This morning before leaving Caprock Canyons, I went to the bison-viewing platform but saw only one of them grazing quite a distance away. I zoomed in on it and took a couple of shots. I had hoped to see more than one animal.
Then I headed to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a few miles southeast of Amarillo, to spend a couple of nights. My site is in the Hackberry Camp Area.
Palo Duro Canyon is about 120 miles long and 800 feet deep and is the second largest canyon in the United States. "Palo Duro" is Spanish for "hard wood" in reference to the juniper trees common in the canyon. The canyon was formed by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. It is also known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas." The State Park officially opened on July 4, 1934.
After getting set up, I walked around, exploring the area and, of course, taking some photos of the magnificent scenery. I had intended to hike on a nearby two-mile trail but got sidetracked. On the way I saw a couple of ladies sitting outside their motorhome and got into an extended conversation with them. They had come out from Amarillo just to get away for one night. As they said: "No husband, no kids, no phones."
They invited me to come back later when they would have a campfire going. After dinner I went back over and had a wonderful visit around their fire. We heard a lot of wildlife sounds, only some of which we could identify. We heard screech owls and other kinds of birds, as well as coyotes. One sound we thought came from a wild cat, perhaps a bobcat, but we just weren't sure.
This morning I visited a few minutes with Barbara and Joyce and took some photos of Barbara feeding and petting a young mule deer. They were getting ready to go back home to Amarillo right after breakfast, so I headed on out for my morning hike on Paseo Del Rio Trail. It was a very easy hike alongside the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River.
On my way back to camp I rested briefly at the Chinaberry Day Use Area and ate my snack of Corn Nuts and Gatorade. Then, as I was walking back to camp along Park Road 5, the Park Host came along and offered to take me to the back side of the park. He was kind enough to stop a few times to let me take photos. He understands photographers because he loves photography, too. He gave me some valuable advice about which trail to take and what to prepare for.
After a little lunch and a nap -- one of those rarities for me -- I decided to go to the Trading Post to use the pay phone to check my PocketMail messages because my cell phone does not work at all down in the canyon. Alas! The pay phone seemed not to be working either or, else, the PocketMail number wasn't. I kept getting a busy signal so, after about a dozen attempts, I gave up and trudged back toward home. This is the first time it has happened since I began using PocketMail.
Before calling it a day, I decided to take one more hike, this time on part of the Givens, Spicer & Lowry Running Trail along the Hully Gully. Mind you, I did not run!! By the time I got back to camp, I was ready to cool off and relax for a while.