Off to Amarillo, Texas
Day 27 June 29th Groom, TX to Amarillo, TX 52 miles – Total Miles – 1,546
Weather: 67 degrees and stormy in morning, hot afternoon- 94 degrees, tailwind
Once again we got up and on the road early. The weather was marginal and a storm was definitely coming our way but after checking the radar and weather station we thought we would have enough time to get to Conway – 16 miles away.
On our way out of Groom we were able to see the “World’s Largest Cross” It was as large as the neighboring wind turbines and stood 190 feet into the air.
As we were heading to Conway, about 10 miles into our ride it became apparent we were not going to reach Conway before the storm came thru. So we looked for a place to shelter and were lucky to find a grain elevator, pole barn, office and other miscellaneous building to take shelter in. We stopped by the pole barn to check the radar and decide if we could continue or needed to hang for a bit. Luckily we decided to stay put – about five minutes later the wind picked up and it started to pour. We hauled the bicycle and us into the pole barn and stayed put for about a half hour.
When we first stopped by the pole barn, Tracy needed to go to the bathroom and when done bumped the map out of her pocket and in the wind. It started to blow across the driveway and towards a field that was acres and acres wide. Tracy panicked thinking the map was gone and would end up somewhere in New Mexico. Luckily the field was surrounded by barbed wire and the map in the plastic bag got caught on the barbed wire – thank goodness!! Tracy said someone was looking out for her!!
After the storm we continued our ride to Conway. We found two unique things in Conway. The first one is the Slug Bug Ranch – which is a take off of the Cadillac Ranch but with VW Bugs. The second was two large revolvers located at the end of a private driveway. The revolvers were actually grills that some one had placed on either side of their driveway facing out to the street- strange but then we are in Texas!!
We finally got to Amarillo and our first stop was the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery. You just had to stop after seeing their billboards for miles and miles. There draw is a free meal if a customer can consume a 72 ounce steak in one hour or less. When we were there two gentleman were trying to do it. They actually have a raised table with spot lights that they eat at. They also have a large count down timer you can watch. It is funny and actually gross!
When we were parking our bicycle and getting ready to head into the restaurant – we noticed some really cool tandems hanging on the back of a van – we walked over to check them out. They were hanging on a RAAM- Race Across America van. Very cool – if you have not familiar with RAAM it is basically is a bicycle race across the country – it starts in California and ends on the east coast.
When we walked into the restaurant a man came up to us probably because we were in bicycling clothes. We then asked him if he was one of the RAAM riders. He introduced himself – Michael and his girlfriend Jeanene, they were the tandem riders. It was the first time they had competed in the race and completed it in 7 days – amazing. They also took first place in their category. We asked what their average speed was and it was 20mph – again amazing. (fastest speed was 71 mph) Remember it will take us about 2 months to bicycle across the country and they just did it in 7 days. They were heading back home near Santa Monica CA and invited us to stay at their place if we needed somewhere to stay – very nice.
After lunch we had about 8 miles to go to get to our hotel. We are looking forward to a day off tomorrow and Tracy said she plans to sleep until noon.