A few months back, a fellow giant schnauzer owner had suggested that Palo Duro Canyon was the ideal overnight spot to break up the twelve-hour drive from our home in Texas to our destination in northern New Mexico.
After he showed me a couple of shots he had taken of Palo Duro Canyon, I was sold. Photo opp, I thought. I also took our friend’s advice and booked a cabin at Doves Rest. The cabin we chose allowed pets and was picture-perfect for photographing the canyon’s West Rim.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Cruising along State Highway 217 (Palo Duro Drive), we were so busy chuckling over the name of a general store in the area – the Sad Monkey Mercantile – that we missed the turnoff to Sunday Canyon. When we caught sight of the entrance to Palo Duro Canyon, we knew we’d gone too far and retraced our route.
A mile down Sunday Canyon Road, we turned onto Lighthouse Trail and soon came to the gated entrance to the cabin. We entered our security code into the keypad, parked in the driveway, and began unpacking a few things for our two-night stay.
Our first order was to secure Bullet inside the cabin. The resort management is careful to point out, in their FAQs, the dangers of the nearby cliffs.
The beautiful cliffs around our cabins are made up of Caliche (hard baked clay) and it crumbles under foot. The sheer drop-offs run anywhere to 50-feet to over 200-feet. We ask you to take this under consideration when you bring small children.”
Having spent all day in the car, Bullet was content to sack out on his own bed near the picture window in the living room, in full view of the canyon cliffs.
On our first night at the cabin we had only one thing on our agenda—nothing! We carried our drinks to the flagstone patio to watch the sunset and relax.
“Great choice,” said hubby as he settled into an Adirondack chair to enjoy the pleasant evening. Great choice indeed: private and peaceful, exactly what we needed after a seven-hour day of driving and exploring Caprock Canyons State Park.
The brilliant, colorful sunset slowly melted below the canyon rim, and a crisp breeze crept across the patio. Then thousands of stars studded the dark Texas sky. Tomorrow, we’d explore Palo Duro Canyon State Park.