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Old 07-14-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
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Talking Home Sweet Abby

Well, here we are. On the road as much as we can be. I decided to start a new thread about our travels with Abby our 1972 Ambassador we purchased last November. I've done a little work on her to get her road worthy. We have been on a few short trips around Texas in the last month or so since I completed the necessary repairs. I'll do my best to share my perspective on traveling the country towing an Airstream with a family of five. My wife gets the credit for all the great photography.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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Long summer trip to Moab Part 1. Palo Duro Canyon

We left central Texas on a Thursday morning headed for Palo Duro Canyon State park. If you look at the map of Texas, you'll see that it is a LONG drive from central Texas! As usual when this family loads up for a vacation, I want to leave early. That NEVER happens! We left around 11:00 am. I don't normally make reservations for our trips. I like to just blow with the wind and not be tied to any schedule. This time I made reservations at Palo Duro Canyon State park. I knew leaving at 11:00 am we'd be cutting it close to get our spot before the park office closed at 10:00 pm. But off we went! It was HOT! I'm glad that Abby was rolling on new Michelins for the trip.

The first part of our trip took us across some pretty scenery of Texas. I love rural Texas. It always makes me feel like things are good and everything is going to be just ducky!
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I met a lady in Salado that said she had a vineyard in Rising Star. I didn't see any vineyards when we passed through. Rising Star is a town that hasn't changed much lately. It has a cool name and gives you a very optimistic feel.
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This is a scene right from the pages of my youth in Iowa. It is just bigger in Texas!
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They farm a lot of wind in Texas now. Nice to see us harnessing the natural energy that mother earth has given us.
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Post is a beautiful little Texas town that sits at the bottom of the caprock plateau. I wonder if C.W. Post knew the Knowles family?
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We're getting closer to Palo Duro Canyon. Only another 158 miles from Post.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Long summer trip to Moab Part 1.1 Palo Duro Canyon

We made it to Palo Duro canyon state park at 10:22 pm. The gate was closed. There was a nice little sign directing us to the "Late Arrivals" area. We pulled in to see a nice little loop that had a few shrubs and not much else. I said "Well, looks like we're going to be boondocking for the first time!". I got a lot of, shall we say "flack" for that. I then reminded everyone of our three hour late departure and then, silence.
It was about 105 degrees when we stopped in Post. I was a little worried that we wouldn't be too comfortable without the comfort that an AC can provide. Amazingly, the little area next to the entrance gate was on top of the plateau, so there was a nice strong breeze blowing. It was cooling off rather rapidly. After a bunch of adjustments and situating we were settled in for the night. The big surprise was this really cool bull snake creeping around the entrance station. Too bad he was gone when the wife came back with the camera. When we woke in the morning, I was refreshed from a long drive. I was even more amazed at the beautiful sunrise.
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The drive down into PDCSP is a nice ride. Guess I'll be giving the new brakes a test.

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Old 07-14-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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Long summer trip to Moab Part 1.2 Palo Duro Canyon

PDCSP is a beautiful place. Lots of wildlife!

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Old 07-14-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Moves! I see no houses.... Does nobody live there??
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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Moves! I see no houses.... Does nobody live there??
There just aren't enough of us to fill the place up.

Top and his family are driving through the "Great Plains" part of Texas, where there are still many "wide open spaces" and few inhabitants. From where I'm sitting in my living room in Fort Worth, I can see 4 other houses without moving to change my perspective, so we have lots of variety here.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:13 PM   #7
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Sparsley populated

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Moves! I see no houses.... Does nobody live there??
Not too many people call this area home. That is usually where we try to spend our free time. In the wonderful wide open spaces!
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:38 PM   #8
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Long summer trip to Moab Part 1.3 Palo Duro Canyon

We snaked our way down into the canyon. It is the second largest canyon in the US. We got a nice spot next to the dry riverbed.
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We even had some neighbors that also towed an Airstream. And look what they are towing it with! A German oil burner! Sweet!
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To this point in my life I have only seen dung beetles on TV. This guy was working very hard to get his prized ball of dung where he wanted it.
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The deer were very friendly.
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The showers were great. Texas state parks are some of the best places to camp.
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Here is the JA Ranch story. Interesting.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
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Have Laura and the Kids research Quanah Parker. It will give them more appreciation for the Canyon. Great pictures.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Great Pics, Laura!!! Nice narrative, Top!! It's like watching the travel channel. Great STuff. Keep it comin'
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:44 PM   #11
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I was wondering were you were going to post your vacation photos! Very nice Mr. Top.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:02 PM   #12
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Looks like a fun trip. Glad you let us come along for the ride!!!! Keep the pics coming.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:35 AM   #13
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Long summer trip to Moab Part 1.4 Palo Duro Canyon

When you arrive at the campground late and you've been driving for eleven hours, all you want to do is go to bed. That is what we did. We had planned on going to WallyWorld before getting set up at the canyon, but that didn't quite work out, so we drove back out of the canyon to go to the town of Canyon to get some supplies. Canyon is a very nice little town. It is the home of West Texas A&M. Kinda strange considering the fact that when you look at the map of Texas, you wouldn't necessarily think of Canyon being in West Texas. I'm sure there is some underlying story behind it.

When you drive out of the canyon, it looks like this.
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Flat as a pancake! I guess that is why it's called the plains. Now, I grew up in North West Iowa. It is an area that I consider flat. Compared to the Texas panhandle plains, NW Iowa is mountainous!
It has been an awful long time since it has rained here. This guy is asking us to pray for rain.
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It was very hot and windy. I believe it was around 1:00 pm when this picture was taken. It is about 106F.
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See Werner! There are houses here!
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Next time we are in Canyon we'll have to see this museum. I'm sure that there are a bunch of things worth seeing in there.
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There were some cool wall murals in Canyon.
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Not much shade for the cattle but the old Aeromotor keeps on pumping!
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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Long summer trip to Moab Part 1.5 Palo Duro Canyon

After getting our fill of provisions from WallyWorld, we drove back to PDCSP. The panhandle plains are a very inhospitable place this time of year. Hot, dry and windy. Yet the plains are full of cattle hanging around the hay stack and water troughs. Getting plump. Waiting on their chance to have a minute of fame on a BBQ/grill near you!
As you drive East from Canyon, you can tell there is a bit of downward slope. Then you arrive at the end of the plains. This is where the entrance to PDCSP is situated. Canyon country! It is striking. The first time I saw this abrupt end to the plains was when driving on US 84 from Lubbock to Post. For a while it seems that the plains will go on forever, then they just disappear!
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