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Old 12-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #1
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Christmas in Palo Duro Canyon

Instead of sitting around the house this Christmas we decided to head out. My wife was convinced we were going a few hours into the snowy mountains, but instead I suprised her with a trip south to Palo Duro Canyon.

We took 287 from outside of Denver pretty much all the way down. Apart from being helaciously boring, it was a good road- almost as nice as an Interstate.

We had two difficulties on the trip- the water lines froze on the way down (and were previously frozen in the garage) which damaged the gray fill valve for the second time, and on the way back we quickly discovered another one of the BFGs had a belt separation. We lost very little time having it changed and were thankful to not be far from Amarillo when it happened.

The good far outweighed the bad however, and temps predicted at 54º turned out to be in the 60s and even the 70s one day. While the midewest got dumped on we were in sandals, enjoying an SMB Christmas.

Palo Duro Canyon, which we'd never heard of, was amazing. It is the second largest canyon in the United States, and the second biggest state park in Texas. It's also the most active- probably owning to its accessible location in the panhandle.

7½ hours driving, about 9 total was a little much for one day (I'm getting old!) but it was well worth it. Be warned winter hours have the park closing at 6pm, and if you're late you get to spend the night outside the gate in a late arrival area.

Otherwise there is camping in the canyon, plenty of hiking and sights, and some exciting water crossings (well, exciting until you're followed by a Prius).

We couldn't have asked for nicer weather, and actually the flurries hit just as we were packing up for the return trip.

Enough drivel, on with the photos:



Christmas morning, we brought all the presents (well except the one that wouldn't fit in the SMB) and had everything but lights.






















Certainly a tough way to spend Christmas!




The sights and the hiking were great, there were also mountain bike trails and horse riding. Luckily the RV sites were nearly vacant, so despite the $22 a night it seemed like we were boondocking- well that and the rare 110v that left us to enjoy unlimited light, toast, and laptop use.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing Jage! How did the Deaver springs perform? Did your SMB ride any better?
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
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Yes, although there was no washboard to test on, the highway down had it's share of challenges. The Deavers are definitly worth it now that they're broken in.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:37 AM   #4
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So, why is every picture of your SMB f the driver's side? Oh wait, I know. It's so you can show off that ladder!

Looks like a great trip.

Were you able to get the tire replaced under warranty?


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Old 12-28-2008, 01:09 PM   #5
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Very cool Jage. I hadn't heard of Palo Duro before.

Sounds like a cool trip!

steve
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:28 PM   #6
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Palo Duro

Jage ,
Thank you for sharing , Palo Duro is an incredible place I will be returning there soon for a Hunting Trip and was going to fly as I have in the past , but have decided to drive instead and spend a more time exploring the entire Park . Thanks again for sharing Jage .
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:37 PM   #7
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I missed this one somehow. Looks like a place like that would have a bunch of off roading spots. Great report...thanks.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #8
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Looks like a great spot to celebrate the holidays or anything for that matter. Thanks for posting the pictures.
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