Canyon Run

Our Hoosier friends needed to experience the “World’s Greatest Pancakes” and we knew just where to take them. Since they had spent a long day yesterday in the saddle we fired up the truck today and drove the 7 miles to Ye Olde Pancake Station (again). Once again good service and good food but I can’t really speak to the pancakes being the world’s best.

Back at our temporary home we pulled our trusty bikes out of the convenient garage and headed for Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This park was listed as one of the best motorcycle roads in the area in the Amarillo travel brochure and it also received a very strong recommendation from a local truck driver. That was good enough for me. Just in case you thought we bypassed a landmark – we did stop at the Amarillo Harley Davidson dealer. No purchases were made.

Palo Duro is only about 20 miles or so from our condo so we didn’t plan on a long riding day. While the park was really scenic, the ride was “nice”. It had a few technical sections but for the most part was an easy ride. Max did a super job of leading us since I hadn’t bothered to put any kind of route in the GPS. Max, always the efficient one had the route ready to go so we all just fell in line behind him. I might have enjoyed being the trailing member a little too much. There were a couple of times I fell behind some because I was going slow to admire the scenery. Jana even called to me over the intercom once to make sure I was OK because I had dropped out of sight behind her. Unfortunately we did not stop which means very few pictures for me to share with you.

The surprising part of the canyon experience for me was that the entire area leading up to the state park is about as flat as a table top. It’s only when you are entering the park that a large canyon comes into view. We stopped exactly twice on our jaunt. Once to take the picture you see above and to walk down a short incline to the visitors center. The second stop was at the “trading post” which really more of a retail shop with food and the requisite souvenirs. I was able to score my first “smashed penny” of the trip and another hat pin to place on my map at home. We had another great conversation with a couple who was camping in the park and sat next to us while we enjoyed the air conditioning and a cold drink at the trading post.

Soon enough we were back in our own air conditioning and discussing what to do about food (like I need to eat more). If you’re in Amarillo it’s hard to resist a visit to The Big Texan. Their billboards proclaim a “free” 72 ounce steak. Admittedly, there is some fine print associated with the offer (which no one ever bothers to read).

The “fine print” says you have to eat an entire 72 ounce steak and all the sides in an hour or less. If you do that there is no charge. Otherwise this opportunity to make yourself sick will cost you $72 dollars. We happened to follow in a guy who proclaimed he wanted to take on the challenge. I was anxious to see what a 6 pound steak looked like. I knew I would never be up for the challenge.

Wow – 72 ounces of Texas red meat. The first bite goes down.

This particular guy gave a great effort. With 5 minutes left in the hour, all the meat was gone but there are the side dishes left to deal with. It’s hard to tell in this picture but there are 3 shrimp, a dinner roll, and a small salad. It all has to be inside the challenger (and stay there for a few minutes) when the 60 minute timer expires. When the clock reached 55 minutes, he deposited some of the steak in the trash can provided and rang the bell. There was a round of applause and several congratulations. I talked to him briefly and he said he had no idea how he was going to get out of the chair.

In the mean time, I had ordered a more modest 12 ounce cut (1/6 of what the challenger attempted). It was good but my mom would have been disappointed – I didn’t clean my plate.

I enjoyed having my friends here for a couple of days but they have bigger and better things to do as they complete the Bucket List Trip 2.0. I wish them safe travels and good weather. I wish I could join them but there is only so much Rambling that one Henry can do in a year.

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