We began our Mighty 5 adventure with an overnight stay at Amarillo Ranch RV Park, a stone’s throw from The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery, a kitschy Route 66 landmark saloon-style steakhouse that offers patrons a 72-ounce steak challenge. If you consume an entire meal in one hour, the $72 meal is on the house. Problem is, the meal consists of a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, roll with butter, and a 72-ounce steak. Yes, that’s four and a half pounds of beef. In addition to table-side defibrillators and vomit buckets, the restaurant provides a free shuttle service in limos adorned with longhorn hood ornaments. Because we arrived on a Friday, we opted to observe our traditional Date Night with a more manageable New York strip steak, perfectly prepared on our Big Green Egg MiniMax.
During previous stop-overs, we’ve stayed at the Amarillo KOA, but, despite the touristy feel of Amarillo Ranch and some pretty substantial “soft” curbs, we decided to reserve a night for our return trip.
As we traveled from Dallas to Amarillo along the Caprock Escarpment, we learned a few things worth sharing:
- The only thing that can diminish the stark beauty of the Texas Panhandle’s rugged, rocky terrain and rolling, shrubby grasslands, is a wind farm.
- Old, abandoned buildings will, eventually, melt into the ground.
- If you are convinced you’ve seen a gazelle, you need to remember that they are found mostly in the deserts, grasslands and savannas of Africa, not Texas.