer and a beautiful woodpecker I have to look up in my books. We also saw a lot of bulls and longhorn cows.
One of the stops had a wildlife viewing area, with bird feeders and a special blind. You can stand behind the wall and take pictures of the birds as they come to the feeders to eat. This is where I saw the woodpecker. It was a cool place to visit and we enjoyed it much.
Our last stop of the day was the Big Texan Steak Ranch. We have heard about this unique restaurant before. They have a huge 72 ounce steak with all the trimming, if you can eat all of it in one hour, you get it for free. We watched a guy trying to finish his, he had about 15 minutes left, when we arrived. They seated us right by his table. We watched him try and try to eat but he got a sick look on his face, then he gave up. :-) They packed the rest up to go. Jerry and I split a regular dinner and it was more than enough. You can even go online and watch by a web cam. It was fun to watch, I am including photos of this poor guy too.
We are heading toward Oklahoma in the morning. More later from somewhere in Oklahoma.