Restrictions for Covid 19 finally caught up with me yesterday. I wanted to see the Palo Duro Canyon park in Amarillo before I moved on, so I got there at 7:30 am, shortly after they opened. I pulled up to the gate and the ranger asked me if I had a reservation. I said that no, I wasn’t camping despite the trailer behind me, I just wanted to do the drive and take pictures. Turns out they are limited in capacity for day use also, and they were all booked up. I was able to take a couple of pictures there before I turned around and left.
This riding stable was just outside the park. I had pulled over to take a shot of the scenery I had just passed and found myself right there on the road beside the stable. It was this lone building on the edge of a canyon that had caught my eye.
When I was home thinking about this trip and looking at the map it was the wide open spaces of Texas that had caught my attention. The more northern route would have had me skirting city after city with the traffic that would entail, but the road through most of Texas looked desolate enough that I wondered if I would find gas stations when I needed them. But I did see that there was one big city I’d encounter on this route though, Dallas, which I’d passed through the day before but didn’t talk about. Blotted it out I think. I had told myself it would be fine, and it was. But I wasn’t so sure as I found myself clutching the wheel trying to assure myself that I was in the right lane of traffic, when there were eight lanes of traffic to choose from, and the speed limit was still 70 mph, and it seemed like everyone else had decided to change lanes. Another of the things that Texas does bigger I guess.
But leaving the park I was soon back to wide open spaces, and on, and on, and that question of finding gas stations began to loom in my mind. I saw an old faded sign for The Hitching Post, where they promised gas and cold drinks and hot snacks. The sign looked like it had been there forever I had to wonder if the place existed anymore, but thankfully it did. And so it was on into New Mexico with it’s extinct volcanos.
Heading for Colorado had the road winding through these hills that had taken over the terrain. I hadn’t been aware of the rising altitude, but my ears were popping as the road wound down and into Colorado. I began to glimpse the Rockies through the clouds, and yet another thunderstorm loomed. It was the end of the first leg of this trip, and I let myself feel how tired I was, and how happy I was to see my sister-in-law. More pictures could wait…