People laughed at me my senior year of high school when I told them that I wanted to leave the metroplex and move to the panhandle. They told me that after I ate at Kabuki Steak House and then I’d have exhausted everything there is to do in Amarillo, and that I’d transfer back to UNT to be with the other 749 people in my graduating class.
Boo the metroplex.
They didn’t realize that one of my big draws to this University is it’s location.
West Texas may not the prettiest part of the world, but Palo Duro Canyon is beautiful, and it’s only ten minutes from campus.
Before I even bought books my freshmen year, my best friend, Matt, and I drove to the State Park and purchased year long passes. For the next two years, I would spend every Monday afternoon using and abusing the mountain biking trails that twist through Palo Duro Canyon. And, though it may be cliche, my favorite is the lighthouse trail.
For three miles it is mostly uphill, with some good jumps, and twists and turns. Eventually you’ll reach a picnic table and a bike rack to leave your wheels at while you hike for thirty minutes or so to the peak. Then you turn around and go home on the same trail you came in on, which is mostly downhill, with some excellent jumps.
The problem, however, is that there is a history of adrenalism, (which is a made-up word describing a severe addiction to adrenaline rushes,) in my family. My older brother and I actually went skydiving over Christmas break, cause we both have always wanted to jump out of an airplane. ( which you could read about more in my personal blog.)
I don’t have a death wish.
On the contrary, I love life.
But I love the pitter patter that I get from pushing limits, testing boundaries, and being way up high.
That means, that whenever I get to Palo Duro Canyon on my bicycle, that I try things that I shouldn’t. I see potential fun down every cliff side, and I like to go as fast as I can.
You don’t have to be crazy to utilize this State Park that is so close to campus.
In fact, just this weekend my friends and I loaded up a few trucks and went camping out there.
It was an excellent get-away that was only a few miles away.
My fellow students and I circled up around a campfire, drank Orange Crush and Dr. Pepper and roasted mallows and hot dogs until we were so full that we couldn’t get out of our lawn chairs.
No wonder Palo Duro Canyon was second from the top in the pro-column for WTAMU whenever I was picking colleges. Having a giant park to go hike, camp, bike, run, drive, and play in is not only an inexpensive pass time for a college student, but a healthy one.
Or, I guess healthy for people who aren’t suffering from adrenalism.
Utilize the resources you’ve got!
Canyon is close to The Canyon.
Hence the name.