Last weekend my Wife and I made a camping trip to the Palo Duro Canyon out near Amarillo, Tx. We did some hiking and mountain biking. Thanks to Jonathan Johnson for letting me borrow his Trek mountain bike so Calley and I could both mountain bike. We had an excellent time --- but we did call our trip short due to the stinging horse flies that come out during the day.
These are the most aggressive flies ever and they showed no remorse. They chased us on our bikes biting us on our legs and even on the rear through our clothes.
The scenery was pretty amazing out there. Driving out there it is super flat then all of sudden you enter this massive canyon.
The first day there we did some exploring and climbed into this little rock cave and about an hour before sunset on this little trail we came across probably 6-8 tarantula's.
Believe it or not these little critters are super fast!
The next day we did the Lighthouse trail a 6 mile hike. At the very end of it you are literally crawling on your way on these rocks to get to the top. We survived it!
The Rock Garden trail would become my nemesis as I attempted to try to mountain bike up trail. It was labeled as a "difficult" trail. How bad can it be? I've mountain biked in some woods in Tyler before and did ok. This was something else it was so steep there were plenty of times I couldn't pedal any more and the front tire would lift up and I would have to jump off or crash. The switchbacks were so sharp I couldn't make those. The Rock Garden Trail is a little over 2 miles long, I made it up just over a mile before I thought I might die out here if I don't turn around --- going down was somewhat easier, but only somewhat. I did more walking than riding this trail. I went back to ride with Calley after that and we chose "easier" trails to say the least we didn't know what we were in for as it turned out to be pretty rough. Calley did have a better crash record than me 0-3. I lost control hitting some sand, then I ran into a small tree, finally a horse fly bit me on the butt and I lost control trying to swipe it off and fell over in this slice your hand bush. We couldn't drink enough water, gatorade, and nuun out there it was so hot. I saw a temperature of a 105 degrees.
We did have a full moon both nights out there which still made it scenic at night.
The next day I would go pay the Rock Garden back with a run up the trail. Steep it was my average pace the whole time was 9:02 per mile. The Rock Garden would still knock me down as I tripped over a rock coming down and landing on my "bad" side.
We did get some other animals and critters:
This was a very sick bunny we found limping across the one of the trails. Calley has a good heart and tried to save it but it was too late and we had to lay it to rest.
We only saw one horned frog the whole trip.
A dragon fly did a face plant into the mud.
One of the many lizards we saw. Some of these had some very long tails.
Overall, we had a great time! I can't wait for our next camping trip.