Friday, May 30, 2014

Everything's BIGGER in Texas!!!

Or so they say, whoever "they" are ... but I guess I would have to agree from what I've seen so far.  Their freeway entrances are a little weird, but they have the biggest grain silos I've seen, the biggest feedlot, huge tracts of land that go on forever, the biggest horse ranches and now ... wait for it ... the biggest STEAK in the country.  You KNOW we couldn't pass up The Big Texan Steak House!!

Our main objective today was to see the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum located just south in Canyon Texas.  What an amazing museum it was!!!  The designer of this building not only takes you around three floors of amazing artifacts, they do it in a way that you can just get an overview, or you can delve a little deeper and see what was actually going on back then, or you can go even more into the subject and read every single bit of information available.

We started out at Through the Ages ... Triassic, Jurassic ... you know, like the movie!!  Like a lot of places in the US, Texas was covered with a sea, resulting in a sea of artifacts that are amazing to see.
Being a diver, I'm always looking for the underwater creatures, and found many that I could easily identify because they are still growing in our oceans.  Thank goodness THESE guys aren't around any more.  The Allosaurus would probably have us for dinner.
Here's a water guy ... an amphibian that I wouldn't want to meet.  He's got teeth like a shark ... rows and rows of them!!

You KNOW I'd show an image of this guy ... Scott's horse, followed by a dog bear, a saber tooth tiger and an American bison.  They're BISON by the way, NOT buffalo as I was taught in school.  Someone needs to change the schoolbooks!!
There were spectacular displays of Indian beadwork from the 1900's.  These were from a collection owned by Miss Allen.  She bought up everything she could get her hands on and eventually donated it all to the museum.
This pair of beaded gauntlets were from the Northern Plains in Wyoming, purchased in 1925 and purportedly worn by Jack London, author of "Call Of The Wild".  
I think I took a picture of every basket in the building.  Baskets and pottery are my thing, but all are behind glass, so some will have those dreaded reflections.  This is an Apache storage basket.  They use such small fine pieces of grass in the construction, it must have taken many months to complete.
Here's an interesting one ... maybe 4 inches across, it's covered in feathers.  These were made to place on the funeral fires as an offering.  Such a shame that THAT kind of work was just set on fire!!  Thankfully this one survived to show the beautiful art they created.
This is a Cheyenne beaded bag.  Just one of MANY amazing pieces of art that the Indians used on a daily basis.
From there it was on to transportation, starting with this Solex Electric Bike.  How cool would it be to cruise the streets on this baby!!
And you thought electric cars were a thing of the future ... you'd be wrong, as was I!!  This is an electric car from the early 1900's that carried 42 batteries (half under the hood and half in the back) and ran for 80-100 miles before needing a recharge.  
Here's a cutie ... the picture on the wall is of the owner driving this beauty.  When it quit running, he parked it in the barn where his kids would play.  They drug it out and pulled it up the nearest hill, then jumped on for an E-Ticket Ride to the bottom, occasionally hitting bushes and trees, which is why all the fenders and engine cover are missing.
This is a 1933 Pierce Arrow V-12 in immaculate condition.  When donated to the museum, it was driven here.  I just can't imagine how much money this cost in those days.
Then there was Tom's favorite ride ... a fire truck!!
I took a couple hundred images, all of which I don't have space to show you, and you would probably be bored anyway ... so I broke them up into two days.  I'll show you the rest tomorrow.  Look for Barbara in the early 1900's!!

With hundreds of signs along the road on the way in to Amarillo, you couldn't miss the offer of a 72 ounce steak FREE!!  Here's where you get it!!  Located on I-40 on the West side of town is THE BIG TEXAN STEAK HOUSE, complete with longhorn endowed limos to pick you up and bring you for dinner.  
The restaurant is BIG, the gift shop is BIG and this hereford bull out front is BIG!!!  Of course you know the deal ... you pay for the steak ($39??) and if you can eat it ALL in 60 minutes, you get it free.  It probably involves LOTS of paperwork, since the guy sitting down the table from us had to fill out TWO sheets of paper and show his drivers license to get his FREE birthday dinner!!
I passed on the steak and opted for the chicken fried chicken with gravy that was downright the best I've ever had!!  The mac and cheese was as close to homemade as you can get and was DELICIOUS!!  Are you hungry yet???
I only ate half ... since on the way in I saw THIS baby in the cold case.  No way was I going to pass up a piece of carrot cake this BIG!!  A good ten inches tall and 4 inches thick, I dove in with my fork and got all of one tiny section down before I was stuffed to the gills.  All the leftovers came home for breakfast!!  The cake will last three days!!!
I'm pretty glad they make everything BIGGER in Texas so I can taste that carrot cake for several more days.  We have a few miles to get under our belt before Kansas City, and Wichita is our current destination for repairs to my electrical system.  So far being plugged into only 30 amp has worked fine.  The puppy pen was perfect and they were cool and comfy when we returned last night.

Time to zip up the rig for travel ... see you tomorrow for the rest of the museum!!

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