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.

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