Thursday, April 7, 2011
We spent most of yesterday driving from Santa Fe to the Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo. This was the place we skipped on the way to Santa Fe because it was so cold and windy on Monday. Yesterday was in the upper 80s and breezy. We were all so sick of driving we almost skipped the "Grand Canyon of Texas." I'm very glad we went! It was really cool! The kids loved it. We were able to do a long drive around part of the inner canyon and made many stops to climb rocks, hunt lizards and watch birds. There was a great birding area with feeders and a fountain with a blind for the humans. I saw grosbeaks, towhees, finches, sparrows, thrashers, doves, woodpeckers, cardinals, turkeys and many others. The kids carried their nets and tried to catch lizards, but the lizards were way too fast and had great cover amongst the cactus and prickly bushes. Gene's always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and he really enjoyed Palo Duro. We were so close to the Buffalo Lake wildlife refuge I couldn't stand not going back to the prairie dog town to try to see burrowing owls. We arrived just before dusk. It should have been a good time to see the owls, but either I'm a terrible spotter or just unlucky. I found burrows surrounded by tiny bones and owl pellets so I KNOW they were there, but I didn't see any owls. It probably didn't help my cause that the kids were running around screaming and having tumbleweed races. Speaking of tumbleweeds, both kids are fascinated with them. Apparently on SpongeBob when nothing is happening a tumbleweed blows past. Both thought it was hilarious when a tumbleweed would blow in front of our car and we'd smash it going 80 mph. We hit one particularly big one that will likely be one of the highlights of the kids' trip. They won't remember the beauty of the mountains or all the cool birds we saw, but they'll remember smashing that big tumbleweed :) Back to the tumbleweed races... Kaylin and Logan each found a large tumbleweed at the prairie dog area. They decided to race them down the grassy path. Kaylin's was bigger and it was winning so Logan decided to kick his to move it along. Mistake. He kicked it as hard as he could and got terrible scratches all over his leg. He was screaming and even crying a little. It was such a stupid injury the rest of us couldn't help laughing. He tried to blame it on me by saying I should have dressed him in jeans for the day. Uh, yeah. Ok, sweet little muffin, I'll "dress" you from now on. How about "Don't kick tumbleweeds." Doofus. We spent the night in Amarillo and still have 14 hours of driving ahead. Ugh. I doubt we'll do it all today. We have to get close enough to home that we can pick up Duncan and Tiger before 6pm Friday. That's our only time restriction.