Day 3: Checotah home of Carrie Underwood; TEXAS! (the musical); don’t step on the scorpions; well here we are in the middle of this canyon

So far in our drive we had gone to a lot of states that we had never been to or thought about before. But today we were ending up in Texas and I had a lot of preconceived notions about Texas. Namely that things would be bigger, cowboy-ish and full of pride.

Before we could see the lone star state we had to drive through Oklahoma.

It was a rather uneventful. Cows, land, cows, etc.

By sheer luck we ended up eating lunch in Checotah, home to Carrie Underwood of American Idol fame. But for most of the drive I had “Oklahoma” the musical stuck in my head.  (Side note Hugh Jackman singing “The Surrey with The Fringe on Top,” who knew?)

That night we were camping in the Paulo Duro Canyon, a little south of Amarillo. A place that also hosts the largest outdoor musical in Texas, called TEXAS! I had wanted to go see it but we got there half an hour too late.

As if knowing my sadness, the man behind the counter let me pick out a campsite, told me I’d found a good spot and advised us to watch out for scorpions, pedestrians and deer.

We heard pack animals howling at the moon in the distance.

My first mistake was not realizing that I could take the map of the campground with us, the second was eating our dinner at the scenic overlook right before sunset. By the time we drove down into the canyon it was getting dark and although we could find campsites 1 through 33, the one I picked, 35, proved more difficult.

After pleading assistance from a family from Illinois we learned that the campsite was not closest to the entrance (as I had thought) but farthest from it. Nice, secluded, far from civilization, a good spot.

We set up the tent next to a tree and went to sleep hoping no scorpions weaseled their way into our tent.

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