We left Denver about two months ago, and headed into Texas. We went all over the massive state, and I'm now going to recap our time there.
We entered Texas through Amarillo. We met with some family, Ureshkaka, and Bharatikaki, my dad's Aunt and Uncle. It's always nice to meet family and friends who you normally don't see, and we've enjoyed having access to that luxury.
During our time in Amarillo, we found a hidden gem: Palo Duro Canyon. It was amazing to see a canyon (it was the first time I had seen one), and was great preparation for the days to come at the Grand Canyon. We went on three great hikes, each progressively getting better and better. The first was a nature trail, running through the bottom of the canyon. It was an easy, enjoyable hike. The second hike was even better. We saw a roadrunner, and a cowboy dugout (see top picture) while we walked along a creek. It was also an easy hike, and was well worth it! Our third hike was a moderately difficult one, and, in my opinion, the best. It was 3/4 of a mile in to an area that appeared to have experienced a landslide involving lots of rocks falling down a slope many years before. We had to climb up this hill of boulders to get to our reward: a cave. Granted, the cave was shallow, but the views of the canyon were well worth it.
After visiting Amarillo, we moved on to Wichita Falls. It's ok if you've never heard of this place because it's a pretty small town. The only thing we saw worth putting in the blog was a stump of a Sequoia tree. You can see the picture of it in the gallery below.
Our next destination was Waco. Most of you will have likely heard of Waco for a number of reasons. The sole reason that we visited was to go to The Silos, an area created by Chip and Joanna Gaines, the hosts of the TV show Fixer Upper on HGTV. If you haven't heard of them then definitely look these people up. They have made it their mission to help the city grow and become more vibrant. In the heart of the city thrives a family friendly area known as the Silos. The Silos is made up of the bakery, the store and the lawn. The bakery was packed when we were there, and we really enjoyed their cupcakes and cookies. The food trucks parked around the lawn housed a variety of foods, and we were pleased with our food there as well. The lawn was very kid-friendly, and had bouncing balls, building blocks and corn hole. The store sold home furnishings as well as a lot of "Fixer Upper" type products. We bought a book, T-shirt and some ornaments.
Another (small) highlight of Waco was that we were able to try In-N-Out Burger for the first time. For those of you who have never tried this great place, it's like the Chick-Fil-A of burgers: Great service, clean bathrooms and above all, tasty burgers! You must try this place if you go out west!
Well, folks, I've blown through our first couple of weeks in Texas, and I'll fill you in on more of our time in Texas in the State of the Lone Star State Part 2!
P.S. I really don't feel like a woodsman anymore, since the west seems to have a deficit of trees.
Susan Van Valkenburgh
1/30/2019 08:27:57 am
We've been to Palo Duro! So fun seeing your pic in front of the cowboy dugout - we've done that hike and the hike to the cave too! So cool. Jake loved it there and loved climbing the rocks, etc. Missing you guys at track this year!
1/30/2019 10:35:04 am
Wow! How are you guys? Is the team still going strong? We're missing you guys too.
Susan Van Valkenburgh
1/30/2019 10:49:43 am
The team is doing well - first meet is not till the end of Feb but coach has had them practicing since early January (brrrr). Jake is going to do the 800, mile and discuss this year (no shotput). Thomas is doing hurtles again- he has been building his own to practice with, lol. 😆 Looking forward to your next installment on Texas!
1/31/2019 07:40:59 am
Great! Tell them all good luck. I'm excited to hear how they do. Go Fideles!
1/30/2019 08:49:13 am
Will, keep up the great commentary. Lots of fun to read and very interesting are the things you are experiencing. Look forward to Chapter 2.
1/30/2019 10:36:38 am
Thanks, Mr. Richardson. I look forward to Part Two too! (Wow! To Two Too!)
1/30/2019 11:17:41 am
I love how you described being able to visit with f&f as a luxury. That is so awesome and humble all at once! And I chuckled about you not feeling woodsman due to vast barren lands further west:). Wait til you get to northern CA, the redwood forests, and maybe Napa Valley. Not to mention Oregon and Washington. Lots of different landscapes to explore for sure. Look fwd to running into you guys again soon. Keep enjoying and blogging!
1/31/2019 07:40:08 am
As you'll see in State of the Lone Star State Part 2, we've not seen real trees for a very long time. I'm pining away over here. (That was a pun, by the way.)
1/31/2019 08:17:03 am
Haha! I got the pun as I was reading it:). Fun travels!! Blessing in disguise too that dad didn’t have to travel to subzeros this week! Hope to see y’all soon. Hugs n love to all.
2/4/2019 02:07:06 pm
As a Texan, thank you for contributing to our economy. sorry you wasted a trip to W'Falls. LOL - but you made up for it with a trip to Waco. If you make it south, check out Fredericksburg (outside of Austin); Pedernales State Park is excellent. And look up E-rock (Enchanted Rock) - that is a fun hike!
2/6/2019 08:24:59 am
My lips are sealed, but I will say that Part 2 will include some of those things that you just stated. :)
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Will is 15, and enjoys running track, writing,