Flooding in Palo Duro

Twenty minutes went by sitting and waiting to get in to the canyon, and when I finally pulled up to the window the ranger looked in at me and knew that I was headed down there for a run. You get that a lot and invariably there are kind words and questions and trail recommendations (usually the easier trails), and it’s always helpful and considerate questions like:

“Did you bring enough water for the run?”

“It’s pretty dusty today, consider covering your face while you run!”

“Have a good run down there!”

“Oh, are you going running, think about the Sunflower Trail.”  (I like to think of it as the Pansy Trail, but it’s a nice little 1.17 m hike near one of my favorite trails, the Rock Garden Trail).

Today, a look of sincere apology stole over the Rangers face and she told me that water crossing 1 and 2 were closed effectively ending my run for today. I know I could have hit up the shorter CCC trail and the one that’s behind the lodge looking building when you just get down to the base of the canyon, but they don’t really offer the challenge of the Rock Garden Trail or the sense of accomplishment that the Lighthouse Trail offer.

To add insult to injury, the bridges that will make closings at the water crossings unlikely in the future have been delayed by the rain storms. They were supposed to be finished by today, Memorial Day, but do to the incredible and lovely rain we’ve had they are not finished. To make it even worse, the weather today was in the 60s at nearly noon with a nice little breeze that would have made running a delight down in the canyon.

Well, it looks like I need to buckle under and hit the pavement for today. Here’s hoping that Palo Duro will get the best of the water and open those bridges up!


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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