AvatarWhen my three sons were young, my husband and I would pack them into the car for trips around Texas and surrounding states, hauling a small pop-up-tent trailer behind.  These were perfect vacations for little boys who loved to wade in rivers and tromp through forests singing “Be Kind to Your Web-footed Friends” at full volume.  One of our favorite trips was to see TEXAS, the outdoor musical extravaganza in Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

TEXAS has a feel of pageantry to it, dramatizing big themes around the settling of the West in general and the Panhandle in particular, played against the stark backdrop of Palo Duro Canyon itself.  The way that the seating is carved out of the side of the Canyon, there is a gigantic stage spread out before the audience, filled with settlers, cowboys, Indians, horses, sound and fury.

I understand that the show is sophisticated enough now that they produce wind and lightning on cue, but when we visited back in the 1960s, production depended on Mother Nature’s cooperation.  She did not disappoint.  Sheet lightning filled the sky that night and dust swirled from the wind and the pounding hooves of Longhorns and horses.  The show is also timed to the evening’s sunset, just one more treat for the senses.

This summer TEXAS is set to run Tuesdays through Sundays,  June 2 – August 19.  Go to the TEXAS website to get ticket information, details about the chuck wagon dinner, and driving instructions to the Pioneer Ampitheater in Palo Duro Canyon State Park (14 miles south of Amarillo).

Once you have trekked as far as the Panhandle, might as well take in the beauty of the Canyon itself and the State Park — available for camping, hiking, horseback riding and various Ranger programs.  More information at the PARK site.  A unique experience all in all, whether or not you are also riding herd on three rambunctious boys.

— Jonnie Martin

About jonnietootling

It seems forever that I have seen myself as a writer, enamored of life and great literature. I have been a journalist, a blogger, a published novelist; hold both a Bachelor's and Master's in literature and creative writing. Now in my 70's I am blogging here about existence, philosophy, art, literature, people of every stripe, finding our way through life, and growing old with panache.
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4 Responses to TEXAS, THE MUSICAL

  1. What a fun memory! My parents took us camping in a pop-up-tent trailer, too, We saw such dramatic scenery from the Badlands and Mount Rushmore to Glacier & Banff Parks, as well as the many lakes and mosquito-plagued woods of Minnesota.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joella Ewing says:

      Hi Jonnie,

      This is on my bucket list, as is the South by Southwest Fest. Don’t remember when that one is. Is it possible to do them both on the same trip to Texas?


      Liked by 1 person

      • Joella Ewing says:

        P.S. Intended to ask if you’d like to do them with me in a couple of years or three?

        Liked by 1 person

      • South by Southwest is in March of every year; TEXAS is June – August. It may be several years before I am foot-loose and fancy-free (depending on Dad; getting the condo renovation and decoration complete and paid for; etc. Someday, though . . . .


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