Monday, July 27, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon

We're off! We left Austin about noon on Saturday, spent the night at Abilene State Park, and arrived at Palo Duro Canyon Sunday about 4:30. Just before leaving, we were thrilled to learn that my niece, Anna and her husband, Joel McElhany, have a new baby boy, James Allan (Jamey), born Friday morning.

With Austin being so dry, we were amazed to find North Cantral Texas green and lush. The drive north was beautiful, and even Lubbock looked inviting! It's a little drier outside of Canyon, but even they have had rain recently.

Sunday evening we set up camp and went down into the canyon to see the acclaimed musical drama, "Texas," performed at the ampitheater in the park. Light rain began to fall near the end of the production, and we were delighted to spend a night with rain drumming on the roof of the RV. Monday was cloudy until noon, but even when it cleared the temperature on the rim was only 90 degrees.

We took a short hike in the canyon in the afternoon, but it was much warmer there. On the way out, we did get a good look at "Gravy," one of two members of the official State of Texas longhorn herd. His pal, "Biscuits," was hiding in the mesquite.

We enjoyed our stay at West Rim RV Park. The dogs were especially happy to find that Sugar, the yellow lab/put bull mix they played with last visit was still in residence. She has been joined by a Catahoula-mix puppy, Angel, who joined in the dog play.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shakedown Cruise

In preparation for our upcoming trip to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Kansas, we took Falcon and J.R. to San Antonio in mid-July. While there, Nickie and I competed in an agility trial sponsored by the San Antonio affiliated dog clubs, and had a great time. In spite of her handler's gimpy leg, Nickie collected 6 ribbons for her 12 agility runs.

Nickie and I spent the first night in the hotel with Agility Friends Carol Hardaway and Gabby. Then we joined John at Traveler's World RV Park. The park was the "designated RV park" for the dog show, and accommodated us by running shuttles to and from the Convention Center where the show was held. (You haven't lived until you've snuggled up in a van with a Border Collie, a Great Dane, several Chinese Cresteds, a Golden Retriever and a cranky Chihauhua, plus all their owners, handlers and paraphernalia!)

John had fun, too. He loves to fix things, and was immediately engaged when J.R.'s AC unit quit working upon arrival in San Antonio. Fortunately, an RV repairman lives in the park, and the two of them had it up and running soon. Good thing, too, it was at least 106 degrees in the shade.

Other than that, Falcon and J.R. performed flawlessly, and we were really glad to get some of the kinks out before starting our big trip.