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just a hole in the ground

it takes one whole day to drive to the canyon.  (500 miles).  but we made it on time, by 8PM.

palo duro canyon

the view from the park road down from the entrance. 

palo duro canyon park rd 5 switchback

the drive down into the hole.

airstream setup

everybody lends a hand at the camp site

airstream salad prep station

blueberry pancake mixer

the next morning... we did a quick bike ride around the camp loop.

palo duro bike

palo duro canyon kids

we have an established camping schedule, do the hard/challengine hikes before lunch (before it gets hot) and easy stuff in the afternoon.  I proposed a few hikes on the map, but kat chose an easy one.  it was easy, it was short and I don't even have any pics worth showing.  I was a bit annoyed.  kat said she was planning to do the BIG hike in the afternoon.  I was a bit skeptical, but said I'd try if she would.  she chose the mountain bike trail.

105 degree canyon bike trail

yeah, it says "104".  and yeah, she doesn't really ride a mountain bike and has no real trail experience.  I said "this is a bad idea".  but we pushed onward.

city bike on the mountain bike trail

and pushed she did.  mostly pushed instead of rode her bike.  it didn't really work on those trails.

pushing the city bike up the mountain trail

I'd ride ahead and wait in some shady spot.

I admit defeat

"I admit defeat" she said after about 20 minutes.  I pledged to drive around and the park, in the A/C.

palo duro canyon rock garden

I spotted these rocks not too far off the road.  we climbed up the canyon to get a closer look.

rock shelter

total and complete asshole guy

the next morning:  we had an early breakfast and took the kids to see the old cave and the rock garden trail.  they loved it. 

palo duro canyon cave

the cave

palo duro canyon cave

He's at the age where he wants to climb on all the rocks. 

palo duro canyon old cave

palo duro canyon schuster

down one side of the canyon, and up the other. 

palo duro canyon boys

palo duro rock garden

so we left the canyon a day early.  the mid day temps were too hot to enjoy the outdoors and our camp site had many flies.  I figured we could come back a day early, and have a mini staycation in austin.

cooper's barbecue:

cooper's barbeque bbq llano tx

We decided to try some of the other famous bbq places to compare to the Franklin brisket.  so we I drove for almost 7 hours from palo duro canyon to llano for dinner at cooper's.

cooper's ribs llan coopers

we all agreed, the brisket was NOWHERE near as good as Franklin.  and the ribs were also less impressive.  #1 son did vouch for their onions.  he LOVES raw onions.  he stacked a slices of jalapeno sausage, onion and a bit of sauce for the perfect bite. 

he loves to eat raw onions

my labor day staycation idea was a failure.  I'd tried to drag the wife out for a nice lunch at sway, but we couldn't play nice.  I sort of painted myself into a corner.  I interrupted the wife while she was reading on her iphone.  she was annoyed and I apologized.  my apology only made things worse, I didn't realize that I shouldn't do so because that just makes her look bad. 

turns out that is my MO, make her look bad by saying I'm sorry (I’m a real jerk that way).  and there I found myself, unable to apologize for apologizing too much, and both of us upset.  we ended up with lunch at an empty food trailer court.  we ate outdoors in 97 degrees temps, nobody else was around.  the food trailer guys even closed after they served us and waved goodbye as we sat there sweating.  should've just stayed in that big hole up in palo duro instead of digging myself an apology hole back in austin.  sometimes, you just can't escape your destiny.   


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