DAY 8 PLAN: Tulsa to Amarillo


THE PLAN FOR TODAY

DRIVE: Tulsa, OK to Amarillo, TX

  • Break camp
  • CONTINUE DRIVE Tulsa / Oklahoma City / Shamrock / Amarillo
    (approx. 400 miles / 9 hours, less whatever we did yesterday)
  • RESUPPLY en route (if needed)
  • (optional: VISIT ghost town of Foss for photo op/walk)
  • (optional: VISIT Devils Rope Museum, McClean TX)
  • (optional: VISIT ghost town of Jericho for photo op/walk, then DRIVE Jericho Gap)
  • ARR Palo Duro Canyon State Park
  • Set up camp

NITE: “Developed Primitive” Campsite / Palo Duro Canyon State Park campground

ESTIMATED TIMETABLE:

DEP: 0700 – Tulsa OK
(DRIVE: 150 miles / 2.5 hours = 3.5 hours estimated segment time)

DEP: 1030 – Oklahoma City OK
(DRIVE: 200 miles / 3.5 hours = 5.0 hours estimated segment time)

DEP: 1530 – Shamrock TX
(DRIVE: 125 miles / 2.5 hours = 3.5 hours estimated segment time)

DEP: 1900 – Amarillo TX
(DRIVE: 35 miles / 1.0 hours = 1.5 hours estimated segment time)

ARR: 2030 – Palo Duro TX
(515 miles / 9.5 hours drive / 13.5 hours estimated travel)

WEATHER: TULSAOKLAHOMA CITYRED ROCK CANYON STATE PARKCROWDER LAKE UNIVERSITY PARKFOSS STATE PARK | SHAMROCK | AMARILLO | PALO DURO CANYON

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SEGMENT DETAILS

ACTIVITIES EN ROUTE: from Tulsa to Amarillo

The Round Barn – (Arcadia) Located about 9 miles east of I-35 (Edmond), on Old Route 66. The barn is on the north side of 66. (see website) contact: 405.396.0824

  • Built in 1898, it originally served as a home for livestock and also as a place where dances were held for the local townspeople.
  • The only truly “round” barn (most are actually hexagonal or octagonal), it is 60′ in diameter, 45′ in height and two stories high. The structure was designed with the notion that being round would help it withstand Oklahoma’s tornadic conditions.
  • The Round Barn is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is always FREE.

Foss Ghost town – actual ghost town (as opposed to “touristic” attraction)
(see more info)

  • Opportunity for photos and exploring
  • Directions: I-40 exit 53, to inersection of old US 66 and OK- 44, take OK 44 north into Foss

Devils Rope Museum – (museum of barbed wire – highly recommended by other travelers who suggest we take the time to stop and talk with, Delbert Trew, the man who runs it): Open: 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.- Tuesday through Saturday. Phone (806)779-2225
(see website)

  • The major focus of The Devil’s Rope Museum is on barbed wire related items. Housed in a 12,000 square foot, completely renovated, former brassier factory, the complex contains the Devil’s Rope Museum and the Texas Old Route 66 Museum, as well as a large souvenir store.
  • Directions: Located in McLean, Texas, 75 miles east of Amarillo, on I-40 & Old Route 66. Take Exits 141, 142, & 143 to “The Heart Of Old Route 66″ at 100 Kingsley Street.

Jericho Ghost Town – another “real” (as opposed to touristic attraction) ghost town, near the “famous” Jericho Gap

  • Directions: Take I-40 to Highway 70 at Jericho. Turn south on Highway 70 to Jericho.

LODGING: Palo Duro Canyon State Park
11450 Park Road 5, Canyon TX 79015
(see park website)
Phone: 806-488-2227

Developed Primitive Areas: There are two camping areas that have been designated “primitive”. (Cactus and Fortress Cliff) The areas have designated camping sites. Each has a table, a shade shelter, fire-ring and water available in the area. They have no restroom or shower facilities. You may drive (1/2 to 2 miles) to an adjacent camp loop for restroom/shower facilities. A maximum of 8 people are permitted in each site.

FOR CAMPING RESERVATIONS ($3 service charge for reservations): call: 512-389-8900 OR go to online reservations.

RATES: Entrance Fee: $ 5.00/adult, free/children 12 and under (Any facility or overnight fees are in addition to the daily entrance fee.) Developed Primitive campsite: $12/site

DIRECTIONS: (27 miles southeast of Amarillo) From Amarillo, take IH-27 south to SH 217, and go east 8 miles.

NOTES:

2 JAN 2010: just starting to research this one… but looks like the Canyon might be a good place to stay, and i read on one of the rte 66 websites that there is music every evening there in the summertime, so maybe we can here a concert or whatever?

WIFI ACCESS ON THE ROAD IN TEXAS: Wireless Internet service is now available at all Texas Safety Rest Areas and Travel Information Centers. To obtain free travel information and access to the Internet, all you need is a wireless-enabled computer within the Safety Rest Area or Travel Information Center designated “hot spots.” Visit here for more info.

17 JAN 2010: Definitely think we will camp at the canyon (we have to decide between tent camping or cabins… the cabins are actually a bit more “rustic” in terms of location, i think, from what i could tell on the park map — assuming we did the cow camp cabins… which are also the cheapest). We need to make reservations for the camping.

