Lasting Impressions of Texas & Palo Duro Canyon

When I was around 12 years old, I visited Palo Duro Canyon for the first time and saw Texas, the Outdoor Musical Drama. While it’s been more than 35 years since my first visit, I still remember looking up to the top of the canyon from my seat in the amphitheater and seeing the lone horseman waving the Texas flag before the music started. The dancing and singing were incredible and at the time I remember thinking that would be fun to do some day.

Nearly 10 years later, I returned to the Texas stage, not as a dancer or singer. I just happened to be visiting Amarillo and drove over to see the canyon again. When I passed the production stage, a friend of mine snapped pictures of me and I kept them after all these years.

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Several months ago, I visited the area again. My dreams of singing and dancing dashed years ago when I competed in the Miss Polk County Pageant in Livingston, Texas and was required to move my feet to the music. I’m more of a foot tapper and not so much a stepper. Alas, I never expect to receive a call from anyone at Dancing with the Stars for a casting call any time soon.

Instead of focusing on that long, lost adolescent dream, I focused on the beauty of the canyon. I had the opportunity to ride a horse, my first real ride, into the canyon and experience the adventure first hand and not just through a camera lens.

While I recognize our Texas canyon isn’t as large and well-known as that other one, but Palo Duro Canyon is stunning and one of the most beautiful places to see in the Lone Star State, or at least in my humble opinion.
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A few days ago, I was reminded of the canyon and that musical stage while watching the news. Five of the Texas cast and crew were tragically killed in a car accident prior to the final shows of the season. I never made it on the stage but I do work with someone who did. What a small world!

While the season has now come to a close for the year, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Texas cast and crew as well as the other parties involved in the tragedy. Next year, when the show returns, take the time to see it.

For more information about Palo Duro Canyon or Texas Outdoor Musical Drama, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon or http://www.texas-show.com/.

Safe travels!

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Categories: Travel Texas

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