Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ready To Move On

Friday was our last day in Amarillo.  Eileen and I left early for a nail salon we had located.  We made stops at the post office and movie theater too.  Hillary's America was playing and we were all going to an afternoon show.  I wasn't sure about lines or ticket availability at showtime so we planned ahead.

After a late lunch we left for the movie and encountered no lines at all and obtained good seats.  By showtime the theater had a good crowd.  The movie is a very interesting history lesson and the conclusions reached at the end are a bit scary.  I would recommend it regardless of your political leanings.  It makes me understand a bit better how I got from a childhood and early marriage in Democratic union homes to where I am today.

Dinner was leftovers and then one-third of a game of Mexican Train.  It got dark before we could finish but I was ahead.  We will start on double 7 when we start up again.  In the morning we were leaving for an overnight in Capulin, NM.

We left on time after replacing the same 30 amp fuse again.  Ted seems to think it has something to do  with the vanity slide.  We are now armed with a box of fuses, doing troubleshooting, put in a call to DRV and waiting for SIL Bill to arrive!

It was a beautiful drive out of Oklahoma and into New Mexico.  Land of Enchantment is a great slogan for this state.  It is so beautiful.  



We pulled into Capulin, NM right around noon in the shadow of Volcano National Monument park.  There were storms around and we could see lightning which closes the park roads so we crossed that off our list. 


After set up with no slide issues, we went to buy those extra fuses and find a place to eat.  The recommendation we received was great and we all had "lupper" for lunch/supper.  Tom keeps asking what happened to lunch because he never seems to get it and if he does, there's no dinner.  

I happened to read that we were going to be close to the NRA Whittington Center so we decided to go there.  I have been to the National Gun Club in San Antonio where Ted shoots competitively if we are around in October but this one is huge and spread over 20,000 acres.  We took in the gun museum with some interesting stories attached to items and then rode through some of the property observing cabins, dining halls, campgrounds and all kinds of shooting stations including a long distance range of 1000 feet for rifles.  We saw lots of deer just standing around so I guess the people and gun shots don't scare them.  This area was part of the Santa Fe Trail long ago.  

Statue of George Montgomery, actor and sculpture.  He was married to Dinah Shore.
 

The Gatling Gun, the first type of machine gun used in the US.


A sculpture depicting a western scene reminiscent of the Remington sculptures but costs way less.


We went to church at St. Patrick/St. Joseph Church in Raton and then drove the 25 miles back to the campground.  We finished our interrupted game of Mexican Train and the score is Tom 3, Ted 2 and Donna 1.  In the morning we leave for Colorado Springs and a week with Kara, Bill, Sam and Morgan.  



Thursday, July 21, 2016

More Days in Amarillo

We have been on the go so much we decided to just chill at home until it was time to go to Palo Duro Canyon.  Ted and Tom washed off the dirty spots on the rigs and vehicles caused by the sprinklers hitting them in Oklahoma City.  You are not supposed to wash vehicles but Ted would rather ask forgiveness than seek permission.  No one bothered him but both he and Tom said some spots remain and will need to be buffed out.  I wrote the park and complained but I doubt I will hear from them.  Their sprinklers shouldn't be set to hit vehicles when parked.

Then they both went to Home Depot to return a hose that sprung a leak.  It didn't go well at first but Ted finally got his new hose.  He had the truck washed on the way home and the remaining spots aren't bad on the champagne color.  He has an electric buffer at home so he isn't too concerned for now.  Tom has some Spray & Shine and they will try that.

We left about 4:00 for Canyon TX to catch the shuttle for the Texas Musical and dinner.  Eileen and I stopped in some shops on the town square and then met the fellows at a cute soda shop complete with lunch counter, jukebox, penny candy, old signs and lots of 45's on the walls.  We had something to drink until it was time to go.


This was our first glimpse of the canyon and it is pretty spectacular.  


That is a private home on top the ridge.  What a view!


