Amarillo Day 3 - Palo Duro Canyon

April 20, 2008 at 9:48 AMJeremy

Marci left early in the morning to start her longest day at the hospital.  She had two patients and then got a chance to retry the skill that she'd missed the day before.  She was there until almost 4, but she nailed all three things (just 1 patient left).  She did well, but she was tired and hungry by the time she got out (she left before the hotel served breakfast and didn't have time to stop by the cafeteria for lunch, so a bagel and a granola bar was about all she got). 

Meanwhile, I enjoyed a full breakfast buffet and then headed out to Palo Duro Canyon. According to Wikipedia, it's second only to the Grand Canyon in the US in terms of... canyon-y-ness.

I drove down to the bottom, parked, and hit the Lighthouse Trail. Six miles roundtrip, but here's where I got to have lunch:

Here it is from a distance. I can't believe I covered that much ground (and a return trip).

It was all pretty even walking up until the very end, when the trail went sharply upward.

When I started up those steps, I immediately thought of my idiot friends and I running up Jacob's Ladder in Cameron Park. In fact, this path even seemed to take most of the same turns and uneven steps. I'd guesstimate it to be about 2 Jacob's Ladders (JL) high, but it was pretty easy considering I wasn't running up it.

I got up to the flat spot between the two spires and just enjoyed the nice cool breeze, and ate some crackers in the peace and quiet.  I can see why my friends Mark and Sean enjoy mountain climbing: there's a great feeling of accomplishment and a sense of peace and beauty looking at everything below.

Can't say there was a lot of pretty stuff to shoot. It's the desert so everything is just kinda dry, but I still got some shots of the local flora and fauna.

After Marci finished, we were both pretty hungry, neither of us having had a decent meal for lunch. To celebrate her almost-completion, we went to the Big Texan Steak Ranch. This is the home of the free 72oz steak (if you eat it within an hour). We didn't try for the free one (some guy from Connecticut was trying it, though--I hope for the sake of all Texans that he failed), but I can honestly say that I think what we ordered was the best steak I've ever had. Mmmm.

It was still early when we finished with dinner, but Marci was tired and I had heat exhaustion or something, so we pretty much napped in front of the TV until bedtime.