Valentine’s Day RV Weekend

Our little getaway to Caprock Canyons State Park

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The weather has been truly outstanding for the past couple of weeks, and we finally got out in the RV for Valentine’s Day weekend, after more than three months of missing our RV travels.  Even though Hubby is out of vacation days until early March, we still managed a quick trip out to Caprock Canyons State Park for the weekend while the weather was pretty much perfect.

We hoped to once again see our bison pals, but they were likely down in the remote parts of the canyon where the temperatures are a bit higher than they are up on the rim where the RV campground is.  As the weather warms up, they will likely return to areas where visitors can see them once again.

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We looked and looked for the bison, but they were nowhere to be found on this trip.

 

 

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Our bison pals, including a cute baby, back in the early summer of 2015

 

I had one interesting live photographic subject during the trip, though, as a pretty roadrunner decided it was time to pose for a photo shoot in the nice morning light.  My only real challenge was to capture the roadrunner without a lot of bison droppings in the photo along with it.  While the bison couldn’t be found last weekend, their remnants were certainly still there!

These are my first decent photographs of a roadrunner, and I’m happy to share them today.  Note the difference in the feathers on the head in the two photographs.

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Beautiful roadrunner!
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Feathers on the head are up!

 

This roadrunner didn’t seem to mind me gradually inching closer and closer for the shots, but when I was finished taking photos, it immediately took off running at full speed, a fun site to see.  Fortunately, I didn’t see a coyote in pursuit, even though we heard several of them in the early nighttime hours on Saturday night near our RV.  I love to hear coyotes howl.  It always gives me chills to hear them at night in the vast expanse of this lonely and beautiful land, and I can’t help but feel very fortunate to see and hear nature at its best at times like this.

I also captured a few photographs of the prairie dogs near our campsite, including the faithful “guard” to the RV campground entrance.  This one also greeted us repeatedly on our last trip at the end of October, and I was glad to see it still on point and performing it’s duties nicely.  These prairie dogs definitely saw their shadows on Ground Hog day a couple of weeks ago, but I’m not so sure that we are due six more weeks of winter.  The weather has truly been beautiful lately and looks to remain that way for the near future.

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Prairie dog at the entrance to the campground

 

I just adore the beautiful red canyons in this park, and the next photo is a slightly zoomed-in view from our campsite on this trip.  Not all of the RV sites afford this great sight, so we were once again fortunate to grab a site with a view.  Whether we have a canyon view or not, we always love to camp here, as the sites are spacious and well separated from next door neighbors.

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View from our campsite, slightly zoomed-in

 

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The panoramic view, looking northwest from near the campground

 

One of my favorite spots in any park we’ve ever visited is the amphitheater here in this park, which is just a nice walk down the road from the campground.  The views are just breathtaking, and I always make at least one solo walk here on each trip for a little quiet time, usually in the morning when the light illuminates the canyon walls so nicely.

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Walkway to the amphitheater

 

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Mere photos don’t do justice to the grandeur of this beautiful spot.
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One of the prettiest places to be in the morning!
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View looking west from the amphitheater

On Saturday afternoon, we rode the highway loop from Quitaque to Flomot to Monk’s Crossing and back to the park on the motorcycle, which is always an enjoyable ride in pretty weather.  Clarity Tunnel (aka The Bat Cave) is undergoing some work at this time, and the work is scheduled to continue through sometime in April.  We still want to ride the rail-to-trail route on our bicycles to the cave sometime, but we definitely need to do it in cool weather.  Friends have made this ride and loved it, and I’m ready to check it off my “bucket list,” hopefully sometime this year.  If not, we would also enjoy reserving a spot on the new shuttle bus in the park to ride to the cave one evening this summer, too.

Lake Theo in the park is still full, as the snows back in January no doubt helped to keep it that way.  We enjoyed a nice hike with the dogs to the lake and saw many people fishing and just enjoying their day out at the lake in the beautiful weather once again.  Here are some photos that I took of the lake a few months ago soon after the rains filled the lake.  It is a beautiful place, especially when things are green and the wildflowers have bloomed.

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Lake Theo after rains filled the lake, Spring 2015
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Day use area and swimming area at Lake Theo
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So great to see the lake up again, especially at the fishing pier.

 

I haven’t even shared any photos down in the canyon in this post but will do that another time.  The canyon area in this park is truly striking, and in some ways, we think it is prettier than it’s more popular big cousin, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is about two hours to the northwest.  Both are beautiful places, to be sure, but we are especially fond of this gem of a park.

 

 

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