Palo Duro Canyon, or more specifically, some of the select cabins at Palo Duro Canyon, got a big spread in today's Dallas Morning News.
The piece, by Mary Ellen Botter, was a feature in the travel section of the newspaper. Put it this way, getting a reservation for one of the cabins just got a lot tougher.
"Buy the right ticket," Botter writes, "and you'll have the best seat in the theater at the summer production of Texas in this Panhandle preserve.
"To be front row center on the canyon – the second-largest in the nation – you book one of the three cabins on the rim. The trio of rustic, cliff-top lodgings are hot tickets during the run of the musical drama, favorite places to overnight just minutes from the outdoor Pioneer Amphitheater where Texas is staged. But the small hideaways offer a retreat from the world year-round.
"Like the show, preparing for its 44th season, the cabins are part of the state's history.
"In the depths of the Great Depression, troops of the Civilian Conservation Corps came with dynamite and hand tools and carved a state park from the canyon's rough terrain 25 miles southeast of Amarillo. They built roads. They built trails. They built entrance and museum buildings and furniture for them.
"And they slotted sandstone boulders together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and created three cabins on the very lip of Palo Duro Canyon and four smaller shelters at Cow Camp on the canyon's floor.
"The park, officially opened July 4, 1934, will mark its 75th anniversary this year. The cabins, completed in 1937, are only slightly younger. They wear their years well."
Don't know how many locals would choose to spend the night at one of the cabins, but it would be different and worth the experience. The Goodnight and Lighthouse cabins are $110 per night plus tax and park entrnace fee of $5 per person. The larger Sorenson cabin is $125 per night plus tax and entrance fee.
Cow camp cabins are $60 plus park fee. Each of the four has a full-size bunk bed. Guests provide their own bedding. Sleeping on the stone floor would call for an air mattress.
No running water indoors. Toilets and showers about 100 yards across the road. Cabin 4 is the most popular; it's farthest from traffic. Cabin 3 is next in demand.
Reservations for cabins or camping: 512-389-8900; www.tpwd.state.tx.us.