June 19, 2017
Having left behind us the scenic New Mexico we went on route once more to Texas and the famous part of Route 66 around Amarillo. Amarillo is home to maybe the best known of all American roadside attractions; Cadillac Ranch which are basically 10 Cadillacs planted hood first in the ground and on which visitors are encouraged to spray graffiti. Turning it into this every changing canvas. Of course as is always the case with popular attractions the area now also houses a “Combine Ranch” and “VW Beetle Ranch”. Another well know roadside attraction in Amarillo is the Big Western steakhouse where they have world-famous 72oz (2KG) steak challenge. The challenge is simple if you can finish the steak with its side dishes (fried shrimp, side salad, baked potato and a roll) in an hour, you get your place on the hall of fame and don’t have to pay for your meal. I failed to finish my 16oz steak; the record holder on the other hand finished a grand total of 3 entire meals in less than 20 minutes. Thats around 250oz or 7KG of food in 20 minutes. And the most surprising part? She is a 120lbs (54KG) petite woman. Meaning she was almost 15% steak after she finished. Its a fascinating watch on Youtube for those interested (LINK)
After two weeks of Texas it was finally time to say goodbye and we continued our trip north towards Kansas and although we tried really hard we had great difficulties finding anything really interesting. Apart from the “original house” of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz it was mostly field after field after field of crops. The most interesting thing we found was Monument Rocks; a couple of large chalk formations.
From Kansas we made our way west towards Colorado and the Rocky Mountains.In a matter of two days the desert we had gotten accustomed to made way to snow. And where it was hard in Kansas to find anything interesting to do Colorado couldn’t be more different. The short week we allocated to the state wasn’t nearly enough to do it justice. We visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Spring; got to the top of one of the tallest mountains in the Rockies on Pikes Peak; visited a concert in the most beautiful venue we had ever visited Red Rock Amphitheater; drove over the continental divide; visited Great Sand Dunes National Park; spend the day in Aspen; enjoyed scenic Maroon Bells National Park and visited the St. Elmo ghost town. And although we did all these things, it didn’t even scratch the surface of the things you could and should do in the state.
That is not to say that everything went smooth and perfect. Ever since Terlingua we have this thunder storm following us wherever we go. For at least two weeks straight we were got in the middle of a storm once a day. This also happened during the concert we attended in Red Rock Amphitheatre. Since we both have a fear of rain this resulted in us leaving the concert before the main act even started.
From Colorado we drove to Moab, Utah to visit two national parks close by; Arches and Canyonlands. Moab itself is a city with about as much charm as a Walmart parking lot, it is clearly a tourist destination and every inch of it is filled with motels, tour operators, ATV rentals and mostly mediocre restaurants. Luckily the scenery and surroundings of Moab make up for all that and even better all that scenery is dotted with off-road 4×4 tracks that you can traverse. One of the hardest and best know of the tracks “Hells Revenge”, since the Mustang already had more damage than planned we decided not to take on the track ourselves. When we later returned in a hummer it was obvious that we made the right choice. You can see the course here (LINK). Since we weren’t allowed to actually drive the hummer ourselves we later got a nice buggy so we could race around the tracks ourselves.