September 20 Palo Duro Canyon(90 miles)
Today is the 5th day of our Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride.
Today we ride to the Palo Duro Canyon a state park of Texas. Palo Duro is the nation’s second largest canyon. The weather was great. The ride to the canyon was not far. Larry and Gary were starting to wonder if there was a canyon because the landscape was flat as a table until we got to the canyon… and bam!!! There was the canyon, an impressive sight to see. Words don’t really do it justice.
We stopped by the visitor center and talked to one the staff about the canyon. At one time the canyon was part of Col. Goodnight’s ranch. That really perked Janet’s interest because her mom’s dad worked for Col. Goodnight and Janet’s mom was born on the ranch!!! For those of you who may not know that name, the TV series “Lonesome Dove” is a fictionalized account of Goodnight and Loving’s third cattle drive. Woodrow F. Call represents Goodnight, Augustus McCrae is Oliver Loving.
After spending some time at the visitor center we rode through the canyon, stopping here and there to explore a bit. Gary ( a guy from Ontario Canada) was really crazy about the canyon and the animals we saw there. Gary has ridden with us after the “Trail of Tears” for several years now. From the visitors center you take State Park Road 5 about 5 miles riding into the park. The speed limit is 30 MPH. There are many places to stop and take pictures of the canyon and any wildlife you may stumble across. A must stop is the Pioneer Amphitheater. The Pioneer Amphitheater was carved out of the basin of the Canyon. During the year majestic plays are preformed there. When we were there, there wasn’t any plays scheduled.
We ate lunch at the restaurant in the Canyon. The food was good but the restaurant was really busy. Larry, Shirley (Larry’s Wife) and Gary headed back to Georgia after lunch. Larry had a high school reunion he wanted to get back for. Janet and I stayed to explore the canyon a bit more. We hiked the Lighthouse trail but not to the end because it looked like rain was coming. People have got stranded in the canyon when it rains so we decided we should head back. We only got a few sprinkles but we had rather be safe than be sorry. That evening we went back to and watched the sun set in the canyon. The colors of the rocks were brilliant, the views went on forever, and overall, it was just a spectacular view. The changing light on the canyon walls during sunset is prettier than any work of art. Pictures don’t really capture all there is. The sounds and smell are all part of the experience and can’t be captured. We hope to do that again and spend more time off the bike exploring all that is available.
After sunset we headed back to our motel in Canyon (the town) and rested up for the ride home… Come follow along as we head home tomorrow.
You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.
- “Trail of Tears” and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006
- Day 1 & 2:Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006
- Day 3 Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006
- Day 4 Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006
- Day 6 & 7 – Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006
While you are here, you may like these post, too…
- Our First Motorcycle Ride to Big Bend
- Big Bend Ride 2007
- Big Bend/Carlsbad Cavern Ride 2009
- Riding Information on Big Bend Area of Texas
- Tips on Long Distance Touring
- Riding Fit… Riding Smart
- Getting the Wife to Ride
Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…
Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…