Thursday, October 17, 2013

Amarillo, TX

I decided to stop in Amarillo, TX on the way back to Georgia because I wanted to go back to Palo Duro Canyon which is just south of Amarillo.  Unfortunately, I got there during a 3-day heat wave in early October.  I was hoping for mid-70’s, but I got mid to high 80’s and wind. 

I headed to Palo Duro in the morning and decided to drive around the park before hitting the trail I wanted to hike – mistake number 1 (I should have started hiking when it was cooler).  They have had a good bit of rain recently so some of the typically dry water crossings along the road had water in them.   (At least they have been dry the other 3 times I have been there)


Because of water and mud, one of the crossings was closed so I could not do the loop I had hoped to drive and had to backtrack a bit.


As I headed to the Lighthouse Trail, I saw something crossing the road.  I had to stop and get a closer look.

It was a Tarantula!!  I don’t think I have ever seen one outside of zoos.  This one had a body of about 2 – 3 inches, add on the legs and it was probably 5 – 6 inches long.  A ranger stopped while I was looking and verified it was a Tarantula and mentioned that they were harmless. 

When I finally got to the Lighthouse trail it was about 10:00 and starting to get hot.  There was a sign warning about the heat, but I decided to head on.  It is about 5 miles and I figured if  it got too hot I would turn around.  After 15 minutes or so, I knew I would not make it all the way, but went on as I wanted to get closer to one of the rocks/cliffs I could see.

I got to the base of the cliff in the middle of the picture above and explored a bit.  While exploring, I felt something weird on my hiking boot.  I looked at my foot and the sole of my boot was coming off.  So between the heat and my boots, I realized I was not meant to hike this trail that day.  After only 1/2 mile or so of hiking, I slowly started back.  The sole came off fairly quickly and I was walking on the material that connects to the sole.  Then the other boot sole started coming off.  Before I got to the end of the trail, I was walking on moccasin-like soles and carrying the thick rubber soles of both of my boots.  I could feel rocks, so I walked very carefully.   But I figured it was my fault.  A few months ago I decided to leave my boots in the car so I would always have them if I found a neat place to hike.  Mistake number 2.  I think the car got so hot that it ruined the boots.

I had to head out the next day, so the Lighthouse trail will have to wait for a cooler day some other time!!

On the way out, I had to stop for one last picture --

From Amarillo, I took a couple of days and headed to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas where I found some great scenery and trails! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pam: Well you're headed east and I'm going westward. Plan to spend this winter in the southwest. We had a nice time at the Chattanooga SE LD gathering. Have a safe trip. SE-43