Tag Archives: Palo Duro Canyon

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Two MUST See Museums in Texas

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Two MUST See Museums in Texas

Two must see museums that exist are in the vast plains of the Texas Panhandle.  One is the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.  panhandleplains.org


  • Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 063 (800x600)

It is billed as the Smithsonian of Texas. I agree. Here is a very short walk among a few of the countless exhibits.

First there was the land and the ancients that lived there millions of years ago.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 100 (800x600)Dinasaur (800x600)

But there were people who lived there first.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 131 (800x600)Tale a close look at this beautiful sculpture. You can see my reflection taking the photo graph creating a sort of mask.  I think it is nice that I am reflected in this Native American artwork.

But then other people wanted the land and they came to settle driving off the other people who were there first.  We all know this sad story.

The XIT Wagon (800x600)

The Windmill (800x587)But they harnessed the wind to make the area livable. Change livable to habitable. I do not think I want to live there.

Cars (800x600)

And then people more came.

Oil (800x589)Because those dinosaur relatives in the dinosaur exhibit left fossil fuels – OIL, that is. Black gold. Texas tea.

Some stayed on their way to California and others moved on down Route 66. Who remembers Burma Shave signs?  My mother referred to places to stay along the road as tourist courts.  I doubt she would have stayed in one with a grasshopper  as the symbol.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 087 (600x800)Burma Shave (600x800)Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 086 (800x600)

The Panhandle-Plains Museum is dedicated to The Pioneers – extraordinary brave people who took risks to live their dreams. Two of three top ten tourist sites in Texas are in Canyon.  I hiked the Palo Duro Canyon walking where ancient creatures, civilizations and cultures walked And I visited The Panhandle-Plains Museum that tells their story.

Then second must see museum is The Frontier Texas in Adeline.  www.frontiertexas.com

This is small, but dynamic, very interactive museum and should be on a Texan’s bucket list.

I did not take many photographs at this museum.  Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 017 (800x600)

It tells a more detailed, intense story of how the how the people came and lived and died. The holograms telling the story are so life-like you want to reach out and touch them.  The story is told from all who settled, were settled and then resettled again in the country known as the plains of Texas.  There were Native Americans, cowboys, settlers, pioneers, ranchers, business people and all kinds of people. There were men and women of all different colors and genders.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 013 (800x600)Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 014 (598x800)

The story of the destruction and progress of cultures is not pretty, but it marks a point in history and tells all of us who are native Texas who we are and makes of us both proud and ashamed of our country.

OK – it is a state, but it is a state of mind and the state is mine.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 015 (800x599) Seems as though a tooth brush salesman would have made a fortune in the frontier.

God Bless Texas!

Saturday, April 25, 2015 – The Lighthouse at Palo Duro Canyon

Saturday, April 25, 2015 – The Lighthouse at Palo Duro Canyon

On everyone’s bucket list should be experiences to view the wonders of God and the works of nature created by Him.

On Monday, April 20, 2015, BFF Luddite and I hiked The Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon. Palo Duro Canyon, at 120 miles long and 800 feet deep, is the second largest canyon in the United States and is referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Palo Duro is Spanish for hard wood with reference to the Rocky Mountain juniper trees found in the canyon.

The Lighthouse Trail leads to the Lighthouse formation created by erosion of winds and waters. The Lighthouse is 310 feet high and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. The trail is considered moderate in difficulty and with a total roundtrip of 5.75 miles.  Note: this does not include the last 600+ yards of climb.

Ready? Here we go. FYI – Click on a photo to enlarge. Then use the back arrow to go back to the blog.

Start We’re off. Staring time about 9:30 am

Trail StartMost of the trail is flat.

Distance        Look closely in the center of the photo. This is the first site of the Lighthouse. We’re about two miles away.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-19 064 (800x600) With the telephoto lens.Why you need poles

Why trekking poles are good to have.  Trail 1 As one approaches the Lighthouse the trail narrows and becomes more rocky. This is taken looking backwards. Poles are good.

Trail Up 1 From a plateau. Almost there, but you can see we still have a climb.

Trail Up 2Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 025 (600x800)But we made it.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 027 (800x600)The Canyon from The LighthousePalo Duro Canyon from the Lighthouse formation.Looking back Looking back, you can see the trail.

But what goes up, must come down. If you look closely, you can see a dark streak.  This is where I slid down on my feet, guided by my trekking poles and my butt never touched the dirt. Thank you KQ for such strength and agility.

Coming downCactus Flowers Cactus flowers growing from the side of the canyon.

We arrived at the starting point about 2:30 PM. What a great day.