Tuesday, 6 November 2007

A Side Trip to Caprock Canyons

I thought we were going to Amarillo today. GNC in the U.S. only has the first 7 days of the month where you can use your Gold Card unlike Canada where it can be used every day. However, when I got in the truck Gordon said we were going to Caprock Canyons which is about 98 miles southeast of here.

He stopped at the Entrance Gate and got directions. Good, that means I don't have to have a computer on my lap the whole way. Joanne, the Ranger in the office gave us the scenic route which took us almost to Amarillo on FM1541 then east on FM1151 to FM207. FM207 takes you through the eastern end of Palo Duro Canyon and is very pretty in itself.

We, of course, stopped for more pictures. The rest of the drive other than that area is pretty flat and boring but Gordon always finds photos no matter where we are. He can make a photo out of pretty much anything and have it an award winner. By the time we arrived at Quitaque (pronounced Kitty Quay) which is 3 km from the entrance to Caprock Canyons State Park we were starving.

We drove through the small town noting that most of the stores were closed giving it a ghost town aura but we found the Caprock Cafe was open so in we went. (Note the ambience!)

Not what you'd call 5 star dining however we did manage to get something to eat and luckily Gordon had no reaction to it. I say luckily because when we reached Caprock Canyons the water had been turned off as they were doing work in the park and you guessed it, no washrooms in the whole park! There were a couple of pit toilets available however.

Gordon had thought that Caprock Canyons was supposed to be prettier than Palo Duro and it is pretty in its own right especially right at the end of the road where there is a huge valley and lots of red rock however it is much more open and less diverse than Palo Duro. Palo Duro gets my vote!

Caprock Canyons is also supposed to be The Home of the Official Texas State Bison Herd. What a disappointment! They had three bulls only. The rest that they had around we fake bison. I couldn't believe it! Guess which ones are real!

On leaving Caprock we were just exiting when we saw something on the road. Guess what? I finally saw an armadillo in the wild and have photos to prove it. Now all that's really on my list of things I want to see is a Painted Bunting but it's too cold here now for them. I was really excited to see this little guy. Isn't he cute?

On our way back we came across on FM285 which skirts the south end of Palo Duro. I thought it would be more scenic but it was mostly fields. You could see the canyon rim from the road in one spot only.

Once back in the park we stopped at several places taking photos of the sun on the rocks and at one spot we saw a lot of wild turkeys and took more photos. I had seen some this morning as well as a little cottontail. I was disappointed that we hadn't seen any deer when we rounded a corner and there was a deer, then another one came out of the trees. So I consider this a great day. Lots of wildlife!

Interesting sky

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