Canyon, Texas- We’re creating our dreams

08 Oct

We stayed two full days in Canyon, Texas- just south of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle- on our way northwest out of Texas.  The draw for this stop was a picture in our state parks guide of the lighthouse rock formation at Palo Duro Canyon.  Yes, it’s that kind of life.  Where there’s intention, there we are!  This was our first experience in the creation of our dreams and it was WILD.

We’ve never seen anything so magnificent!  I know, I know- I’m originally from the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Chris from southern New Hampshire.  New England is gorgeous.  We know that… now.  The places we don’t know, haven’t seen, or have only seen in movies hold this mystique- almost as if they aren’t real.  We’ve travelled a bit- all over New England, Aruba, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, San Diego, Santa Barbara, DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, New York City.  There may be a few others that I’m missing.  Maybe we’ve travelled more than the average, working family.  The big difference- we have found- is that those were destinations, visits, stops on a round trip back to ‘real’ life.  This time it IS life.  OUR life.  The one we’re creating and it’s absolutely magical. 

In accordance with our repetitively stated need for internet, we stayed at Palo Duro RV Park just outside the state park/canyon.  Once in the park, there is no mobile phone signal at all.  The RV park had good WiFi and, because the musical Texas! was off-season, so was the park.  We had lots of space.  The park wasn’t lovely but very functional and friendly for the three nights that we stayed.  Chris and I had our hearts set on seeing the Lighthouse rock formation and then read in the information that it was a 6-mile roundtrip hike.  Could we make it? We psyched up the kids, packed lots of food and not enough water, headed out on a Saturday morning, and (tried) to resign ourselves to the journey rather than the destination.  It was awesome.  We were in this spectacular canyon, jumping off rocks, touching the walls, exploring trails.

I won’t lie.  There was some grumbling around the 1.5 mile mark.  At 2 miles, we could see it- the Lighthouse looming in the distance.  It was a little anti-climactic.  We thought it would be bigger.  We almost turned around then but met a couple coming from there who gave us instructions on how to get up to the Lighthouse which included rigorous rock climbing.  The kids were sold!  We forged ahead.  The trail became rocky and the incline steep.  We paired off- one adult behind each child- thrilled with this new aspect of the adventure.

As we got closer, the Lighthouse lived up to its fame.  It was enormous and multicolored and beautiful and…. and….!  We scaled steep rock ledges and wound up directly at the base of the Lighthouse and its sister formation, the Castle.  I gave the remainder of the water bottle I was sharing with Chris to a teenager suffering from heat exhaustion.  We headed back with a spring in our step.  Chris alternated putting the kids on his shoulders between the trail markers as the kids counted them down for each tenth of a mile to the trail head.  It was so hot but we all felt like we had done something so BIG. 

Our feet were sore and we were seeking a cool drink.  But a cool dip in the water at the water crossing certainly helped!

Canyon is a supremely quaint little town- the epitomy of ‘sleepy, little bedroom town’.  There’s only one restaurant that serves alcohol (you have to fill out a form- it’s a dry town) and almost nothing open after dusk.  We drove the desolate brick main street after our hike looking for potential restaurants to ask for waste vegetable oil and ended up eating some delicious Thai at the only place with cars out front- Sayakomarn’s Thai & Lao Cuisine.  Yes, the kids hiked 6 arduous miles AND ate Thai.  How I love this journey!

Canyon was so pivotal for us.  It really marked the beginning of the journey out of our comfort zone and into our dreams.  Will you share something in the comments section that has been a dream come true for you or a step in the direction of your dreams?  Let’s inspire each other!

Nature gives me so much inspiration.  In addition to the amazing terrain we encountered in Canyon, meet some of our new friends!

Yes, that is a real tarantula- live and in person!  He wandered across the trail as we were hiking.  I think a ‘tarantula crossing’ sign is probably warranted.

Hello, fine sir!  He stood so tall.  It felt only right to address him as the regal creature that he is.

An iridescent green guy!  Supercute.


Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Texas, Travel log


Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Canyon, Texas- We’re creating our dreams

  1. A Love Lee Place

    October 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

    “The places we don’t know, haven’t seen, or have only seen in movies hold this mystique- almost as if they aren’t real.” Sarah, that is sooo true! I will never forget standing on a cliff overlooking the Pacific and thinking “OMG it is real!!!” I had only seen the coast in movies.
    Then standing on a bluff in Arkansas with tears streaming down my face because I was so moved by the most phenominal view of a valley.
    Your pictures and your journey are absolutely beautiful…thanks for sharing with those of us who still have to make the round trip back to “real” life.
    Love ya’ll bunches!

  2. Susan

    October 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I’ve had several dreams come true~ Climbing up and over the Continental Divide in the Rockies~ Standing ON the continental divide and turning in a complete circle to witness all that is SO special about this earth, it’s creatures, and myself. I was 17 at the time. Since then I have lost touch with myself in some ways, and am just now, at a week shy of 47, coming back into myself. Doing the 25′ in the air mini monkey course at Monkey Trunks was pivotal. That was summer ’09. I really felt a huge shift, “HEY! Even though I am 46 and over weight I still got it!!”
    Even still though, sometimes I want change to happen so fast, and I can feel things speeding up, then can feel fear sticking in my throat and everything starts slowing down again… I REALLY want to get OUT THERE again and adventure again! I feel like I am not done adventuring yet!
    Love you guys!

  3. Momma Jorje

    November 12, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Beautiful photos! That tarantula, btw, looks to be an Oklahoma Brown (also known as a Texas Brown, but I’m from Oklahoma).

  4. Michelle Fecteau-Holmes

    February 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Sarah don’t know if you remember me (I’m your cousin Courtney’s mom) but, if you and your family ever make it to Tennessee I would love to have you and your family visit. We are and hour outside of Knoxville, and hour and a half from chattanooga and 2 hours from nashville. Great state park not far from my home. Hope your travels are going well.


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