Amarillo Ride May 2, 2008

Day 2  Sweetwater to Amarillo 

Day 2 started off with nice weather and a good breakfast at a local café recommended by our hotel friends.  We found the place in downtown Sweetwater and loaded up for the day.  Steve and Art rolled into town right at breakfast time, looking none the worse for wear after their fast run up from San Antonio.  After chow we headed north on hwy 70.  The area just north of Sweetwater has some real nice rolling red hills and real scenic territory.  It soon gave way to the famous flat plains, where you could see for miles in either direction, over farmer’s fields interrupted by a few homes or a couple trees.  It was a peaceful ride and felt great to be in the wide open.  We passed through small towns with names like Rotan, Matador and Turkey.  Turkey was the lunch / gas stop, and we discovered it was also the home of Bob Willis – they have a small museum dedicated to him there.  We headed north to Claude, where we first crossed over the lower section of Palo Duro canyon.  The canyon is about 120 miles long so we crossed it long before we got to Amarillo.  It was an awesome sight seeing the red hills and canyons fall off below us at a rest stop perched right on the canyon edge.  We rode down into it for a few miles, came up the other side, then hung a left towards Amarillo.  After a short stretch of Interstate 40, we landed at the famous Big Texan.  It lived up to the billing, with the façade looking like an old west town, and the restaurant full of animal horns, waiters dressed like they just got off the ranch, and Johnny Cash playing through the speakers.  Its home of the famous 72 oz steak – eat it all, with a side salad, potato and shrimp appetizer, and its free.  Otherwise its $72.  No one of our group tempted that side of beef, but at least one other guy did it while we were there.  Dennis was mighty tempted by a huge chunk of cake, advertised as 96oz of the finest fat you’ll ever eat, but he never overcame his fear of indigestion and attacked it.  We relaxed with a nice meal there, retreated to the rooms for some cold beer and more scotch, and watched the Spurs on TV.  Another fine day.