April 10, 2004 Amarillo by Morning

In case you don't recall, "Amarillo by Morning" was a hit song (by George Strait in the 70s, I believe), and neither Margie nor I have been able to extract it from our minds since coming up to Amarillo from Palo Duro Canyon State Park yesterday afternoon. We stayed in the canyon since Tuesday, but were disappointed to learn that they were all booked up for Easter weekend and so would have to move on.

Our visit to Palo Duro was marvelous and brought back lots of fine memories for us both. Keith will recall a Spring week spent there in the early 80s when we had the place nearly to ourselves. We were in a tent campsite right next to the stream (in which he spent several hours making various water works), and were even visited by a wild turkey. It seems the turkeys have prospered, as we saw lots of them this past week. There were a bunch in our campground, perhaps 4-5 males and at least as many females. Several times Margie and I observed one or more males all puffed up in full display, either trying to impress the females (which didn't seem to be working) or discourage other males. I got one photo of some males in display, but couldn't get close enough to do them justice.

It rained some every day we were in the canyon, which made for lots of mud and caused the Park authorities to limit the camping to the two campgrounds before the first (of six) water crossing due to fears of flash flooding. Still, the temperatures were moderate with little wind, so we got out for some good hikes and then drove the entire (loop) road on our way out yesterday. The cliffs were especially colorful due to the recent rains, with the dominant reds very dark and the yellow and light greens in sharp contrast.

Now we're in a Passport-America (cheap) RV park about 5 miles east of Amarillo, just off I-40, where we'll stay for a couple of nights before heading on to Caprock Canyons State Park, which is not far to the southeast of Palo Duro Canyon. While near town we'll be filling Margie's monthly prescriptions at Walgreens and doing some laundry and grocery shopping. We might even take in a movie, if we can find one that interests us. Last night a strong cold front passed through, with heavy wind and rain, dropping the temperature from yesterday's high of 70 down to this morning's low of 36. Even now, about 11 AM CDT, the temp is only 38 outside and we are very glad to have a good gas (propane) heat system in our rig, plus the electricity to run a small space heater. This picture was taken at Caprock Canyon State Park.

Love to all,
Riley & Margie

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