Our evening included a chuck wagon dinner of ham, brisket, sausage, beans, cole slaw, potato salad and cobbler.  I took everything but immediately gave Ted my beans and sausage.  It was quite tasty and we all enjoyed the meal.

This is the amphitheater backdrop and seats.



The production is a musical centered around the story of settling the Texas panhandle.  After reading the area history I think it is based loosely on Charles Goodnight and the 1.3 million acre JA Ranch.  The Indians had already been sent to reservations, large landholders were fencing public lands and small farmers were having difficulty with water and passage because of the fences.  When the Indians came to hunt buffalo, they found only cattle.  Chief Quanah Parker brokered a treaty with Goodnight for two steers a day.   Unfortunately the Indians ended up permanently on reservations back in Oklahoma but the fencing question was settled by the government.   The finale is a patriotic salute to Texas and the U.S. and was an extravaganza production including spraying water fountains, fire, fireworks, flag waving, recognition of the military, dance and songs.  We all said it was a really nice meal and production.

The next day we returned to the Palo Duro State Park.  It was too hot to even think about taking trails so we stopped at the Visitor's Center then drove the whole loop stopping for some photos.








We returned home in time for our free limo ride to the Big Texan Steak Ranch.



It was a fun way to get to the restaurant and we enjoyed the drivers' commentary both coming and going.

We had fun taking photos all around the restaurant.  This is the home of the 72 oz. Free steak if you can eat it all along with a shrimp cocktail, salad, baked potato and a roll.  Unbelievably the record holder is a 120 lb. woman who ate it in less than 5 minutes!


Two fellows had just finished their attempt and there was a bachelor who was eating with 11 friends to celebrate his upcoming wedding and was about to begin but we were leaving.  The one hour clocks were all set to go again.


It is quite a place and we had fun taking photos.  I ended up in jail for the second time but Eileen was with me this time.


Our driver to the restaurant.


Shades of Edith Ann from Laugh In.  We did laugh a lot trying to get in and out of the chair!



I finally found a coffee cup for me to use in the trailer.  I just don't know where to buy it.




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Continuing On

Our departure was delayed a half hour Monday morning when our slides would not come in.  There was no response on any of the four so we figured it was an electric disconnect somewhere.  After a phone call, a few photos texted to Slade and locating the proper connection, we figured out where to look.  Thankfully we had a 30 amp fuse and that did the trick.

Our route was I-40 back into the Texas panhandle to Amarillo.  We stopped at a Flying J for Tom to fuel up but Ted had filled up Sunday night so we just pulled in and waited.  It gave us an opportunity to get a coffee and a cappuccino with our Pilot gift cards.  My brother owns a trucking company and gave us lots of cards he uses as rewards for his drivers.  I texted him "thanks for the coffee" but I think he is in Canada fishing.  Next stop was a snazzy rest stop building along the way.


We arrived at our campground west of Amarillo and got set up.  We did a quick run to Walmart to get Tom a birthday card and cake.  Then we stopped at the Texas Travel Center and stocked up on local info.  Around 9:00 we celebrated Tom's birthday.  We skipped Mexican Train and were in bed by 11:00.

Tuesday we had to make a run to an AT&T store because Eileen's phone locked up and she couldn't get it open but Siri kept talking to her.  The lady pushed two buttons, reset the entire phone and we were good to go.

Next stop was Bob's Classic Car Museum.  


I have never seen such a large, gorgeous group of classics gathered in one place.  I always look for a 1956 Chevy BelAir because that was my first car and I was not disappointed.  However, mine was black and white.


And we found the car we dated in with our best man and maid of honor, a red and white Olds convertible but I don't remember the exact year, but somewhere in the late '50s.  We have many memories of the times we spent with them during high school and we are still friends today and visit when we are in Cincinnati.



This car got my vote for snazziest paint job.


From there we went to Jack Sizemore's RV museum.  I liked this collection even better than the museum in Indiana where most RVs are made.

