Mar 122020

3/10  Monument, CO to Amarillo, TX  – 400  miles

To see the entire road trip visit

Well, I planned to visit with ADB today. As such I got up early and made haste. I wanted to get to Amarillo before close of business. My hope was a quick tour and then dinner with old colleagues. Where do I start with my mistakes 😊  First, I’d forgotten I would transfer into the central time zone and thus lose an hour (oops). I also hadn’t touched base with Steve Cole in several weeks.

I did call Steve when I was about 90 minutes from his office, only to find out he had some significant surgery earlier in the week. It had been scheduled for several weeks ago but got postponed. As I didn’t wish to cause any issue by imposing where I would cause pain, I told him we would cancel and maybe we could do it another time.

This left me with two options. Stay in Amarillo anyway, or press on further toward Dallas. I originally wanted to do the latter, but I began to think of the things I should get done and I was already tired.

The calvary has a saying – The horse, the saddle, the man.

The horse: As I’d already done 3500 miles, over the great divide while pulling a heavy trailer, I chose to take the time to get an oil change for my darling RAV4. It required removing the trailer, but I’ve become adept at connecting and disconnecting it. Two minutes, no more. I took a look at the old oil. It didn’t look any worse than after a normal oil change. Good news. Reconnecting the trailer, counting testing the lights, five minutes.

The saddle: Batteries need charging. Laundry needed done.

The man: Oh, I needed a good meal. I saw something on the map called the Big Texan Steak Ranch. When I drove up to it, I almost ran away. The outside looks cheesy at best. But hunger and fatigue drove me inside instead of searching for something new. The inside was even cheesier than the outside with a carnival shooting gallery and gift shop but I persisted.

The menu had great items but I decided on something simple: Medium rare 12 oz ribeye steak, caesar salad, beefsteak tomato and red onion, and dinner rolls. Simple, yet one of the best steak dinners I’ve had in dozens of years (excepting those by my wife). 

The steak was charred nicely on the outside with simple seasoning. The inside was juicy, tender, and perfectly done. For those who know me, know I use quite a lot of salt. This steak got NO seasoning of any kind once it hit my table. As it was grown on the eastern side of the Sierra-Nevadas it had none of the ‘fishy’ taste of most of the meat in the PacNW has. Probably the single best steak I’ve ever eaten, and that counts a steak at Ruth’s Steakhouse where you are lucky to get out paying $100 per plate.

It’s hard to mess up a beefsteak tomato unless it is over/under ripe or diseased. I received a softball sized tomato that was perfectly ripe and as tasty as sunshine.

The salad probably was the most pedestrian with croutons that looked like they had been poured out of a box. In spite of this, it was tasty with a slightly spicy dressing, crisp lettuce, and fresh parmesan. 

But the crowning glory of the meal had to be the dinner rolls! I know, right? A lowly dinner roll? But these rolls were so fluffy they seemed made of air rather than bread. They felt and tasted like they belonged on the plate of a god, not a mere mortal.

And no, I am not getting any compensation by this restaurant to post this… If you find yourself in Amarillo and want a GREAT steak meal, drop in.

Next: Cancelled!

 March 12, 2020  Uncategorized  Add comments