I dropped the hikers off and then headed around the road to the spot where they should come out. Due to all the rain Texas has had lately, the main road is closed due to the flooding at the low water crossings so it is no longer a loop. They are working on replacing the low water crossings with regular bridges.
Unfortunately I couldn't get to the pickup spot I planned on so I quickly headed back around with plans to cut through a day use area to get close enough for the kids to hear me call. I was just ready to turn in when Steve appeared at the entrance. They realized I couldn't pick them up where we planned so he figured out where I would probably go so he left the kids and Angus in the shade and jogged up to meet me. Then all of us headed out to tour the rest of the park.
See the cave in the center?
Here's a close up, there are actually two people in the cave.
This tells a bit more about the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon,
We saw this cute little wooden camper at one of the outlying campgrounds.
These are the Cowboy Cabins available for rent. They have the full set-up including A/C.
We also saw this guy crossing the road.
We also went back up the winding road to the Visitor's center where I took these photos. Just so you know, the only cell phone service in the park was standing on the point up above the Visitor's Center. It was pretty windy so hearing was not great.
This is not a great picture but you can see the famous "Lighthouse" formation. It is in the right third of the picture a little above halfway up. They have a telescope so you can get a closeup view of it.
The Visitor's Center is perched on the side of the canyon. It was originally going to be a three story lodge but money ran out so it is only one story.
As with many state parks, the Civilian Conservation Corps was responsible for a lot of the building accomplished. We have a lot to thank them for the great legacy they left behind.
We made another stop at the Trading Post where we checked out the birding station. The kids had a great time identifying the birds they saw by looking at the pictures posted in the blind. We also saw some wildflowers.
Even thistles can be beautiful.
This was our campsite at Hackberry Campground. When you make your reservations, you have a choice between Hackberry which has 30 AMP or Sagebrush and Mesquite which have 50 AMP. Sagebrush is located nearer the front of the park and Mesquite is located far back in the park. They are lumped together and you don't get a choice between them. I chose to go with Hackberry since it is closer to the front rather than take a chance on being all the way back in the park. It was a very good choice as Hackberry sites have more privacy.
This was the view out my back window.
Sagebrush Campground was full of large travel trailers, mostly airstreams. Mesquite was also full of large RVs. So it is entirely possible to get larger RVs in and out of the park. I, for one, am very grateful that we did not meet one of them on our way in or out. If you meet another large RV, one of you will be backing up until you get to one of the tiny pull off areas......not fun.