Day 2 – Rocky Mountain High 2017: Deep Canyon, Big Steak


Due to some clever climate control, all parties slept in until almost 8am. Way to go Lady Coach! The cold a/c makes them want to stay under the covers.

To get the day started off right Coach took E, Gman, and Poppy down to the lobby for a breakfast of waffles, eggs, and cereal. Coach had coffee and biscuits for breakfast – mmmmm vacation. Lady Coach got a little time to herself and managed to squeeze in a workout. Today was heavy on the miles covered and low on the stops. However, we had no appointments and no timetable so we took the day as it came. We rolled out of the hotel a little before 10am and our first stop was the 2nd largest canyon in the United States – Palo Duro Canyon.  If you want to read about Coach and Gman’s journey to THE largest canyon – check out the story here.

This trip’s pace has been slowed down by Poppy’s potty training. Like all three-year-olds who need to use the restroom, no notice is ever given before totally fine becomes a pants filling emergency. As we pulled into Palo Duro Canyon, we had one such emergency.  So we “decided” to go to the visitors center as our first course of action. After some relief, we were off to hike the CCC Trail. The trail follows the rim for awhile and then takes you into the canyon itself.  Palu Duro is spectacular and the cool breeze for a pleasant hike.

IMG_0038We even met a new friend along the way.  Hello lizard – what bright colors you have!IMG_0048

Gman ran most of the 1.5 mile hike. Boy loves to run. Coach and E spent time on the hike discussing her favorite part of the trip so far. Poppy helped mom down the trail through hand holding and her famous chit chat. Lady Coach also did quite the attractive dance on the rim of the canyon. I filmed it without her knowledge. Come see me for laughs.

On the way back up the Canyon, Poppy really got her hiking legs under her and was getting after it. Good training for Colorado!

We finished up the hike and we were back on the road again! No trip through the Texas Panhandle is complete without stopping at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. Just before our food came out a large man finished the 72oz steak challenge and received his meal for free. The look on his face said it was not worth it! TeamHovis however had a great time laughing and playing from our balcony table overlooking all the excitement of men trying and failing to repeat the earlier victory of sad-faced man.  A few good steaks and some cold beer hit the spot on Father’s day! Everybody left full and happy! As an aside, Poppy went to the bathroom at least three times while we ate dinner.

The original plan put Cadillac Ranch as our next stop. Lady Coach and Coach put their heads together and changed plans once they realized that the Team had way too much energy just to look at a few buried cars. So Coach hopped on the google maps and found a nice public park – Amarillo’s Memorial Park. We spent the better part of an hour playing, swinging, restrooming, and eating fudge (Lady Coach noticed on the way into the Big Texan that fudge was buy 4 get one free – it seemed to her providence had brought TeamHovis to the Big Texan). Lady Coach particularly liked eating bites of all the other team member’s fudge why they weren’t looking.

Remember up at the top when I said today was a heavy mileage day? Well here is where it started. After we finished up playing we drove by the Cadillac Ranch, “Hey look! Cars in the ground!” and then made a beeline straight for Raton, NM. We drove into a beautiful wide pink sky sunset. We capped the day off by rolling into Raton three and half hours later.

We unloaded the rig, pulled out the couch bed, carried in two sleeping team members, and gave Poppy her own private room. Yes, that is a fabric closet door with a couch cushion mattress and fluffy pig pillow.


See you tomorrow.

We’d also like to thank TeamBeardyMcAfrica for house sitting for us while we’re away!


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