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Texas Road Trip

Sunrise - Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Texas

In my last blog, I said this would be a different photo trip. Rather than towns like Hope, Homer, and Whitehorse, Stephanie and I are now seeing Santa Fe, Pecos, Austin, and Flagstaff. Northern rivers such as the Stillaguamish, Fraser and Nooksack give way to rivers like the Brazos, Rio Grande, and the lower Colorado. All new places we have never been, and each a new experience and adventure.

Cypress Creek, Wimberly, Texas

In my recent “Love of Place” blog, I said I was looking forward to slowing down and looking small. While much of this trip so far has been driving, and meeting deadlines, I have tried to take the time to do that whenever possible, and I hope these photos allow you to get into the desert mindset as well.

Fall Oak, Bandolier National Monument. New Mexico

The southwest desert, while so different than the Pacific Northwest, is incredibly beautiful. Leaving Lake Powell in my last trip report, we visited New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument (thanks to friends who encouraged us to go that way), Red Rock Park outside of Gallup, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. In Texas, we attended a wedding in Wimberly, visited friends in Fredericksburg, and spent two days in Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Panhandle. Tomorrow morning, we head up towards California’s Death Valley to meet our friends Kevin and Jenni from Boise.

Fall Rose Hips, Bandolier National Monument. New Mexico

Here deep in the Southwest, traveling through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, it is easy to slide into the western mindset, to think back in history to the journey west for earlier pioneers, and equally what that meant for those Native Americans like the Apache, Hopi, Zuni, and others.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Texas

Growing up, I loved to read all the Pecos Bill stories, riding catamounts and whirlwinds. And both Stephanie and I, when looking for total down time, have read all the Louis L’Amour books multiple times. Hard not to channel those stories like Haunted Mesa, Last Stand at Papago Wells, or Mojave Crossing when driving down here.

Church Rock, Red Rock Park. New Mexico

If you follow me, you know I love to photograph wildlife. On this trip, from the road, it is a difficult task. My hope to photograph roadrunners, armadillos, and desert sheep have not yet materialized. I did see one of the biggest Texas Longhorn steers ever – it was over six foot in height, with an equal span of its horns. It was behind a fence, and so did not meet my criteria for wildlife – but it was magnificent anyway!

Carlsbad Caverns National Park. New Mexico

Laughing all the Way!

In my Reflection blog for my Alaska trip, I talked about my father, long departed, joining me on these trips. He was a professional truck driver for his entire working life and towing a trailer and getting passed by about a million big trucks on this trip, I cannot help but think of him and his skills and talents – obviously not something that gets handed down through heredity. Some things are just not in the cards, and driving a big rig is not something I could or would want to do. Watching my exploits with the trailer, turning, getting gas in a crowded station, backing up (or more likely avoiding that at all costs) I know my dad is with us on this trip – and laughing all the way.

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