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 54Âº 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.
7Â½ 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.