Monday, July 20, 2009

weekend getaway

If you know me very well, you know I'm a homebody. Usually on my vacation time I'll make a quick trip to see family, or pretty much stick around home and take care of business and be lazy.

My sis-in-law and a couple of friends and I left Saturday morning for a little weekend getaway to the Palo Duro State Park. It's outside of Canyon, about 20 miles from Amarillo, and probably about a 5-6 hour drive from the DFW area, depending on your driving/stopping habits. The strip from Wichita Falls to Amarillo is punctuated with several small towns along the way. There's Electra, Vernon, Quanah, Childress, Memphis, Clarendon, and Claude. Depending on your mindset, it can either be a desolate strip of road, stretching for miles between towns, or you can recognize it as a piece of Americana, or more appropriately, Texana. As we paused at the red lights along the way, you could see the side roads that in their hey-day probably bustled with people on Saturdays when Panhandle folk came to town to do their shopping.

(bus·tle 1 (bsl)
intr. & tr.v. bus·tled, bus·tling, bus·tles
To move or cause to move energetically and busily.
n.
Excited and often noisy activity; a stir.

We went to see Palo Duro's musical theater production of Texas, and see it we did, along with about 1500 other people. A 600' cliff is a scenic background to the outdoor stage, and the cast includes children and horses. Quite a few of the performers come from the Panhandle colleges. I took this picture trying to adjust my camera, but it gives an idea of the setting. Silly me, I didn't turn around and click the back side of the stage. Oh well, another trip! (check out the link and you'll see some good pics)

We went to Grooms to see bronze sculptures of Jesus' journey to the Cross. One of the Linda's in the group particularly requested to see this (turns out we had 3 Linda's when you count that Kay's first name is Linda though she goes by Kay), and it was well worth the little drive on down I40, going east from Amarillo.

One of my interests is old cemeteries. What can I say, I like going through them. Many years ago, when the kids were young, we were driving along a dirt road to get to a main road, and stumbled across a cemetery that had 4 headstones lined up that were in the shape of tree trunks. Thus my introduction to Woodmen of the World, a fraternal organization that has life insurance. Since then my eyes are usually drawn to these distinctive markers, found in even the most remote locations. Well. In one of the little towns, on one of the little side roads, was a monument store. You know what I'm talking about, those places that sell the headstones. From the highway I was able to see at least a couple of the tree trunks standing tall among the rest. What's this???? They sell Woodmen of the World markers???? Bear in mind, most of the ones I see have dates from the 1800's. We made a u-turn, and went back to look. I'm thinking, what are these doing here? Is this a burial ground for old markers??? Since these had names and dates, one of our group suggested that maybe all of these markers were either samples or mistakes. The store was not open (probably by appointment only or something), but I jotted down their phone number. I just may have to see if any of these are for sale. Think it would freak anyone out if I put one in my back yard?


3 comments:

Sherry said...

We've driving by the Palo Duro Canyon sign numerous times and neither of us...even before we were a couple...ever stopped. We did a few years back and absolutely loved the place and its history. We did not stay for the play though thinking we'd be back another time. Hasn't happened yet.

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Sherry said...

Oh, I forgot what else...

I'm a Woodmen member! I want one of those trees! But, wouldn't it look just neat in a kitchen garden?!

Penny said...

Oh I love Palo Duro Canyon! I camped there one weekend whem my kids were little and the wind came roaring down the canyon and scared us to death. It was GREAT! Sounded like howling banshees.

Elsie, I didn't want to post on my blog about exactly when we are leaving because it is not definite and my husband's boss sometimes reads my blog (she is a quilter - and a lovely woman). We are hoping to pack up and move home at the end of the year. Keep your fingers crossed!