Eat Mor Cowz…West Texas, Route 66 and the “Big Texan”

Big sky country

Big sky country

So I hope you all enjoyed our caravan trip down the Baja to Cabo San Lucas and back. 28 days of crazy roads, breath taking scenery and great mexican food. Despite the road situation, we loved the Baja. We weren’t thrilled with traveling in a caravan of 20 plus other RV’s and probably won’t do that again, but it served its purpose for this trip. Now it’s time to head north. We’ve alway’s wanted to see Glacier National Park, in Montana. With climate change so much in the news, and with the Parks many glaciers rapidly receding, Hubby and I moved it up the priority list and we are Montana bound. The best part is there is so much to see along he way: Painted deserts, petrified forests, Grand Canyons, the Teton Mountains and much more. We are starting off in wide open west Texas, land of big sky, oil, cows and over-the top attractions.

pumping the black gold

Pumping the black gold

Hubby and I are genetically disposition for travel. Growing up we both made many cross country trips with our respective families, seeing all the country had to offer. Back in those days, before all the Interstates were completed,  old Route 66, running from Chicago, through Oklahoma and Texas, to LA was the road to travel. Since we were headed to Flagstaff we decided to go through Amarillo and pick up route 66. We found there is not much of Route 66 left to pick up anymore. Most of the old road has been replaced by I-40, following it requires taking exits to locate the fragments that remain. We decided that the results (mostly lots of Route 66 kitsch) wasn’t worth the effort.  One bit of memory we did find was the Big Texan in Amarillo.

Everything is bigger in Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas

Hubby and his mom stayed there on a cross country trip about 50 years ago. It hasn’t changed: a motel made to look like an old west town, a gigantic statue of a bow-legged cowboy, an oversized steer and the offer of a free meal if you can consume it in under an hour.  Of course the meal, like everything else in Texas is big: a 72 ounce top sirloin steak, baked potato, salad, roll and a shrimp cocktail. Many have tried, most have failed. We missed a winner by a day. A 28 year old, 400 pounder fellow from Missouri, ate it all in 40 minutes. His comment after his feat…”I need a beer.” We passed on the opportunity.

Cows (steer?) everywhere

Cows (steer?) everywhere

We explored Amarillo a bit, trying to get away from the miles of honky tonk chains, fast food joints and traffic that lined I40. We found the old stockyards and the original downtown area, but not much else of interest. Except maybe Cadillac Ranch, a public art (??) installation created in 1974. It consists of junked Cadillacs, half-buried, nose first in a field. You are encouraged to add your own graffiti, but we had left our spray cans at home. Time to move on to Santa Fe.

Cadillac Ranch art work

Cadillac Ranch art work, photo from wikipedia

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. This took me back to 1978. After a few weeks work at a summer camp in the Catskills two of us hitched down to DC and then across to LA, up to San Francisco acoss to Salt Lake City (listened to the Tabernacle Choir) Back across to N.Y. what a blast. As a 19 year old from England I was amazed at the number of people that picked us up that had never been out of the state they had been born in. Enjoy your trip.

  2. Pingback: Sante Fe, New Mexico: Hello green chile « Red Road Diaries

  3. What did you eat when you stopped at the Big Texan?

  4. Pingback: Off the grid, Onto the Reservation, into the Canyon De Chelly | Red Road Diaries

  5. Head 20 miles south to Palo Duro Canyon. That’s our crown jewel!

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