A day after the clouds arrived, an Artic wind entered. Quickly, the temperature dropped. Gusts reached 20 knots in Palo Duro Canyon, intermittent with periods of calm. Around midmorning, Cody and I rushed to pack our campsite. We wanted to gain ground to see the surrounding flatlands and the approaching storm. The roads were empty as we drove the Park Road leading to the surface. A silence blanketed the canyon as winter's icy grip took hold of the land. Along the rim, gale force winds ripped through the canyon. Standing near the edge was frightening. Walking back to the truck against a sustained 60 mile per hour wind took every bit of strength. We were ready to find lodgings in Canyon, Texas, 12 miles to the west.
View from the Visitors Center, closed for the impending storm.
Our first choice was Hudspeth House Bed and Breakfast located in the historic downtown. The Victorian style home was first built in 1909 from a Sears and Roebuck catalog kit. The cozy period style rooms are modestly priced from $105 a night to $150 including a homemade breakfast and a tea served in the evenings. By the time we arrived, rooms were unavailable as several recent reservations materialized due to the approaching storm. One last hope, the Best Western and luckily a suite was available for $95 a night. The room included a nice salon area with a couch along with chairs, a table, and a fridge. We came to appreciate the amenities when later that evening, throughout the night, and the next day the blizzard roiled through town. Early the next morning, the street scrapping snow plows heralded a break in the storm. During the break, we jumped in the truck and explored the snow-covered town.
Hudspeth House Bed & Breakfast.
Both Cody and I desired to see Palo Duro covered white. While driving out of town heading east, the winds rushed over the plains filling the air with ice obscuring our view. The snow piled high on the road and we opted to turn around. Cows rushed the fence. There was hope that we could help.
On our way back to the hotel, we observed several cars and trucks including the snowplows stuck in the snowdrifts. The highways were closed and more snow was on the way. Everyone at the hotel was stirring in the lobby. A big box truck was caught in the parking lot. Cody offered a shovel and 45 minutes later they were free. Then came more snow. The next morning the sky had cleared. We jumped in the truck to catch the sunrise over the West Texas Plains. What we found warmed our hearts.