Even though we only had 115 miles to travel between Tucumcari, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas…Michael insisted we leave early enough so that we could still reach Amarillo by ‘morning’! Goof (He even insisted we listen to ‘Amarillo by Morning’ as we drove. LOL!
Packing up to leave has become much easier since we have the rooftop satellite dish now (no more setting up and breaking down the tripod) and quite a few things less things that have to be stowed as most items have ‘homes’. Makes things way easier.
We pulled out of the Blaze-in-Saddle RV park in Tucumcari at 8:32 am mst and reached the Big Texan RV Park just before 11:30 am cst and got settled into our site for the next week. We lost an hour with the time change…that’s the reason we had to leave so early on such a short travel day.
The park used to be a mobile home park so the sites are set up pretty strangely. We were escorted to site 118A…a nice long pull through but its set up so that another camper would pull in behind us…I guess they’d have to back out. All around us, rigs came in and were escorted through other sites, over the grass, any which way they could to get to their site. Weird set up.
Friday we worked 1/2 a day and then went and ‘played’. We went to a movie, got our toes done and have a veggie pizza for dinner (Lent). PTB is still super busy (almost 1/2 way to this months sales goal by the 5th of the month!) So we take advantage of the quiet when we can!
The movie we saw this week was ‘Us‘. Labeled as a horror/thriller, this one had me a bit leery (I’m a chicken)…but with a 7.4 rating on IMDb we decided to check it out. It wasn’t really scary (didn’t hide once) but it was really kinda dumb in my opinion. Michael thought the plot was good…me not so much. Not one I’d recommend. At least the popcorn was good!
We chose 575 Pizzeria, again, because of its high ratings on Yelp. Thankfully, this one turned out to be on par. Just a small place but welcoming. We ordered the ‘tine Trio (Olive tapenade, spinach artichoke dip and bruschetta with brick fired bread) for starters. It turned out to be quite yummy. Michael doesn’t care for olives in any form but tried the tapenade and didn’t die. 😉
Our small pizza with (tomatoes, onions, pineapple, red peppers and black olives on half). The server topped with fresh grated cheese at our table and it was really tasty.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that Molly & Gene C were in the same park as us and arrived the same day we did. They’re the inlaws of Tim from T&S and also have a Landmark. We’d followed each other on Facebook but not met in person. We were pleased when we they stopped by to say ‘Hi’ on their way out to do the touristy things. What a treat!
Saturday we headed out to do some exploring. First stop: Cadillac Ranch This one had been on my list for several years and it was fun to finally make it happen. We made sure to stop at Walmart prior to our visit to pick up a couple of cans of spray paint (purple for me, copper for Michael) so that we could engross ourselves in the experience!
We picked a not so good time to visit…it rained the night before and the area around the cars themselves was a lake…ok so maybe a pond. Our plan of adding to the art was a bit harder to get done…but we did it!
We got our feet covered in mud (almost lost my flip flops a time or two), Michael found an egg inside one of the cars and we just had fun being silly. Michael’s copper paint covered two hubs and I just made a purple heart with our initials in it…hard to see…but it’s there! The paint was so thick it was crazy…and it just dripped.
We also made a quick run through of the Cadillac Ranch RV Park and quickly determined it wasn’t a place we’d stay…pretty yucky. But I didn’t take the opportunity to take a picture of the Cadillacs and cowboy out front!
Second Stop: Palo Duro Canyon – This was not on my radar at all…didn’t know anything about it at all until my cousin, Ryan asked if we were going to visit while we were in Amarillo. He sent me a link and I did a little more research and found out we definitely we needed to add it to our list of things to see while in town.
It was a great way to spend our Saturday! I packed sandwich fixings and we took our time driving through the state park, stopping several times to check different things out. We enjoyed our picnic lunch at one of the day use areas while watching hikers and bikers come and go from one of the many trails in the park.
Known as the ‘Grand Canyon of Texas’, Palo Duro Canyon is the 2nd largest canyon in the US. We both found it amazing as we drove to the park that the scenery was fairly flat and boring and then out of nowhere the ground gave way to his gorgeous crater. The colors…layers….outcroppings…unbelievable. This is definitely a don’t miss stop when in the Amarillo area.
Final Stop: Little Buddhist Temple – This was another Roadside America find. While the place was interesting it definitely could have used some tender loving care. The most interesting thing we came across was a ‘cemetery’ of sorts…within the brick wall ‘fence’. Each column held (what we believed to be) the remains of a follower of the Laotian Buddhist religion.
A few of the memorials were taken care of…clean, orderly, loved. But most were in disrepair, dirty, forgotten. Nevertheless, it was an interesting stop…just wish we’d been able to go inside the temple to learn more.
We topped the day off with dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. This is the home of the 72 oz steak dinner challenge. Eat a 72 ounce steak, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad and a roll with butter. The participant must eat everything in the allotted 60 minutes. We didn’t have any takers while we were there but there was a winner the previous day…it had been 6 months since the last winner.
We chose to go the ‘normal’ route and each ordered a 12 ounce ribeye, loaded baked potato and a cup of the veggie soup. Everything was very good…though our server was lacking. She tried to deliver salads to us (not ours), didn’t give us spoons for our soup (waited about 10 minutes for her to finally bring them) and sent the expediter to our table with the wrong main course.
We had two gentleman come to our table asking for requests to play for us. Of course, Michael requested ….Amarillo by Morning. They did a great job and their performance added to the experience.
When we got home we found out that Molly & Gene had been to the Big Texan that evening too! After looking at my pictures I found that I had taken a picture of the dining room and they’re in it! LOL
After dinner we wandered around a bit…stopping to play a shooting game (I got 23/25 and Michael got 25/25)…checked out the creepy pics in one hallway and sat in the Big Texan rocking chair. We also did a little shopping in the gift shop – gifts for ourselves, our boys and a good friend.
When we leave Amarillo on Thursday it will be the last time we’re in Texas until this fall so I we got our Texas cravings out of the way.
First we found a place that has jalapeno & cheese sausage kolaches and stocked up…a dozen. They freeze well so we’ll have them for quite some time to come. They’re great on travel days…just pop ’em in the microwave for a minute and go!
We also had dinner at Whataburger on Tuesday. We got done with work about 3:30 (woot!) and went to the closest location for dinner. Was a nice little treat.
Our last day in Amarillo was a warm one…89 for a high…however, overnight it got down into the high 20s…brrrr! And it was windy! There was a gloomy haze that hung over the whole area all day and the wind rocked the coach all day and all night.
I forgot to mention that when we came home from our day out on Saturday we didn’t have any lights. Michael did some investigating and figured out that the converter wasn’t working properly. If he charged it we’d have lights (and the ability to lower our bed!) but the charge didn’t last.
He called Heartland an Monday and explained the issue to them and they ordered a new converter and were supposed to ship it out to our warehouse on Wednesday. Hoping it arrives on Friday so that Michael can install it over the weekend.
In the meantime, Michael bought a new battery charger and has been using that to keep the converter happy. Without, we have no lights (other than the two lamps), air conditioning, hot water. Anything that actually plugs into an outlet worked fine (TV, microwave, lamps, fan, chargers, etc).