This is the motorhome used in the movie RV starring Robin Williams.  Behind it is the first Itasca ever built.


And Ted found a prop in that first Itasca, a Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper printed on a Thursday night in 1974.  Odds are great he worked that night in the pressroom and printed this very newspaper.


We drove to the historic strip of Route 66 but there isn't much there.  


We did find a politician though.


A stop in an antique store told me the bowls I received as a wedding  shower gift in 1965 probably shouldn't be used everyday like I do.


We headed to the Midpoint Cafe, about 40 miles west of town.  Our intention was to have lunch but when we arrived they said their walk in refrigerator compressor broke and they weren't serving food.  So we took a few photos showing we were 1139 miles from Los Angeles to the west and 1139 miles from Chicago to the east.



We started back using the GPS food button to locate another restaurant out in the middle of nowhere. It showed two in Vega.  When we arrived the first one was no longer in business nor was the motel attached to it.  But there were cars in front of the other so we went in not expecting much.

What a surprise. The selection was great, portions large and very good.  The presentation was what surprised me the most, very pretty plates and use of fruits and veggies as garnish.  I had a wrap and the tortilla they started with had to be 12-14 inches.  I ate half and brought the other half home and had it for dinner.  A little serendipity going on there!

We had one more stop to make and we all had a good laugh on two fronts.  There were a lot of cars and people everyday at a field when we drove by on the expressway.  We thought they were picking some fruit or vegetable. Eileen was determined to find out what because she wanted to pick some too.  As we took the frontage road instead of the x-way we decided to stop at the field and ask.  They weren't pickers!  They were all walking out to the Cadillac Ranch.  I have never seen so little looked at by so many.  There are 10 old Cadillacs buried in the ground and spray painted beyond recognition.  Whatever!!


After such a full day we headed home.   Three loads of laundry awaited me but that was softened by the fact that Ted and I used the pool while it washed and dried.  

Tomorrow evening is the Texas Musical in Palo Duro Canyon.  Not sure about daytime activities.







Sunday, July 17, 2016

Almost ready for Amarillo

We have seen quite a bit of OKC so Saturday we decided to take in a movie about 2 minutes away.  There is not much to choose from though.  We ended up seeing Ghostbusters 2 because the time was right, the theater was cool and it was just $5 though the young man said he would never call me a senior.  It was about the dumbest show I have ever seen but there were some funny lines and no cursing!  The last two times Eileen picked the shows.  I walked out of Wolf of Wall Street and would have done the same with Ted 2 but there were six of us and I didn't know the other couple well at the time.  Afterwards they said they would have walked out too if they knew we wanted to.  Poor Ted thought it was a Disney movie and wondered why we were seeing it in the first place!  Eileen isn't allowed to pick anymore!

We stopped at the Grand Opening of a Sprouts and got beautiful produce at great prices.  Bing cherries, tomatoes and cantaloupe were all under $1.  After dropping the groceries off we went to church.  The weather has been cooler and Ted has been using the campground's gas grill so he made burgers for dinner.  The Mexican Train score now is Tom 3, Donna 1 and Ted 1.

Sunday we headed to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  It is an attractive building and grounds.


The End of the Trail sculpture fills the entrance hall.  It signifies the dejected spirit of Native Americans when they felt defeated against the government.  If any race deserves reparations it is the Native Americans.


A Best of the West art display and sale is in progress.  The paintings were exquisite and many of them were sold.  I could have easily dropped $100,000 if I bought my favorites.  If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!

A painting of Glenn Ford is the best portrait I have ever seen.  It was such an absolute copy of him that it almost appeared to be a photograph.


Ted ran into his cousin Roy so I took their photo.


There was a complete town erected inside a special building that was quite interesting.  The hotel, school, sheriff's office, mercantile, Doctor, newspaper, livery, blacksmith, etc. were included.  I ended up in jail while Tom and Ted waited at the saloon!





