Day 2, July Escape 2013: Palo Duro Canyon & Santa Fe

Trip Date: July 11, 2013

This year Wendy Kemp joined me for my traditional vacation from the hot and sweltering Oklahoma summer. I’ve already posted about Day 1, our first visit to Palo Duro Canyon for the Texas! musical.


Day 2 Map (click map for slideshow)

We arose to drive eastward once again to Palo Duro Canyon, this time to admire the scenery along the loop road through the park. Near the visitor center, I shot a panorama and then a closer shot with the Spanish Skirts formations visible to the right of center. The eroding folded bulge of colored layers in the canyon wall resemble the clothing in question.

Palo Duro Canyon


Wendy and I posed for a self-portrait and along the drive she had me pull over so we could shoot a stream seeming to wind its way from one of the peaks. I like the composition of her shot better than mine. She noticed little fish babies in the water and prompted me to shoot some of the park’s wildflowers.

The road wound past beautiful canyon walls and peaks, and we clambered out of the car every so often to gawk. As it typical of me, I wandered off to search for vistas to shoot, zooming in slightly at times, while Wendy took the time to admire details close up.

We had lunch at Blue Sky burgers in Amarillo and drove on toward Santa Fe, with I-40 paralleling old US 66. Tucumcari was a pit stop, featuring a closed welcome center with a bum sitting out in front. Farther along, Wendy took a shot of the beautiful clouds above a bank of windmills, as well as rain showers seen from the otherwise featureless and rather lonely US 265 cutoff to Santa Fe.

We arrived at the Luxx in Santa Fe, where we had to park a block away on the street overnight to avoid a parking charge, and I took Wendy to La Plazuela at La Fonda. She had her first taste of polenta, with pork carnitas drizzled with orange sauce and grilled jalapeño relish. I had my typical fajita fare, accompanied by hominy and a yummy sopapilla.

A Night on the Plaza

With a crescent moon above us, we strolled around the historic Plaza, where I took a shot of Archbishop Lamy‘s statue out in front of the cathedral. It meant more to me now, since I recently read Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop.

We also window shopped, with a nifty polymer clay lizard sculpture by Jon Anderson catching my eye. Wendy loved the setting and declared we should spend a week in Santa Fe next summer. That appeals to me, especially if we time our trip with the International Folk Art Market.

The next day we would enjoy a morning on the Santa Fe Plaza and then drive north for a nice hike at Ghost Ranch.

Click here for photos from this day

Day 3 of July Escape 2013 >

< Day 1 of July Escape 2013

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife Wendy and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
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