Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekend Update, Lake Mackenzie TX, Kayak Trip

Sheryl took off for OKC Saturday morning to visit with Kaileigh until Wed. and also pick up Cassie from her summer visiting family. I stayed behind as work calls on Monday, so I was on my own for the weekend (scary as that mite be???) The weather man said rain was in the wind for Saturday and into the evening (when will I learn not to listen to them) I had thought about an over night stay at the lake, but not in the rain (I'll melt!!!). So Saturday was just a lazy day around the house, piddling about and of course not a lick of rain to be found. I decided to head out Sunday for the lake, I got everything ready Sat night for a smooth start in the morn. All went well, got up, coffee, breakfast, gathered up a couple of last minute items and out the is good. Needed gas, so hey, gas is 10 cents less a gallon on the east side of town and on my way...I'll just stop there...not problem you say....guess again, on my smooth start to the day I forgot my wallet (damn I hate getting old(er). I was steaming, another 1/2 hour drive back to the house and then all the way back up here...ahggggg. I can't belive I was so mad at myself, need to work on that, although it doesn't happen to often, thank goodness. Ok, off again to the lake and all went well.
Arrived around 1:00 and as you could imagine the place was packed, power boats every where, but I kinda figured it would be that way, hot summer day in Texas, but took my chance as I really wanted to get out. Well looking at the map seems there is the deep water area and more of a backwater area, well Texans love their big powerful machines so they were all piled up in the deep water area and I had the back waters all to myself...good things do happen.
The backwaters were separated by a couple of bluffs so you could not even hear the power boats and people, just like being on a wilderness lake somewhere far far away. I followed the tributaries of the lake as far as possible, maybe 1/2 mile or so before you couldn't go any farther, I bet few people have ever been up this way, it was great. The waters were shallow and the fish were big, they would scoot across and upstream half out of the water, looked like salmon spawn in Alaska. I think they were carp but hard to tell, however still pretty wild to see.
The geese were also out here in the backwaters, nice part about a kayak, you can just slip right up on the wildlife. Paddled around exploring for about 4 hours before heading home.
Stopped at the senice overlook on the south rim of the canyon, it was so beautiful last time, I just had to have another look. If you ever find yourself in the Amarillo area, take a little side trip through Claude and down Texas 207 for one of the most beautiful drive anywhere, and I've been on some beautiful drives in my time, this one ranks right up there with the best.

The day weekend is winding down now, so I'll say to everyone, get out and explore the back roads in our area and across America, you never know what you mite find.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day Trip of Surprises!!!

Tuesday, Sheryl and myself both had the day off together, our last for a bit as she will be leaving for OKC to visit Kaileigh for a few days and pick up Cassie from her summer visit. We decided a day of sightseeing and exploring the area was in order, we elected to revisit Claude TX, as everything is open now, so off we went around 11:00. On the way , about half way between Claude and Amarillo on the Claude Hwy, we ran across the above, we actually had to do a double take, circle around and come back for another look. Yup those are Combine Tractors buried in the ground and sticking up!!! I guess it is the farmers version of the Cadillac Ranch just West of Amarillo, We got a kick out of seeing it and just had to take pictures, surprise #1

We got into Claude around noon and decided lunch was in order, we though we try the Hole in the Wall BBQ (from the last post) Well it is a cute place but the food was a disappointment. However the story on how the place got it's name is an original, seems a few years back a truck towing a large SUV broke loose and plowed right through the wall where the VW Bug now rests (yes the front of the VW is inside the restaurant) and being used as a condiment bar. After lunch we waled over to the Claude Pharmacy and Soda Fountain for dessert. The place was an old restored soda fountain out of the early 1900s, I had a Root beer Float (yummy) and Sheryl had an Ice Cream Cone (yummy also) They had lots of memorabilia in the store from the area and from a movie (HUD) that was shot there in the 60s.
After the ice cream we walked around the town, took in the local museum (no photos allowed) however we did learn Claude was a pretty big town in it's day and was the only overnight stop on the train ride from Dallas to Denver, seems odd the town didn't grow to a larger city, but that is the case in many small towns all over America.

While walking back to the car we stopped to admire the Armstrong County courthouse in the town square, a grand old building with a lush lawn and beautiful trees.

The lady at the museum had told us about a beautiful drive back to Amarillo, a bit out of the way but well worth the trip, she just had a little difficult explaining her directions, we got the general idea and decided to give it a drive. We were both a bit confused, so me being not a bit shy stopped by the local Sheriffs Department to ask directions, they were much better at giving direction and off we went. Had to take a shot the the Sheriffs department as it is on of the smallest I have ever seen, and yes the county jail is on the second floor.
Our drive took us to and through the lower Palo Duro Canyon, it is several miles across at this point and still just a beautiful as the State Park area. Surprise #2

A lone windmill in the canyon, pumps water for the cattle.

