Clinton Oklahoma and the museum were fun but of course, we had to get moving. We were beginning to come to grips with the fact that we have a LONG way to go and we are burning through our days in a big way.
Getting out of Clinton took us on some wierd side roads in an attempt to stay true to the old highway.
We were getting hungry for lunch and trying to pick a place to stop to eat. We considered Texola which is just east of the Oklahoma Texas border but when we got there it was a complete ghost town. We probably should have stopped to shoot it but literally every business appeared to be boarded up.
We pulled over on this old stretch of 4 lane 66 to take some photos of the state line... we were there for about 10 minutes and literally didn't see a single car for that entire time, EITHER direction.
After looking ahead in the guide book we thought we'd stope at the U-Turn Inn in Shamrock Texas, the problem is, it was closed down. It was beautifully restored and looked great but the thing was barren, except for a bathroom that was open for public use, nice touch. Across the street was Vern's steak house, we had lunch there. I had sort of been eating a lot of beef to see if the meat in Texas and Oklahoma was really better. Although they had been "OK" there was nothing to write home about.
Leaving Shamrock there was a scheduled bit of dirt road that we actually chose to take this time, unlike the detour we took thru the Mark Twain Forrest by accident in Missouri. This was 8 miles of old farm road but definately considered one of the orginal paths of Route 66 between 1926 and 1932.
Groom Texas is the home of the giant cross, and yea, its big, 190 feet tall, and you can see for at least a couple miles.
So you need to know the story behind all this stuff... cuz it doesn't come easy. We missed the Bug Ranch, and when I say "we missed the bug ranch" what I mean is "Beth is much better at reading ahead in the book and I just don't read well so we totally missed the bug ranch and had to back track to get this shot." arg!!!
I think we missed it by like 5 miles or something. Since we had already driven the old road we just jumped on the interstate and buzzed back. We also came across a couple girls who had jumped out of their car to take some shots of the bugs. I had the opportunity to explain to them that taking a photo of a thing on a trip is worthless. You can buy a post card that will CLEARLY be a better photo then the one you are going to take.
We get teased a lot about the fact that we take the "same photo" all the time. (of course, I'd argue, "what do you mean the same photo, the background is different in every one") But the point of taking photos on vacation is to document YOUR trip. Get in the photo, ask people to take it for you. (BTW, I LOVE taking photos for people when I see them trading off taking shots of each other.) You want to show you were there.
So we pulled into Amarillo on Route 66 which is north of Interstate 40 at this point and it took us a while to get to The Big Texan. After finally finding it we decided to take a chance and get a room at the Big Texas Inn right next door and we learned an intersting lesson. Tourist traps aren't always bad.
First the bed at the Big Texan Inn was the best of the trip so far. It was really comfortable and we got probably the best night sleep of the whole trip. It was more costy than some of the other places we had stayed at but it was still under 100 bucks and sooo worth it.
So you may have heard of the 72oz challenge at The Big Texan, basically if you eat the big steak you get it free. But there are some things you may not have heard about. First, you only get an hour. Second, you have to eat THE WHOLE MEAL, including all the sides, a baked potato, 4 fried shrimp, the giant dinner roll, and a salad. They also make a public spectacle of you AND Beth told me they have webcams on their website showing the table you are sitting at trying to devour this giant steak.
Whlle we were there 4 guys were mid attempt, none of them finished and another started... by the time we left he wasn't even CLOSE to finishing.
Oh... and if you don't finish... its a $72 dinner bill.
But... I'll tell you this... the dinner WE had, we split a 21oz steak, was amazing. REALLY REALLY good. The best I'ld had the whole trip. So the moral of the story... "tourist traps aren't always bad"... (but they usually are).