Headed out along Historic Route 66 this morning, and then got back on I40 westbound. For a very long stretch today, old 66 ran alongside I40 much of the way. It's a very old, unmaintained 2 lane road, but still driveable. It's a bit depressing though, as there are all these modern gas stations and shops along I40, and a few thousand feet away are rusted, gutted remains of what once was the Main Street of America. I didn't take any pictures of things like that today, as I tried to minimize stopping and get all the way to Flagstaff, AZ.
I stopped at the Big Texan, in Amarillo for lunch. The place was nearly empty, as I was a bit early for lunch and the weather was turning awful. High winds, much like the ones in South Dakota were present the entire day, and dark storm clouds covered much of the Texas panhandle. For those of you that don't know, the Big Texan is the restaurant that advertises a FREE 72 oz. steak. The catch is that you have to eat the whole meal in 1 hour, and no breaks. You stand up, the house wins. The price of failure? 72 dollars. When I got there, a fellow had just started in on his attempt. In the 40 minutes I was there, he made decent progress, but I'm pretty sure he walked out of there feeling sick and $72 lighter.
From then on I continued west, got sprinkled on a little, but outran the rain clouds. Stopped in Clines Corners in New Mexico, to see what all the billboards were about, and use the rest room. In the parking lot, a woman noticed the Oregon tag on the bike, and asked if I was from there. I started to tell my story, and the fact that I live in California, but am originally from New York. Well, so was she, and her friend that joined us was in the process of moving from NY to Chandler, AZ. Too funny. 2 days ago at a rest stop, I met a couple moving from New Jersey to the Palm Springs area.
The wind did a number on me today, and sapped a good deal of energy riding through it. No missing tail bags, thankfully. But I called it a day in Gallup, NM. I'm planning to get an early start, head out to the Grand Canyon, and then into Phoenix to meet some friends.
The Route 66 museum in Elk City, OK.
The Big Texan.
I am pretty sure it did not end well for this fellow. With 20 minutes left to go, he was looking pretty unhappy.
My much more sensible 8 oz. steak, which was delicious. As was the sweet tea.