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Friday, July 30, 2010

Texas Trip, Part II

The next leg of our Texas trip took us from Austin to Amarillo which proved to be the windiest city I’ve ever been in. Women who move there should just plan on shaving their heads. There’s no way to step outside and maintain a decent hairdo.

But I digress.

When you’re traveling, you always know that you’re nearing a prison of some sort when you see signs warning you not to pick up hitchhikers. So it was when we neared Childress, TX. There we saw the poor sap who didn’t look around before choosing a spot to stick out his thumb. Only 50 feet beyond the only hitchhiker we’d seen in 2,000 miles was the first warning against picking up hitchhikers. The fellow, complete with a large backpack, probably couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t catch a ride.

On to Amarillo and a meet-up with Cousin Bill. We took him to dinner at a spot right off I-40 that Mike has wanted to visit for years.

The Big Texan is famous for its 72 oz. steak challenge. Anyone can step up to the elevated table to take the challenge that has been won by a variety of bravehearts including a grandmother and a 10-year-old boy. Here’s the deal. The challenger is given one hour to eat a 72 oz. (that’s a little over four pounds) steak, a baked potato, side salad, three shrimp and a dinner roll. If you don’t finish it all, you pay $72 for the privilege of trying. If you win, you get the honor of inclusion on their winners’ list.

The Big Texan’s challenge has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food and in the movie "Waking Up in Reno" in which the character played by Billy Bob Thornton chows down at the challenge table.

Cameras focused on the table offer a 24/7 live view of challengers’ attempts on the restaurant’s website.

When we arrived, a diner was working on the challenge, but, with only eight minutes left, Mike took a look at his plate and told us the fellow would be getting a bill for his dinner – and subsequent indigestion.

For the record, none of us attempted the challenge and I had fish for dinner.

Here’s the link to The Big Texan in case you want to check it out before making it a part of your next trip to Amarillo.

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