Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Palo Duro -- pretty but too hot in June

Far eastern side of Palo Duro Canyon

It has been hot in south Mississippi this summer.

Matter of fact, its been hot all over the country this year.

Texas has been hit really hard. Dallas is looking at more than 30 straight days of triple digit temps (hitting more than 100 degrees F).

And that reminds me of my wife's retirement journey a few years ago.  We were on a 30-day roundtrip jaunt to San Francisco that included a few nights in the Longhorn State.

Wifey and yours truly at overlook on eastern edge

I knew Texas was going to be hot then, and after one night in a motel in Wichita Falls, I was ready to rush on past Amarillo, head north toward northern New Mexico, knowing that with a rise in elevation, we would also face lower temperatures.

But, alas, wifey was reading a travel brochure and found something she thought would be interesting to visit -- Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

As far as the eye could see 

As we headed off the main road, I came to realize we wouldn't be in cooler temperatures in northern New Mexico that night.

We drove hither and yon to find Palo Duro.

As my wife can tell you, the higher the temperature, the less interest I have in anything,

View from visitors center picture window

And boy was the temperature hot that day. We drove and drove (I think my vehicles AC unit was on the skids which also added to our misery).

We finally found a road to turn off on and headed farther south. I was hoping that would be it, take a few looks and scoot farther north.

But no. While standing there, some other people came by and struck up a conversation.

Come to find out, this wasn't the best part of the park. It was farther to the west.

I thought maybe we could just say thanks for letting us know and head on our way.

But no, they offered to let us follow them to the real park.

Of course, wifey was all enthused. Well, about an hour or so later we arrived there.

Yes, it was pretty. And yes, it was hot.

We made a visit to the "cool" visitors center and then decided to take the main road down into the park. After about a half-hour drive, we decided it was time to move on.

We did make it to New Mexico and spent the night in Tucumcari in a "cool" motel room. 

Looking back, we didn't do right by Palo Duro. Maybe if it were the fall or early spring we could have enjoyed it more. But like I've said, interest declines when the temperature climbs.

Maybe next time.

Next post: Aug. 9, 2011

1 comment:

  1. Looks like beautiful country, but I'm with you--the heat really affects my interest :) Those poor folks in Texas are really taking a beating this summer,that's for sure!