We woke the next morning to the smell of home cooked bacon. Oh how I’ve missed that! The Davies Mountains Inn provided us with a fully cooked breakfast along with fruit, juices and coffee. Once we’d showered, we made our way downstairs and joined the family from the suite for some brekkie. It made a change to be social over breakfast and we enjoyed telling them all about our travels and listening to their stories.
After filling ourselves with bacon, eggs, French toast and fruit, we said goodbye, packed up the car and hit the road. Today we were headed to Amarillo…
Somewhere along the journey, we were stuck at some roadworks, when a guy approached us from the car behind. This isn’t the first time this has happened. We often get stopped and asked about our epic road trip by people who see our blog details on our car’s rear window. This time though the guy had a present for us. He told us how he was selling his car and as a result, he would like to give us a pin of an American Flag as a memento for our journey. It was a lovely gesture and the pin is now safely stuck in the cars visor.
It was a long drive of nearly 7 hours so as soon as we arrived at our Travelodge, we hit the sack to rest up for the following days activities.
Fully rejuvenated, we headed straight out the next morning to the Palo Duro Canyon. It’s just East of Amarillo and is the second largest canyon after the Grand Canyon so we knew we had to see it. Although, today we weren’t going to be hiking, we’d decided to see the rocky ditch via a different method – ZIPLINING!
After a short drive, we pulled up outside the Palo Duro Zipline Adventure Park and headed inside. We were met by a girl who informed us of the prices and then pointed us in the direction of the waivers. This was when I started to feel slightly nervous. I also hate signing something that tells me what I’m about to do is dangerous and can kill me. Barry wasn’t messing around though, he signed his and before I knew it he was filling out mine as well. Once we’d paid our $25 each, we were fitted with our harnesses and helmets and made our way out to a buggy that would take us to the canyon.
As we drove over to the platform, we got a glimpse of the canyon and I went from slightly nervous to pure panic. I kept reasoning that I’d done a skydive, this was nothing in comparison. When we reached the edge of the canyon, we had to walk over two suspension bridges to get up to the platform we would be jumping off. Our guide clipped us onto a rope on the bridges just to make sure we didn’t get too excited and jump off. He was more than happy to test out the strength of the ropes as he jumped up and down on the bridge and left me clinging to the rope for dear life. Barry found this highly amusing. Thanks for that!
We had hoped to go together, but we were told that we had to go one at a time, so of course Barry decided he would go first. I prefer to go first, that way he won’t put me off when he starts screaming like a girl! We had to climb a little ladder where we were then hooked onto the zip wire. Then you just had to step off the ladder and you would fly through the air at speeds of up to 55-60mph. Simple!
Barry jumped off with ease and as he sailed through the canyon, he let himself spin round so he could check out the view. Once he reached the end it was my turn. I froze. I got a real burst of panic as I looked down the wire. I told the guide I was nervous but I didn’t know why, so he offered to push me off. I politely declined and after a few more seconds of hesitation, I found the courage to step off the ladder. It all happened so quickly, but I was brave enough to let go and let myself swing round. It actually felt surprisingly safe and I wasn’t swinging all over the place like I originally thought I would. I made it to the other end in one piece and like everything else we’ve done on this trip, I was glad I did it.
After the zip line it was time to check out some of the famous sights around Amarillo. The first of which was the bug ranch. It was a site just off the old route 66, where 5 Volkswagen Beetles mysteriously appeared one day buried bonnet deep in the ground. It was built next to a creepy old building, which like the bugs, was covered in graffiti. I took a nose inside and it was filled with pizza boxes and beer cans. Someone had a good time in there!
Our next stop was home of the famous 72oz steak – the Big Texan Steak Ranch. The 72oz steak is free if you can eat the whole steak, along with all the sides (shrimp cocktail, jacket potato, salad, bread rolls) in 60 minutes. Before we went in, Barry was adamant he was going to go for the challenge. However, once we entered and saw a display of the famed beef product, he quickly changed his mind. And if he hadn’t have changed his mind then, he would definitely have changed his mind once we went in and saw that if he did decided to take on the challenge, he would’ve had to have sat on a stage, in the middle of the restaurant, with a timer over his head. You may think that he likes to be centre of attention, but really he hates being noticed, so this would’ve been hell for him.
When it was time to order, Barry went for the next best thing – the Man vs. Food challenge. It consisted of an 18oz steak, with breaded shrimp, salad and a jacket potato. When it came out, it didn’t look very big, but it was thick. I only had a 9oz rib eye and that was more than enough for me. He did us proud though and finished the entire steak, just leaving half the salad and a small amount of potato. After polishing all that off, he wouldn’t need to eat for the rest of the week!
Before we left Amarillo the next day, we just had one more stop to make. It was the bug ranch’s bigger, better and older brother – Cadillac Ranch. Almost everyone has heard of this one and it is another famous sight along the old route 66. This time we popped to Home Depot (America’s answer to B&Q) and bought ourselves a spray can. We obviously couldn’t visit without leaving our mark.
When we arrived, we were the only people there, so we quickly took advantage of this by spraying on all the gaps we could see. Neither of us had ever really used a spray can before and it really was a lot harder than it looks. Plus the wind was really strong and kept blowing the spray everywhere. We did our best, but maybe luminous orange wasn’t the best colour to use.
Just as we were getting ready to leave, a group of four turned up and offered to take our picture. They were from Dallas and we even got to pose with a real Dallas Cowboy!