TX to MT, Day 2

Medi Splash Park Pad – Amarillo

The Medi Splash Park is located near the Medical Center on Streit Drive in Amarillo. We were tired by the time we got to Amarillo and, not knowing anything about the park, thought it might be a good place to relax and dangle our feet in water. It turns out that it is a good place to relax, but you are not going to dangle your feet. The “pad” is intended for little kids to run around in and the water is no more than an inch deep, if that.

I had my phone with me to take pictures, but not finding anything of interest, I did not. It seems that is a good thing because some parents, according to ABC 7 News in Amarillo, are ready to call the police if they see someone taking pictures. I’m not kidding.

Channing, Texas

We started off on Interstate 40 and then got onto US 385. This part of the trip is as flat as a pancake and goes through a number of miniscule, dilapidated towns. One of the first of these towns that you will encounter is Channing. Channing has a population of 363 and is the county seat of Hartley County. Yet another tiny town serving as a county seat in Texas. As you drive through Channing, you will see many abandoned buildings, like the one below. I have no idea what it is.

Perico, Texas

The next “interesting” place you will find is Perico. According to Wikipedia, Perico is a ghost town with a population of 2 people. There is one interesting building in Perico, shown below. It is, apparently, the remains of a school that used to be in the town when, I guess, it had more than 2 people.

Pueblo, Colorado

The first major city you will encounter on this part of the trip is Pueblo. We got off in Pueblo because we wanted to see the whitewater kayaking park. The first thing we encountered, though, were flashing police car lights and a barricade. Great. We didn’t know our way around as it was, and now we had to take a detour.

Photo by Donna Hansen

The street was blocked off because there was a protest going on in which demonstrators wanted a statue of Christopher Columbus removed. I thought the protest would have been a recent thing, but it has been going on for years. So, why is there a statue of Columbus in Pueblo, Colorado, of all places?

Here is the official line: The Christopher Columbus Monument, built in Pueblo, Colorado in 1905 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, holds the symbolic value to the Italian-American heritage movement. Funded by donations from the Italian-American community across America, it was the first monument west of the Mississippi River to honor the explorer of the Age of Discovery.

Two days ago, the city of Pueblo hired a mediator to negotiate with the protestors (mostly Native Americans) and the Sons of Italy. The reason for hiring the mediator – it will cost the city less than the protests over the past few months have.

The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo

Unable to get to the whitewater p ark, we instead went to the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk. This park has nothing to do with the state of Arkansas, but instead with the Arkansas River. The park retraces part of the path Lewis and Clark took to get to the West Coast.

I recommend stopping here. It is very much like San Antonio Riverwalk, with restaurants, a pleasant walkway and many interesting displays.

The following is a map of the park: https://www.puebloriverwalk.org/images/Maps/Riverwalk-Map.pdf

Candlewood Suites, Fort Collins

This was our last stop on this part of the trip. Colorado was very strict in its COVID 19 regulations, requiring anyone in hotels to wear masks as well in supermarkets. We found that virtually everyone we encountered was wearing a mask, but you always have a few for, whatever reason, decide not to.

Next segment – Billings, MT