Amarillo, TX and beyond

Monday, June 21st.  It took us about 6 hours to get from Dallas to Amarillo.  We had planned on catching up with old Route 66 at this point.  But didn’t think ahead that it would be evening when we got there.  So we decided to go ahead and stop for a proper dinner.

THE BIG TEXAN

If you can eat the 72 oz. steak and all the fixin’s that come with it you get it all for free.  Of course, we didn’t even try that.  But apparently there have been people who have done it.  I think they are crazy.  It just doesn’t seem healthy to me to eat that much in one sitting.

Anyway, this place is like a big touristy saloon.  But the food was pretty good.

It didn’t take long for it to get dark after we left dinner.  Which we were bummed about since this is where our trip should have been getting really interesting.  Our little Route 66 guide book says that we were about to miss some really cool sites.  There is a ghost town and Billy The Kid’s grave site to name a couple.  But by missing these sites it make our arrival to Cali probably about a day sooner than anyone expected.

So we drove until about ~ oh I don’t know ~ 10:00pm or so before stopping at a rest stop to sleep in the car for a while.  We woke up a couple of hours later and Chris decided to drive the rest of the night while Marisa and I slept.  He poked me awake when the sun start peaking out so we could see the nice sunrise view of the mesas.  I believe we were in Arizona by this time.  We totally slept through New Mexico.

It was far too early to see any of the touristy stops that our guide book was telling us to stop at.  But we drove past a couple of them.

We figured that it was all just cheap crap anyway ~ no offense meant to the great people who run these places.  But we are more into souvenirs that are hand-made by actual local artisans instead of coming from Japan or China.

Finally we found one to stop at when it got later in the morning.  And we found that most of what was inside was actually from Japan.  BUT….they had a ton of fossilized trees outside that were from the area.

GERONIMOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (I just had to say that ~ LOL!)  That’s what it is called.

Looks like tree but feels like stone.  Very cool.

Onward we go to our next stop for gas.

Winslow was just a small town in the middle of desert.  Nothing special to see that I could tell.  But then again, we weren’t spending much time there.  We just drove through.  It was fun to see the history though.  Lots of old buildings.  Forgot to take pics since it was such a short trip through.

The book said we should check out Meteor City.  The only thing we could see about Meteor City was this sign, so we turned off.  Well….

This is what Meteor City turned out to be:

Maybe somewhere far off of the highway there was a “city” or town or whatever.  But on the stretch of highway we were on this is all we saw.  And we were 15 minutes early to get to go in.

Back on the road.  The landscape is really pretty in Arizona.

The next tourist trap we come to is Meteor Crater.  Sounds exciting doesn’t it?

How ‘bout it’s $15 PER PERSON to see the damn hole in the ground.  So we stood in the parking lot and took some pics of the view.

Interesting plants around the parking lot.

More scenic views back on the road.

AND FINALLY!!!!!

YIPPEE!!!!!  YAY!!!!!  YAHOO!!!!!  Our new home.  Sunny California!  And the Colorado river:

What a beautiful sight.  It feels really good to start over with a brand new life.  At this point we are driving along, all glad to finally be in Cali, when we come up on some signs that read ALL vehicles must pull over for inspection.  I’m slightly freaking at this point.  Not that I think we have anything of question, it’s just that I have no idea what this all means.  Chris just says “oh yeah, I forgot about that.”   EEK!  What’s going on here.  Well, we get up to the inspection place and the nice gentleman starts asking us questions.  Have we got any produce?  Thinks…..no.  Have we got any pets?  Oh my goodness….yes.  Chili!!

This guy has no idea what a chinchilla is.  So we are all naming animals that he’s like: a mix between a squirrel and a rabbit, a rodent.  Ack!  He has no idea what we are talking about.  He wants to take a look at him, so Chris has to climb out of the back seat so this guy can lean in and take a peak through the cage door.  He asked us if he lives in a cage and if we can handle him.  At this point I’m remembering that someone told me that ferrets are illegal in Cali.  What does that mean for Chili?  Are chinchillas illegal here?  I’ve never been to any other state that made any sort of fuss about people crossing the border.  Then he sees our houseplants.  I brought two jade plants and an orchid with us.  Just my favs that I could stash somewhere in the car.  His only question about those is if they stay in pots.  Yes, they are houseplants.  Then he has to go in to ask his boss about Chili.  I’m freakin’ at this point wondering what they are going to say.  Finally after what felt like 10 minutes he came back out to say we could go ahead.  Whew!!!  Chili is safe and we are good to go.  What a relief.

We still had a lot of desert to drive through before we arrive at our new home.  Apparently San Bernardino County is HUGE!!  We saw the sign for it immediately after crossing the border.  And we still had four hours to drive to get home.


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3 responses to “Amarillo, TX and beyond

  1. Look at sweet little Chili! Completely unaware he was the subject of a border-crossing incident. I’m glad he made it through.

  2. Isn’t petrified wood about the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?

  3. It happens. People usually only wake up in southern New Mexico because their vehicle breaks down. Then guess what, they never seem to find their way out. But you made it through and to Cali. Love the chinchilla.

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