Patriotic Pride In The Canyon!

I have to admit, I have so many thoughts going through my head for this post that I have been procrastinating, trying to put it all into a sensible presentation.  I decided to just sit down, and see what comes out on “paper” so, please bare with me on this one.  

If you have been following along for awhile, you may already know that I will be celebrating my 1st wedding anniversary with my love next month.  From the 1st time I met my now in laws, they have been telling me,  “You would love Palo Dura Canyon!” and “We have to take you to see ‘TEXAS’!” Since my husband, and his family, are all from Amarillo, and most still live there, it was inevitable that I would have the opportunity to learn a lot more about this neck of the woods.  

It is telling to watch someone revisit their childhood memories, and one of the places my love frequented as a kid was Lake Meredith; Oasis on The Plains!  

  • 45 miles NE of Amarillo, on the Canadian River  
  • Over 16,000 acres, with a mean depth of 30 ft. 
  • Walleye and Small Mouth Bass 
  • Hiking river side or climb a mesa 
  • Camping 

It may, or may not, be a secret that my love and I are planning to hit the road full time in the next couple years.

Since we have a cousin who works at a local RV lot in Amarillo, it seemed only fitting to stop by and do a little research.  What a fantastic gem we found!  

Jack Sizemore RV Museum

If you like RVs, and/or camping, or just antique museums, you HAVE to visit this place! (More pictures on my Facebook page!) 

Since the first mention of this canyon, I have been chomping at the bit to feast my eyes on it, and dig my hiking pole into the dirt there!  It was time to see this “Grand Canyon of Texas”; Palo Duro Canyon. We were off to see the musical “TEXAS”, which is in the canyon.  I have to be honest, and tell you, I was no where near as excited to see the musical Texas, as I was just giddy to get my first glimpse of Palo Dura, although it would be nice to spend an evening with my in law family, and see my in laws enjoy sharing something that they thought was awesome, with me.  As we progressed into the park, I could barely follow along with the conversations going on in the car, as I was in awe of the scene!

At some point, as we descended into the canyon, and made our way to the “stage”, I became 100% engaged in the experience of seeing “TEXAS”.  I believe it may have had something to do with this view:

Seriously?!  There is a stage right here; in the middle of a canyon?  Before the evening was over, I was exponentially blessed with all of my most favorite things right there in one place; family, a canyon, music, and animals!  And you know what I loved about that night the most?

THE PATRIOTIC FEELINGS THAT WERE STIRRED!  It is hard to remember sometimes, these days, with all the hate speech thrown around, that living in America is truly a blessing!  We may not be a perfect nation, but none are.  All nations have things they may not be proud of; including the good ole US of A!  But the people of the state of Texas are proud and strong, and are a good example to follow!

As a side note, if you are an American, and have been pushed to question our “greatness”,  you may find this movie/documentary, by Dinesh D’Souza, interesting to watch:   AMERICA: Imagine The World Without Her

Perhaps, even if you are not from America, you would glean something from watching this view on America’s history.

I do encourage you, if you chose to watch, that you watch it to the end, as the beginning is not the whole story.

AND…. Now, the main event!  If you are an adventurer, and/or hiker, you know how very excited we were to wake up to a somewhat cooler morning, and to find an over cast of cloud cover! While hiking in Palo Dura Canyon in the summer is definitely not the best time, we were super fortunate on this particular day.

So, here are some facts:

  • Palo – 120 miles long/Grand Canyon – 277
  • Palo – 20 miles wide/Grand Canyon – 18
  • Palo – 800 ft deep/Grand Canyon – A Whopping 6,000

Palo Duro is Spanish for “hard wood”, such as Mesquite and Juniper trees found in the canyon.  Early Spanish explorers named the canyon.  The canyon has a very interesting history you can read about here, if that is of interest to you.  It is fun to know the history, and then picture the events while hiking the area.

Being in this canyon felt a bit like “home”.  I suspect a bit because it is this area where my husband, and family call home, and also because it felt a bit like my hiking “home”, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, in AZ.  Only a lot more green!  We saw wild turkey at the trail head. We saw massive amounts of mosquitoes at the river, and we left that area immediately.  On the beginning of another trail, we heard, but could not see from the ground cover, what sounded like a HUGE rattle snake.  We left that area also.  LOL!  (We will do that trail in the winter!)  But fear not, we found plenty of other options to explore!  Of course, there are many more pictures on our blog Facebook, but here are a few!

If you ever get the chance, I recommend this canyon, and the Amarillo area, whole heartedly!  Get out there and explore!


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Uh Oh! The Dog Is Hurt! Now What?

So, before anyone stresses it, Hendrix The Hiking Dog is doing just fine!  Hen is also a fantastic model!!  But what if we were on an adventure and he actually got hurt?

I have participated in a few conversations lately about this exact topic, and I decided to put some time and effort into answering that question. Hendrix is 90 lbs., and Lady Bonnie is 60 lbs. Those puppies aren’t going to be carried back to the truck; especially Hendrix!  

In doing some research, I came across what I consider to be a very doable solution.  I contacted HANDICAPPED PETS and they agreed to send me the Walkin’ Pet Transport Stretcher in exchange for my honest testing and review!
While, I know that having a large injured dog in the wilderness, or away from immediate vet care, is always going to be a difficult situation, I am breathing a little easier, having this stretcher with me.
Measuring at 47″ X 29″ and having been tested to 250 lbs., this stretcher is more than capable of assisting the movement of a large injured dog.  The handles are padded with neoprene for added support/comfort.

The stretcher has a velcro safety strap. While not sure it will help much to secure your dog, it will give the dog a more secure feeling.  While I haven’t attempted to drag Hendrix in the stretcher, as I don’t want to make him afraid of the stretcher, in case we really need to use it some day, I believe there are any number of ways to secure the dog, and use the stretcher. How it is utilized will depend on how many people are available to help transport.  

In the event that I am out alone, which is most likely the case, my plan is to use my hiking stick at the top of the stretcher, while securing the rest of the stretcher around Hendrix. 

Possible option #1
Possible option #2

While the main reason to take this stretcher along on your adventures is, of course, for the dog, it could also be a multi purpose item, which is always a plus when considering where to use up weight in your pack.  One alternative option that comes to mind is possibly a cover from the elements.  I bet you all could come up with several and I would love to hear them so please add your comments below!

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