This is for you, Bart!

This blog, and the adventure it describes, are dedicated to my friend, co-worker and fellow adventure lover, Bart.
Bart would prefer to be riding his Moto Guzzi down a scenic road,
but unfortunately he is limited by health issues.

My hat (helmet) is off to you, my friend, and I hope you will get some enjoyment from
reading about my little adventure until you are well enough to get back to planning your own.



Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.

- Helen Keller

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost


Thursday, May 15, 2014


I left Farmington, NM this morning with clear skies and crisp air. Most of the riding this morning was in temperatures in the 40’s.
I remembered almost buying an evaporative cooling vest before leaving home. I thought that it might help protect me from the searing heat of the southwestern deserts.
Ha Ha Ha.
I don’t think I’ve been uncomfortably warm since the one day in Death Valley. I’ve learned to never plan ahead for a campground until I’ve checked the elevation there. I’ll worry about the price later.
Less than 50 miles out of Farmington, in the northwestern corner of New Mexico, I saw a billboard advertising "The Big Texan Steak Ranch" in Amarillo. I checked the GPS - it was still 454 miles to Amarillo.

Amarillo is on Route 66 which has some of the strange attractions that I’ve read about over the years.
What do you do when you want to buy another Cadillac, but hate to trade in the old one? You bury it!

I made it to Amarillo and had intended to look for a KOA campground here until I began to see the motel billboards. Amarillo must be the king of “cheap motel” cities. I found a room for $29 (Rats – I later saw one down a couple of exits for only $28). This one is called the “Relax Inn”, and I was in luck – they had TONS of vacancies!! 
You’ve heard of the Comfort Inn, right? It’s probably something like that. Vaguely.
And look at what was next door...
Hmm... What if I went over and looked around... and what if they had a big sale going on... and what if they had a Burgundy Metallic Electra-Glide Ultra Classic Limited... and what if they offered me a great trade...  WOULDN'T MY WIFE BE EXCITED WHEN I GOT HOME!!
Just to be safe, I didn't go over. But I did peek through the drapes at the sign.
After getting a shower (actually a combination shower/bath, since the tub doesn’t drain at all), I made my way over to The Big Texan for a snack.

There’s no doubt about what state you’re in when you walk through the door here.
I checked the menu and decided to play it cool and just order the 21 ounce boneless sirloin steak with salad and baked potato. Delicious!
I skipped desert.

While I was there, a large group from New Zealand came in and one of their more easily influenced members decided to accept the famous Big Texan challenge:
Order the 72 ounce top sirloin with salad, roll, baked potato and 3 large shrimp for $75. If you can eat it all in one hour, you get it free. And you get to be famous since there is a webcam focused on the “Challenge” table for all the world to watch you eat to death. I stayed until his hour was up. His comrades were cheering him on, but he couldn’t finish.


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