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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Back In The Old West

The "Old West" 

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Holiday Inn Express, Las Cruces, NM.  3/4/2014:  There is a place where the modern west abruptly gives way to the old.  

It's magic.

This Time Warp is right at the border between Texas and New Mexico.  You can find it for yourself by traveling west on I-40 through Amarillo.  With pastures on either side of the road, you come to the crest of a hill and, as if you cut it with a knife, the road drops into the brown, rocky landscape you read about when you were a kid.  There is no gradual transition.  Suddenly, mesas, sagebrush, golden grassy plains stretch hundreds of miles in every direction.  It's that dramatic!  And it's a sight I always wait for as I make this trip.  The picture above is just a hint of it.  If there is an ounce of romance in your soul, this will make you sing.

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As you can see, I'm in Las Cruces tonight and I'll be in Tucson tomorrow.  This trip has not been without adventure..but last night, I put all that behind me and settled down to a gorgeous 8 ounce filet mignon in no less an eatery than (I kid you not) Big Vern's Steakhouse in Shamrock, Texas.  That. and a huge glass of the best local beer and all the aches and the pains of the trip vanished .. well, pretty much.

I told you that to tell you this:  There is a place called the Big Texan in 
Amarillo that offers a free 72 ounce steak to anybody who can polish it off.  See picture, taken out the window as I roared by:
I have no idea how many hungry  citizens have pulled off this culinary legerdemain..and I probably don't want to know.  Big Vern's 8 ounce filet was delicious and just about all I could handle at that moment.  72 ounces?  Sounds like suicide to me.

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Finally, I paused today to admire my all time favorite rest stop.  This ultra-modern, solar-powered, high-tech facility is located along I-40 west and old Route 66 west of Amarillo.  It demonstrates the modern, technological Texas.  Happily, my second  favorite rest stop is just across the highway on I-40 east.  Totally Art Deco, it commemorates the glory days of old Route 66, getting your kicks and all.

It's things like that that keep you happy as you roll through the weary miles.

Good for Texas.

See you in Tucson.

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3/4/2014