Palo Duro Canyon is one of my...
Palo Duro Canyon is one of my favorite things to do near Amarillo. In the photo you can see the visitor center. It is made of stone and perches on the canyon rim.
The canyon is 120 miles long and 20 miles wide and has been called the Grand Canyon of Texas. There is a lot of history associated with the canyon itself and much to see and do there. You can go camping, horseback riding, hiking, and bird watching just to name a few things. Don't forget to ride the 'sad monkey' railroad.
Big Texan Steak Ranch
"Damn! That's a big piece of beef"
Once I heard about the Big Texan, I did my homework. Found out where it was in relation to my hotel and how I was going to get there etc.
My group had a planned (but optional) activity planned for that night but my heart was set on the Big Texan and a great steak.
I 'borrowed' this from the BigTexan.com website.
"Rule # 1 is to have fun. We really want you to win! The $50 dinner consist of a baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, roll, and a 72-ounce top sirloin steak. You must sit at the designated table in our dining room. You may not leave the table for any reason once the contest starts. No one may assist you in any way (such as cutting up your meal). You must complete the dinner in 1 hour (if you can't do the meal in an hour, you ain't going get it done in 2 hours anyway). You may not share your meal even if you don't complete the dinner (like take it back to your table to be shared by any folks you may have invited to cheer you on). If you get sick (its been know to happen) the contest is over, period. You can order the steak cooked anyway you want. We will allow you a sample bite (small) prior to the start of the timer to make sure it is cooked to your satisfaction and the taste meets with your approval. Then we start the timer for one hour. You do not have to eat the fat or gristle (if you can find any), but we must judge this. Again, we want you to win but we do know our meats and will judge accordingly. The contest is just that, a contest. The steak is not offered on our menu as a meal. We do not allow the dinner to be ordered as a meal (unless you want to spend $200). It takes us a little more than a half an hour to cook the steak and it is available 365 days a year from 8:00am to 9:30pm."
Once inside, you are escorted to your table by girls wearing 'traditional' western ladies dress. This is where the fun begins.
Some Big Texan Facts
Nearly 4800 people have succeeded in eating the 72oz. steak (since 1960).
Almost 30,000 people have attempted to consume the free 72oz. steak (since 1960).
Approximately two women each year successfully eat the steak of the 4 or 5 who try. About 50% of the women who try are successful.
Richard LaFeare chomped his way through 2 steaks on the "Donny & Marie Osmond Show" in 2000.
Frank Pastore, who was a professional pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, ate the complete steak dinner in 9 and 1/2 minutes.
The oldest person to eat the steak was a 69-year-old grandmother; the youngest, an 11-year old boy.
Klondike Bill, a professional wrestler, consumed two complete dinners in the one hour time limit back in the 1960s.
Are you going to take the challenge? No, probably not...but what size steak will you order...8oz, 12oz...larger?
"Hmmm...that head reminds me of someone"
I decide to limit myself to a 'small' 12oz steak but I treat myself to a Big Boot beer. 30oz and you keep the boot it comes in. (I'm a little disappointed when it turns out to be plastic but it survived the trip which is more than can be said for a couple of other souvenir glasses I bought).
Taking the time to look around while waiting for my first course, I see mounted heads along the walls.
Music is provided by a strolling trio of musicians & singers pouring forth with golden country oldies. I guess they won't know any Garth, Shania or Faith so I keep quiet.
"Stuffed and Happy"
Ahhh...stuffed with food & beer. That's my idea of a good meal.
I have some time to wait before I am due to be picked up & returned to the hotel so I wander round the bar area & there's this rocking chair.
Big enough for two people (or one texan) to sit comfortably.
"Yes, you guessed it!"
Continuing my look round, I come across a gift shop..what a surprise.
On the other hand, I do want to commemorate a good evening out to a wonderful restaurant.
So I wander in & pick up a T-shirt.
Well, it would be rude not to.
"Hey, there's a hotel. Why aren't we staying there?"
Standing around outside, waiting for my ride I see the Big Texan Hotel. Made up to look like a western streetfront, I think i would have preferred to stay there. It's just a conveient as the Holiday Inn where we are staying.
Ahh, the highs & lows of tour group travel.
(No, that's not my picture, mine was very bad)
Just before my ride arrives, I see, out of the corner of my eye, a pile of scrap metal. Walking over, I can see that it used to be a motor vehicle at one time.
I ask inside about it and they tell me that it's a Jeep that was caught in a tornado.
Just then, the van from my hotel arrives to pick me up and I have to say farewell to the Big Texan. Hope to come back one day!
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