A BIG Texas kind of day!

Trip Start Jan 01, 2012
Trip End Dec 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Amarillo Ranch RV Park

Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

   Happy that last night's storms missed us, we spent a good part of this morning re-organizing our itinerary for tomorrow, when there are threats of more severe weather across the Panhandle and into Western Oklahoma.  We decided to cancel our overnight in Oklahoma City, which is still in the severe storm watch areas for tomorrow, and we'll go a couple hours beyond it to Checotaw, OK before we stop.  Cancelled one RV Park reservation and booked another one - so happy to have Passport America Camping Club, which gives us half-price rv parks all over the country - we just pull up their map and choose a park along our route!
   That done, we got on with our sightseeing plans for the day.  First, to Palo Duro Canyon State Park - known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas", it's actually quite a bit smaller (~800' deep vs. ~2000' deep), but something to be seen, nonethe less.  Enjoying driving through the park - saw creeks filled with water for the first time in many, many months...in fact, we drove through one area where the creek was over the road.  Greg found an "Indiana Jones" style hat that he liked in their gift shop, so ya'll will be seeing more of that in our pictures!  Took a ton of pictures, but as is often the case with "grand" sights of nature, it loses a lot in the translation - will post a bunch of them, anyhow!
   A few miles up the road in Canyon, Texas (home of West Texas A & M University), is the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum - found a coupon quickly on my iPod Touch, and voila! we were in for $7 apiece - gotta love movile technology!  It turned out to far more interesting than we expected it to be, and it was SO well done, we spent several hours walking through their many exhibits.  Of course, there are a bunch more pictures to go with this part of our day, too!
   Thrilled that the weather had held off for another day for us, we went back to our home for another night - Amarillo Ranch RV Park - we loaded the car on the tow dolly, and called the Big Texan Steakhouse to have their limousine service (free!) pick us up to bring us over there for dinner.  The Big Texan, for those of you who've not been through Amarillo, is know for their "FREE 72 oz. Steak Dinner" - a sign Greg had seen many times back years ago when he drove a semi into Texas frequently!  The deal is, anyone who can eat the entire meal - 72 oz. steak, 2 sides, and dinner rolls - in 60 minutes or less, will get the dinner free.  Of course we had no intention of attempting any such foolishness, but wanted to experience the place, anyhow.  Greg had a good steak dinner, and I stuck with the BBQ Plate (ribs, brisket and a sausage - I brought the sausage home for Greg's sandwich tomorrow).  It was a good - not great meal, but a fun place, with serenading musicians (we got them to sing our two favorite "on the road" songs, after they had already covered "my" Texas songs:  Yellow Rose of Texas and San Antonio Rose!   (Videos to follow!)]
    By the time the limo got us back to our place, the skies were dark and threatening, and we got the local tv on to see severe storm warnings for our county and all around us.  As it got blacker and blacker, I looked for my camera to snap a picture, only to find I didn't have it!  I called the Big Texan's limo service (I realized I"d left it in the car), and was told that the driver who had found it was already on the way back - whew!  Thankful we weren't on the road this morning before I figured that out!  As we heard of 2-3 inch rainfalls and softball-sized hail all around us, we saw only black clouds - experienced no rain, and had only some strong wind gusts overnight.  Looks like we dodged another bullet!
    So - on to more adventures tomorrow, with a longer-than-normal drive (~6-7 hours) before we stop for the night in Checotaw, OK.

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