Monday, April 8, 2013


Things weren't looking much better at Caprock State Park when we left Tuesday morning - cold, wet, grey. Brrrrrrr.......

The system was in and it was NOT moving.

Passing by the lake there on our way out.

Ahhhh - back to the mind numbing drive through the Panhandle.

Following our stop in Canyon - south of Amarillo for groceries, cash and gas we were headed out to Palo Duro State Park - 'The Grand Canyon of Texas', our next destination. However, just about the time we were getting into the van to head there we started to doubt our decision to go. It was cold, and wet, and grey - would we really enjoy the park? Be able to see anything? Be able to hike? Nope.

Even with all that we were going to go just so we could plug in for the night with freezing temperatures expected. But with an entry fee of $10 and a campsite fee of $24 was it really worth it? Nope again. So we carried on to Amarillo. Maybe next time Palo Duro!

Similar to Lubbock, Amarillo also has a loop road - the 335. A HUGE loop road - actually it is so far around the city that you can barely make out the downtown. Very nice.

It was easy for us to make the loop to the east side of the city and the I40. A quick right on the front road and we found the Texas Welcome Center. We thought we would stop to get wifi and see about spending the night there. Yep - 24 hour security and no problem to stay - there were already two other rigs parked for the night - one from South Dakota and the other from Quebec.

A short 1 1/2 miles west on the other front road and we arrived at The Big Texan another one of our pre decided destinations. If you haven't already realized - we stop - and detour - for food!

Have you heard of The Big Texan?

No - neither had I - even though it is 'World Famous.' I found it on the Amarillo website while I was looking at what to do once we reached this city. A famous food place - we ARE there!

Pretty hard to miss their sign from the highway - or the front road which we were on.

The place kind of stands out - yellow anyone?!

It is also a hotel and has a horse hotel. With the cold we were a bit tempted to check in.

 A strange mascot but Cassia was impressed since she is REALLY into dinosaurs at the moment. 

 But it was way to cold to actually LOOK impressed - we just wanted to get inside. 

Here's the story...... we're all for the journey too - but we LOVE many of our destinations.

A dinosaur and......a bull - makes sense - right?!

With the freezing temperatures we couldn't get inside the restaurant fast enough. It sure was a warm welcoming!

 Lots to look at upon entry - good thing they put the sign up because to the left is a gift shop, to the left and up is a shooting gallery, next to that is a casino and bar and to the right a candy store! The dining room is tucked into the far right corner.

Never ones to turn down a look around a gift shop we headed there first. 

Cassia had no problems finding all sorts of things but the hobby horse was the BIG hit. Somehow during dinner I managed to promise to make Cassia one this summer. It has to be cheaper to make it - right?!

Then on to the main attraction - the HUGE dining room. Too bad it turned out so dark - I only took the one picture. There is a much better one on their website - here.

Yep - The Big Texan is home to a food challenge - if you eat a 72 oz steak dinner in an hour it is free! You can read all about it here. CRAZY - right?! If you can believe that while we were trying to get through our meals there was a 20 something girl that did it - they announced it over the mike. She looked a bit uncomfortable as she walked out - no doubt.

It was easy for me to decide on my dinner - Chicken Fried Steak - I had yet to have one since coming into Texas and there was no WAY I was leaving without a CFS dinner. Looking back I can't believe that I only had it once in our whole month in Texas. Sheesh.

We were happy to be tucked in our booth in the corner. Now - just LOOK at all this food. I could have gone for 1/2 the dinner for 1/2 the price. The good news was that we had enough for lunch the next day. The Big Texan is also a brewery so of course we HAD to sample one of their beers - we chose the dark beer - neither of us can remember which one at the moment - but it was good.

 Derek chose the ribs - HUGE right?! And then toast, onion rings and mashed potatoes on top of that - and a bowl of chilli with a cornbread muffin. 

Although a bit over the top and flashy we had fun and a really good meal. Pricey for us at $45.00 but at least we had two meals for each of us for that. Following another look around the gift shop we had to force ourselves back out into the cold.

We tried to find a good place to park out of the wind in the Welcome Center Parking lot. Just as we were about to settle for our spot Derek reminded me about a free city RV park I had found up the road. I had forgotten about it since we had many other plans for camping if the weather was warmer. We WERE supposed to be spending a few days in Amarillo seeing all there was to see and then we WERE supposed to be camping out at Lake Meredith for a few more. 

Dumas! Yep - Dumas is not far up the highway and it has a free park with what - electricity?! that's right. Just what we need to get us through another cold night. 

An hour or more later - just as it was getting dark we pulled into Texhoma Park in Dumas. For a small city at the far north end of the Texas Panhandle we were surprised to see that there were five other rigs there - all snowbirds it looked like.

We parked and plugged in and were so thankful for the heat.

No pictures for this post - we didn't get those until the morning.

I was still sad that we left Amarillo so quickly - just bad timing with the weather. I think we would have really liked it there and were looking forward to seeing the historic part of downtown and the old Route 66 area. Maybe next time.

Just can't stop singing "Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone, everything that I've got is just what I've got on - I ain't got a dime but what I got is mine, I ain't rich but Lord I'm free......." LOVE that song. Think of me Nancy while you're hearing those words first hand in June - LUCKY girl!


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: I linked this on our facebook page and will add it here also. Sadly, Andy of My Old RV wasn't as lucky getting through a Texas storm as we were. He lost his vehicle and more importantly - his RV - his HOME. 


  1. I could easily make 5 or 6 meals out of that 72oz. steak!!! The snow has started in Custer, and its really coming down!!

  2. I guess that's a Texas size meal! You gotta love left overs!

    1. Yep I was pretty happy the next day when I could just stick it in the oven! HUGE!

  3. We stayed at that Amarillo Welcome Center our 3rd night on the road! Our first time boondocking... Your CFS looks wonderful!

    1. Good place to boondocks although a small parking lot - esp with two other rigs. We tried to go over to the truck parking for more space and to get out of the wind but security wouldn't let us!

      It was VERY yummy but of course you can pretty much get CFS whenever you want - can't find it in Canada!


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