Just half an hour south of Amarillo is a real delight of a state park at Palo Duro Canyon, in aptly named Canyon, Texas. Amarillo was chillier than I expected it to be, and until visiting the park I didn’t realize that was partially because we were already at 3,605′ (1,099m) elevation.
Palo Duro Canyon was formed by the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River (my new preferred faux-expletive) carving its way through these High Plains over the centuries, revealing stripes of different colored stone from different geological eras.
The park is expansive and Ollie and I only did portions of two of the sixteen trails. First we embarked along the CCC Trail, named for the New Deal program that put men to work in National Parks following the Great Depression. I found that the Texas parks made a real point of paying tribute to that program. This trek was cut short when my poor little companion stepped on a dang cactus.
I got the spines out (thankfully only from the back of his leg, and not the actual pad of his paw) and by the time we were back to the car he wasn’t nursing it quite as much. We did some drive-by park-viewing, I found an amphitheater parking lot to roller skate in for a bit while he rested up, and by the time we were at the Givens, Spicer, Lowry trail Ollie was ready to get back at it. Went out for about a mile before deciding to head back and wrap up the day. There were nice looking camping facilities and I’d definitely consider going back and spending some more dedicated time at the park.