Texas really surprised us! We planned on stopping Amarillo, TX for one night as a kind of crash-n-go, but when we arrived at our couch host’s house they are so awesome that we ended up staying there for two nights! Getting into Amarillo it is clear they do a lot of cattle farming and ranch operations in Texas. Yellow fields stretch for miles in either direction and we saw a lot more grain silos (they are humungous).

Our hosts Dan & Carley are both passionate travellers and open, enthusiastic couchsurfers; they have just gotten back from travelling and not only did they host us and another surfer, they’re also planning their next trip… and they are in a band Salt Cedar Rebels. Sounds like an exciting life! The five of us (K & I, hosts and couchsurfer Veronique, from Montreal) got along so well, it felt like meeting old friends again; dinner went well into the night! I love couchsurfing! 🙂 they are super musical, and Dan had great scuba diving stories. They also had an awesome little basement room, like a suite just for surfers, decorated with multiple bunks we could tell they were really big into and committed to the idea of courchsurfing, especially its concepts of gift hospitality and kind of pay it forward karma.

We were also super jealous when they told us how last year on a beach in Costa Rica they were lucky enough to see phosphorescent algae crashing onto the beach, lighting up every step they took. That kind of phenomena can’t be planned, it’s a lucky, once in a lifetime event to witness. Damn them!

From the Visitor Centre you look out on the canyon
From the Visitor Centre you look out on the canyon
The trail snaked around many little rock 'chimneys' and walls
The trail snaked around many little rock ‘chimneys’ and walls

On Dan & Carley’s suggestion we checked out Palo Duro Canyon the next day, which turned out to be the second largest canyon in the US (did we not do our research, that we didn’t know about this place??). The view coming in is amazing! So much space… the 2-dimensional photos really don’t do it justice. We chose to do the Lighthouse Trail – 3 miles one way – flat for the most part, til you get to the last half mile andwe had to scramble hand over hand to get to the Lighthouse Rock itself, a vertical rock structure that of course resembles a lighthouse. Of course, from the base of the rock we were already high enough up that we had an epic view of rock walls and part of the canyon… however, Kiernan felt compelled of course, to climb to the peak of the rock itself 🙂

That speck up there, on top of the lighthouse rock, that's Kiernan...
That speck up there, on top of the lighthouse rock, that’s Kiernan…

That night we relaxed with wonderful Mexican food (and dangerously tasty Margeritas) on old Route 66, and a last night out with all five of us. I seriously hope we have the chance to host Dan, Carley and Veronique whenever and wherever we are in the world.

-M & K