It turned out that Oklahoma City on a Friday night is actually pretty lively! So much so that we set off for Amarillo the next morning slightly later than planned for health reasons (4 hangovers). We were on the road by 10am and headed west, out of Oklahoma City and towards Texas.
Our first real stop was in a tiny town called Texola, which is the last town in the state of Oklahoma before you enter Texas. I use the term ‘town’ losely, as it is basically a couple of houses and a shop. We visited the shop, which is essentially a gift shop, and Sticky couldn’t resist buying some more Route 66 memorabilia (he’s going to need an extra suitcase going home).
As we left the shop and got back into the car, we were surrounded by 4 or 5 dogs which started barking furiously at the car an trying to bite the tyres as we drove, jumping in the way of the car. They followed us for a few hundred metres, meaning we had to drive very slowly to avoid running them over, but we serenaded them with some DMX on the stereo and I think they enjoyed the barking.
We crossed over into Texas, and continued to head west towards Amarillo. The landscape by now had changed dramatically, and as we cross what is known as the ‘Texas Panhandle’, it feels like we are in the wilderness. Either side of the car is just flat, yellow plains that stretch out for as far as you can see, and makes you feel like you are literally in the middle of nowhere.
Next up, we stopped in McClean and visited the Devil’s Rope Museum, a museum that is dedicated to barbed wire. Barbed wire was and apparently still is crucial for allowing cowboys to manage their animals, hence why they’d even consider dedicating a museum to it. We had a quick look around, but to be honest it was about as exciting as it sounds, and as my hangover decided to take a turn for the worse, we left after around 20 mins.
We continued west, past a leaning water tower and giant crucifix which are two more well known R66 attractions, and made our way into Amarillo.
We hadn’t booked any accommodation in Amarillo, so the plan was to drive around and find a cheap motel. R66 enters Amarillo through an old part of town which is pretty run-down, probably a result of the interstate bypassing this area. As we drove around and saw the state of some of the motels, we began to have serious doubts as to if we would stay there at all and the car looked more appealing than what we were seeing, but we eventually came to central Amarillo which was a lot nicer but seemed almost deserted. We plumped for the first decent hotel we found, paid a bit more than we had intended for the added peace of mind that we were not going to be massacred.
Amarillo and Texas in general is an interesting place. It was surreal seeing people walking around in cowboy hats and boots, and in almost every gas station are signs asking people not to bring their guns inside.
There is a famous restaurant in Amarillo called the Big Texan, which offers a free 72oz to anyone who can finish it within an hour, and has featured on Man vs Food. We headed there but the wait for food was long and we wanted to be finished in time to watch the Mayweather v Canelo fight, so we ate somewhere near the hotel instead. We finished the night of watching the boxing in the bar. Probably 90% of the bar were Mexican and cheering on Canelo, so we made a quick exit when Mayweather won back to the hotel.
Next stop: Albuquerque, New Mexico