Kansas City & West — Day 8 (Tucumcari, NM)

      This was strictly a driving day, a particularly long ride from Oklahoma City to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Why Tucumcari? We were faced with driving from OKC to Durango, Colorado, a distance of 840 miles over the course of two days. We obviously had to find a way station, a midpoint for an overnight stay. Quite frankly there is very little midway between our two destinations, so we chose Tucumcari because of the presence of a Hampton Inn, our favorite place to stay on the road (because of the great value and the free breakfast).

      Contrary to my statement above, we stopped in Amarillo, Texas, and decided to take a short detour into Palo Duro Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” At 120 miles long and 800 feet deep, it is the second largest canyon in the US. We stopped at the Visitor Center overlook for this view.

Palo Duro Canyon

     Inside the Visitor Center there are several large picture windows with amazing views of the canyon.

Palo Duro Canyon from the Visitor Center

   We drove some of the park roads and took some more pictures from observation points (this one is from the bottom of the canyon).

Bottom of Palo Duro Canyon

  This one is from the top.

Looking into Palo Duro Canyon

      Incidentally, the town of Tucumcari may be the most depressed that I have ever seen. Most of the businesses in town are either boarded up or empty. Many homes also seem abandoned. These poor people. If they wanted to leave, how could they sell their home; who would buy anything here?.

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