Also think we should plan to stay 2 nights… the first night we will have just arrived, but the next day we can explore the park and in the evening, there is this “outdoor musical” performance in a huge theatre carved into the rocks, and it dramatizes the history of the area and they have a “Texas steak dinner” right before, and it can be kind of a nice thing to do… definitely a bit kitsch-y, but probably really “Texan” in that sense…

6 FEB 2010: Canyon camping choices…

paloduro-overview

Click on map to see it larger.

When doing the Route 66 Amarillo segment, the plan is to stay in Palo Duro Canyon state park. There are a few different options for that park that we should consider (it is one of the places we need to make reservations for, and is pretty popular in the summer, so we will need to decide this early on).

We have choices between 3 camping options: Hike-in backpack camping, “Developed Primitive” campsites, or cabins. Here are the details…

BACKPACK CAMPING: Back-pack camping is permitted only in the area south of the turn-around. You must hike into the area for at least 30 minutes. Water is only available at the trailhead. Fires are not permitted, although stoves with containerized fuel are permitted. You must carry out all that you carry in.

cactuscamplocationDEVELOPED PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES: There are two camping areas that have been designated “primitive”. (Cactus and Fortress Cliff) The areas have designated camping sites. Each has a table, a shade shelter, fire-ring and water available in the area. They have no restroom or shower facilities. You may drive (1/2 to 2 miles) to an adjacent camp loop for restroom/shower facilities. A maximum of 8 people are permitted in each site.

cactuscampdetailCACTUS CAMP: Of the “Developed Primitive” locations, Cactus Camp seems like the better choice for privacy, as there are fewer sites here and they seem a bit more spread out. It seems from the map like it is not far from the river (or creek, or whatever that water source is running through there). Not sure what the location is like visually (or if it is high or low ground, as the map has no relief). Also, it is next to the day use area (don’t know how close, or if that impacts us at all).

fortressclifflocationFORTRESS CLIFF: Am guessing this site is on the highground, so probably has a really nice view. However there seems to be a lot of sites here and they seem pretty close together on the map. Also seems like it is far from the restroom facilities (and if all the campsites are so close together we might rather use the restroom facilities than go out in the bush when the need arises).

fortresscliffdetailCABINS: There are two CCC vintage cabins perched on the rim of the canyon. Though rustic, these cabins have been renovated and have modern heating and cooling systems. Each cabin consists of two rooms plus restroom and shower. Lighthouse has a day bed with a pull-out. Goodnight and Sorenson have full size bunk beds. Both have a queen size bed. There are no kitchen facilities, but there is a table and charcoal grill located just outside. Cooking is not permitted inside the cabins. Bed linens and towels are provided. A maximum of 4 persons are permitted per cabin. (these cabins are a bit pricey at $110 per nite, but there is another option that seems like it might be a good choice: the Cow Camp Cabins, see below)

COW CAMP CABINS: In 1933, the C.C.C. built four very small cabins near the turn-around area of the park. Referred to as “Cow Camp Cabins”, these have been renovated and are available for rent. Three are one-room, and one has a second small “alcove” room off to the side. Each cabin has a full size bunk bed that sleeps four, a small table with two chairs, a small refrigerator, and a microwave. A picnic table and grill are available on the outside. Bed linens and towels are not provided. (Cow Camp Cabins are $60/night)

newcabin1

one of the "cow camp" cabins

We will be spending two nights here in Palo Duro Canyon (and one of the nights we will be going to see the Texas show elsewhere in the Canyon (and there is a dinner right before it, outside at the same location). I think we definitely do not want to do hike-in camping for the night that we are going to the show because after the performance it might be dark, and that is just too complicated… I kind of like the cow cabins… but would be fine with “Developed Primitive” too… what are your thoughts?

16 MAR 2010: Reserved Primitive Developed campsite (no water on-site / bathroom is 1 mile away / car camping permitted). Print and carry email confirmation. Bring own water for drinking. 2PM check-in / check-out. Rangers will assign specific campsite on arrival (reservation only guarantees us a site, not which area).

DIRECTIONS: (27 miles southeast of Amarillo) From Amarillo, take IH-27 south to SH 217, and go east 8 miles.


PLANNING ASSETS

  • Texas state official tourism site (about the state, plus things to do, etc.)
  • Palo Duro canyon state park – has campsites (Developed Primitive Areas – There are two camping areas that have been designated “primitive”. (Cactus and Fortress Cliff) The areas have designated camping sites. Each has a table, a shade shelter, fire-ring and water available in the area. They have no restroom or shower facilities. You may drive (1/2 to 2 miles) to an adjacent camp loop for restroom/shower facilities. A maximum of 8 people are permitted in each site.
    FEE: $ 12.00 per site.) For more about the canyon, read this article.
  • Oklahoma route 66 association website for more info on locations along route in Oklahoma
  • Texas route 66 association – website that also contains a guide of their section of the route
  • visit the Cadillac ranch along route 66
  • TEXAS musical show and dinner at Palo Duro Canyon
  • Foss OK, ghost town that would be interesting as a photo op/walkabout. Here isone guys’ account.
  • The Devil’s Rope Museum – quirky museum about barbed wire in Mc Clean TX