Speaking of cattle, we found this heard at the almost dry river crossing that formed the canyon, we stopped on the bridge (don't worry, not another car in sight) and watched the cow's watching us, made for a cute photo (ok, guess you had to be

Once on the south rim, there was a picnic area right on the rim, we pulled in and just took in the view for a while, what a great day this was turning out to be. We headed out south again looking for our turn off to Amarillo, when we noticed a sign for Lake Mackenzie, well since lakes are few and far between in the neck of the woods (or plains as it were) we decided to check it out.

We were half expecting a dry shallow mud hole but much to our surprise (surprise #3) it was a beautiful blue water lake with lush green trees surrounding it. We found it was also a large municipal park, with boat docks, store, RV and camping areas and an off road riding area. We explored the park and though what a great place to spend the weekend later this summer. I will be checking it out this weekend while Sheryl is in OKC, will report back on the waters as I get the kayak wet again. Our day was drawing to an end, so we headed back to Amarillo and home sweet home. Wow what a great day we had exploring the local area, there is lot's more to explore for our last 2 years here so stay tuned and Love Your Life as we do ours.

Monday, July 9, 2007

No Drive Thru!!!

Another weekend has come to an end, didn't really do much this weekend as Sheryl wasn't feeling to good, plus she had to work. This is Monday and Sheryl did work for a little bit today, but was off at 7:00. We came home and I whipped up one of my dinners, actually one Kayla had reminded me of the other day. A Korean dish I learned how to make while in Korea, I had not made it in a long time and Kayla said she actually missed having it. After dinner Sheryl said, let's go explore the area, so off in the jeep we went. We ended up in the little town of Claude, TX. where we found this BBQ place pictured above, we both just laughed out loud when we saw it and just had to have a picture. The whole town was pretty much closed, but they do have a small town square, a museum and an old fashion soda fountain as well as the BBQ joint, we will come back another day to check it all out and will have more to talk about then.
The veggie garden is really taking off, much bigger than last posting, tomato's are beginning to ripen, plants are blooming flowers and the lettuce just needs to get a little bigger. First thing will be to pick some lettuce, tomato's and red onion, bring them in and make a salad, can't get any fresher than that.....yummy!!!
The tree we thought we killed is really coming back, even more leaves and flowers every day and since this picture was taken a couple of days ago......were so happy we didn't murder the poor thing.
The front gardens are just a flowering away also, all the flowers and plants make the front of the house look really nice and all the rose bushes make for a wonderful aroma when you walk outside or are just hanging out on the front porch swing.
That's about it for the weekend update, so take care and see ya on the puter.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Happy 4th everyone!!! hope you all had a good 4th and didn't have to work tooooo hard. Sheryl did have to work :( so I had to celebrate with out her, I had the day off, so I decided it was a good day to just do nothing, so nothing it was. I did run out to Wally World for beer and wine for the evening festivities that were forth coming. Our neighbors invited me over to spend the 4th with them, so of course I accepted, Brandon and Julie are great folks. Had Sheryl been home we would have done the same thing anyway.
Bandon cooked up some of Julies special recipe hamburgers and there were great!!! along with hot dogs and all the other all American BBQ fixins. We spent most of the day just chatting, watching the kids play and waiting for the fireworks to begin. Brandon picked up some fireworks from the local vendor and was having fun with the kids setting them off. After they were done all fingers and toes were accounted for, so another lucky and safe holiday was here.
One of the nice things about living on the plains, is you can see forever, which made watching fireworks from every direction around the house. The main show came from the city park a few miles away, but it was just like having front row seats here in our yard. Some of the other smaller towns were sending up their share as well as many of the local farmers and ranchers.

Well another holiday has come and gone, we were reminiscing of how just a short year ago we had just met Bandon and Julie, spent the 4th in the same way as this year and had just a good a time. In an earlier post you noticed we had planted a tree in the back yard and we were just tickled pink of how nice it looked. Well needless to say a week or so later, we noticed the tree was beginning to lose it's leaves, then one day we looked and all the leaves had fallen off, boy were we bummed. Thought sure something had happened and the tree had kicked the bucket, well yesterday before work Sheryl was yelling for me to come outside and low and behold, new leaves were sprouting everywhere, we were both excited and relieved we didn't kill our new addition to the family (I'll post some picks of it's amazing come back soon) That's it for now, again hope you had a good holiday and also took a few minutes to remember what the holiday was all about, damn we live in the best country in the world!!!!