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!