Friday, March 23, 2012

Damarillo. Its actually Amarillo, but once you’ve been there the preceding title makes more sense. We leftShreveport and decided that we’d drive as far as we could without fallingasleep, which put us in Amarillo,approximately 620 miles from Shreveport.We decided to try and get some miles under our wheels as there isn’tmuch to see in Texas where we were passing through. Driving around Dallas to head north was anexperience. When you’ve been in smalltown after small town, to encounter a city that spurred on its own TV show, it felt like we were in a differentworld. It was busy, fast and hectic andthere were definitely more SUV’s and trucks than cars. We finally got through after figuring out thebest way around Dallas and headed north.The map that we are using wasn’t totally clear so with some backtrackingand route finding and a few arguments,we eventually got ourselves in the right direction. We passed through numerous towns on the waythrough to Amarillo and each one had such a peculiar feel to it. Perhaps the most peculiar was when we passedthrough Conway, which had a road side amusement fair going on, with no onethere. The vacant ferriswheel did lapswhile the controller sat below staring out towards the road. It was such a weird vibe. The only cars it seemed at the time on theroad were the ones either coming from Amarillo or heading to Amarillo. At this time of the day however it wasgetting towards sunset, so we had the chance to see some beautiful Texas sky asthere was a sliver of sky between the clouds and the horizon.Everythingis bigger in Texas; including their steak houses. After we drove around trying to find a placeto eat, once finally in Amarillo, we settled in at the Big Texan. I guess it’s a well known spot by those whohave ever had the chance to drive on the 40 headed West. Its claim to fame is the 72 ounce steakeating contest. You have 59 minutes and 59seconds to eat four and a half pounds of steak including the salad, rolls andbaked potato. If you do its free. If you don’t it will set you back $72.00,paid up front of course. The currentrecord is 8 minutes and 52 seconds. Onlyin Texas I think. Both Tess and I optedfor the burgers as we weren’t feeling steak.And to think that my diet consisted of nothing with faces or feathersfor a significant part of my late 20’s and 30’s. Therest of the restaurant is decorated with the heads of various animals mountedon the walls, large chandeliers, a group of men who play music at your table, ashooting gallery at the otherside of the bar, a woman who plays honky-tonk onan upright pian’er but the saving grace is the microbrewery there that servesup some pretty good beers. A growler [64oz] will set you back $14 the first time and $10 afterwards. It was nice to have a good beer after the daythat we had. I think we’re both lookingforward to getting into New Mexico.

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