Everything cowboy and western was included in the balance of the museum from the Parker Ranch in Hawaii to the vaqueros of Mexico, silent cowboy movies, the first "talkies," Buffalo Bill Cody and Ranch 101 entertainment, saddles, 1300 types of barbed wire, boots, Indian beadwork, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, the singing Cowboys; Bonanza, Big Valley, Gunsmoke and many other TV programs, etc. all included in 9 galleries.  There were several films that we stopped to watch.  Eileen and I took a test identifying theme songs from TV westerns.  We got 11 out of 12 right.

I felt I lived in the South when I lived in Florida though it wasn't the Deep South.  I have never identified Texas as South but we aren't really the west either in the Piney Woods of east Texas.  I loved this Arthur Chapman poem that was in one of the films we saw today.  After 16 years in Texas, I will now say I live in the west!

Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That’s where the West begins;

Out where the sun is a little brighter,
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter,
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter,
That’s where the West begins.

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,
Out where friendship’s a little truer,
That’s where the West begins;

Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,
Where there’s laughter in every streamlet flowing,
Where there’s more of reaping and less of sowing,
That’s where the West begins;

Out where the world is in the making,
Where fewer hearts in despair are aching,
That’s where the West begins;

Where there’s more of singing and less of sighing,
Where there’s more of giving and less of buying,
And a man makes friends without half trying —
That’s where the West begins. 

Tomorrow we make the 250 mile trek to Amarillo.  





Saturday, July 16, 2016

And We Go On

In the afternoon we drove to Bricktown to visit the Oklahoma Land Run Monument.  This is in a park that contains 40, to be 45, bronze sculptures depicting the land rush in the 1800s.  First we stopped at a "beach with no ocean" in the middle of town.  




We walked in front of the Brickyard Ballpark and took a few photos.  This is Mickey Mantle


This is Johnny Bench


The next photos are of the sculptures in a very pretty park along the waterway.  
 
The fallen horse and rider.


The blown away hat






The weather was much more pleasant so after dinner we played Mexican Train.  Score now is Tom 2, Donna 1.

On Friday we visited the Express Clydesdales, not to be confused with the Anheiser Busch horses.  These horses are black with white markings and only about 10% of the breed have this coloring.  They too are bred for and trained to the hitch. 




Most of the horses were in Calgary for the 2016 Stampede but Rocky and a mother and foal were still in residence.  

Rocky


Mother and 3.5 month old foal who was fairly dappled in color.  If he stays like that, he will not make the hitch.


The horseshoe of a Clydesdale versus a regular horseshoe!


Horse constructed of horseshoes.



From there we returned to Bricktown to take the waterway canal tour.  It was a beautiful ride with lovely landscaping and converted warehouses turned into an entertainment district.  

Chickasaw Indian Monument to honor Oklahoma's Native American heritage.

 
Mural on the waterway with birds, bison, redbud tree, swallowtail bird and Indian women, all symbols of Oklahoma.


The Bricktown Stadium as seen from the waterway.


Downtown skyline in the distance behind the leading sculpture of a "boomer" waving his land claim flag.  Those that got an early start under the cover of darkness were called "Sooners."


Waterfall


Toby Keith's restaurant with a guitar shaped patio.


After all our adventures we ate at Earl's BBQ along the waterway.  One of their sides was four deviled egg halves.  What a delight!  I love deviled eggs and these were just right and a nice change from the usual.  

We made our way home and waited for a repairman to check out our A/C.  It appeared to be working but it didn't feel like it was as cool as it should be.  They checked our units and said they were like new.  When they checked fan speed, it was on low, not high.  It is the most complicated thermostat and we are just happy we can turn the two units on heat or cool!  They also took down four vent covers for us to wash the filters inside.  They really needed it so hopefully the problem is solved and we  will be cool enough.

We began our nightly game of Mexican Train and the score is now Tom 3, Donna 1.