Gypsy's Travels

Friday, June 26, 2009

Travels with Abs - A Day in Canyon, Texas

It was Abs who really wanted to go to the PPHM (Panhandle Plains Historical Museum) in Canyon, Texas. I was reluctant to spend $14.00 (with discounts) for the entrance fees, but it turned out to be a great buy. We spent 4 hours at the museum and Abs read almost every notation. My mother once refused to enter a museum with me because I read all the notations, but Abs outdid me this time. It helped that the museum provided “bingo” cards and a prize for finding all the items on the card. One of the kind security people advised Abs to look at all the handwritten cards and find the one by the director of the museum to win an additional prize. Abs left with a postcard and a ball containing…what else….a dinosaur. In addition to the competition, the prizes, and the wonderful air conditioned facility, we learned a lot of interesting things.

We spent the afternoon picnicking, then driving through Palo Duro Canyon State Park. I talked Abs into hiking one of the trails by offering to walk 1 mile out and 1 mile back instead of 2 miles round trip. We didn’t make even one mile on the 100+ heat. It had actually inched up a couple of degrees by the time we returned.
Even our short hike revealed a baby snake, a host of bees attracted to native trees, checkered back lizards, lots of birds, bugs,
a heart-shaped rock,
and a flock of wild turkeys. These are the scroungy looking things George Washington wanted for our national emblem? There were more around and they did look better when they fluffed up their feathers.

As we continued our driving tour, Abs spotted an outcropping that appeared to provide a sheltering cave high on a mesa. Suddenly, she was all about hiking and climbing…in the heat…with the bugs…and the hot sun. I grabbed 2 bottles of water, figuring this hike would not last any longer than the last one. Surprise! Abs climbed all the way, groveling in the red sand, and stuffing her pockets with treasured rocks (I know, that was illegal). Tired and dirty, we picnicked again and went to the Pioneer Theater for the musical, “Texas!” I had booked the tickets on-line and did not realize how close they were to the stage. Abs could not even see over the rocks in front of her. Fortunately, even though there were 750 people present, the seats were not all full and we were able to move back several rows. Abs was so excited that she chattered through almost the entire performance and punctuated her comments, with “WOW!” “Wow! Look at those special effects. Wow! Those are real horses. Is that a real fire? Is this a true story? The Indians only got to show up two times. Look, that girl is wearing her cowboy boots and all the other girls have dancing shoes.” On and on amidst my “shushing,” hoping the people seated around us would not be able to hear her, or at least they would be amused by her excitement. To their credit, no one said anything.
Tired, dirty, and still happy, Abs had a bath and was in bed by 11:30. I opted for some quiet time.


  1. WOW! It takes me back to some of our trips when the girls were younger.

  2. Did Abs GP have anything to do with her interest in Paleoathology, I seem to remember that while in JC, he and a friend used to go out on digs. His friend found some unknown creature and as a result got a full ride scholarship.

  3. Except for the heat, your adventure sounds so fun. You are a wonderful Grandma--patient, teaching, giving her time to learn in her own way, enjoying her personality. Awesome! You are doing the best thing a Grandma can do--making lasting memories.

  4. Abs interest is her own and I have no idea from whence it originated. Her knowledge of the subject is quite extensive.


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