When I moved to the panhandle from El Paso, I was positive the entire area was flat as a board. I'd been here less than a week when a friend suggested a trip to Palo Duro Canyon.

I got to experience that thing all newcomers do, when they get the first glimpse of the beauty, that is just a miles to the south of us.

I've never seen the Grand Canyon, because I don't need to, Growing up in El Paso, was desert living and I loved it. I missed the mountains, water, and the desert floor. Driving down that long road to take you into the canyon, for the first time, is magical and I love sharing with people, who have never done it.

Going to the canyon, was one of those great college things you do. If you're going to hike to the lighthouse (and everyone should), early spring is the best time to avoid the summer heat. We could still do Devil's Slide back then and I can say I did it once. I even rode on the Sad Monkey Railroad and the view was just stunning.

In June, all the girls have their summer clothes on, and it's time to meet up at Cottonwood which we called the "beach." I was in the Texas drama my first summer and the drive down to the amphitheater never got old.

A very good friend asked that we scatter his ashes in the canyon and we did. We found some water and a beautiful secluded place to perform this last act of love. It's wonderful place to spend eternity.

What are your favorite memories of Palo Duro Canyon? Let us know in the comments below.


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