Amarillo – day two…

Dinner Friday night:
I made a reservation at Macaroni Joe’s – a lovely restaurant that welcomes dogs on its outside patio.

It was a fine evening to sit out, and Max was on his best behavior (mostly). I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio, Caesar Salad, and 5 oz. tenderloin with gorgonzola lime sauce.

Our server, Micah, was excellent – getting Max a bowl of water, and making sure on a regular basis that everything was OK.

The wine was superb, the Caesar magnificent, and the steak… sublime. Served with roasted Yukon Gold potoatoes, and green beans, it was cooked exactly as ordered, juicy and tender.

After all that, you’d think I wouldn’t have dessert, right? Wrong! This was the best meal I’ve had since Portland, Oregon, and I was having dessert!

Bourbon bread pudding, with pecan caramel sauce, and scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. URP… Yes, I ate too much, but it was worth it. After all, what did our mothers always teach us? Food= comfort, right?

And one day after crashing my car, I needed some comfort. Macaroni Joe’s filled the bill…

Saturday, March 19:
Max is feeling oh-so-much-better today! He’s full of mischievous energy – bringing me my shoes one at a time, jumping from bed to bed, and pretend biting my arm! Lucky for me, he has a nice marrow bone to chew on…

Here he is in his post-breakfast snooze:

Today dawned as predicted – foggy and cool – so we drove out to Palo Duro Canyon. The Impala is NOT Tumbleweed, and I don’t like sitting so low, with small side view mirrors, and all the plush bells and whistles.

I LIKE my good ole Tumbleweed. (Imagine that said by a four year old, with crossed arms, as she stamps her foot and you get the feeling.)

However, the Impala got us there in the same amount of time as Tumbleweed would have, and it was a comfortable ride. Max seems to like being loose in the back seat to look out the windows, or to lean forward and poke my right ear with his nose.

He was almost asleep when I snapped this photo over my shoulder.

The drive out to Palo Duro was through some flat grazing lands, the outskirts of the town of Canyon, and more of the same flat grazing lands. Unrelenting grey skies seemed to almost touch the earth off along the horizon.

This windmill stands in sharp contrast to the wind farms we saw on the way west. Ubiquitous to the grazing lands of the west, it raises water to watering tanks for herds of cattle or horses.

Palo Duro Canyon is really stunning – sort of a miniature Grand Canyon in Texas. Imagine that you could drive into the Grand Canyon (and your vehicle was the size of one of those huge mining trucks so it would be in scale to a normal car driving in Palo Duro), and that is how it feels to drive down into Palo Duro. Obviously, it’s not anywhere near as deep as the Grand Canyon, nor as overall grand, but it is equally beautiful in its own way.

A sunny day might have made for a better photo…

Heading uphill in Palo Duro Canyon.

Heading uphill in Palo Duro Canyon.

Stunning red rock formation by the side of the road in Palo Duro Canyon.

Stunning red rock formation by the side of the road in Palo Duro Canyon.

Being there on an overcast day has its benefits and drawbacks.
Benefit: it was about 55° F versus HOT.
Drawback: no blue sky to contrast with that gorgeous red rock landscape.

It was still impressive. We got out at the Lighthouse trail and walked for a little ways hoping to get a good photo of what is called the Lighthouse Formation, but it wasn’t possible unless we walked the full 4.4 mile roundtrip to the vista point. Since Max is still recovering from a severely wounded foot, I wasn’t going to subject him to that – especially given the thorny, spiny vegetation lining the trail!

The Lighthouse trail in Palo Duro Canyon.

Is THAT the way to the lighthouse formation??

I’m a water dog, remember? I don’t know which way we go in a desert!

Enough already! I’m about ready to bite that iPhone if you don’t stop with the pictures!

On the way in we saw some mule deer feeding close to the road, so I was watching on the way out. I didn’t see the deer, but there were three Texas Longhorn cattle at the feed troughs by the entrance:

These guys were enormous!

On the way back to Amarillo, we took a short detour to see the Cadillac Ranch. This classic western roadside attraction is best described by Wikipedia as follows:
“Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm, and it consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of early Cadillacs; the tail fin) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.[1] The piece is a statement about the paradoxical simultaneous American fascinations with both a ‘sense of place’ — and roadside attractions, such as The Ranch itself — and the mobility and freedom of the automobile.[citation needed]

‘Art is a legalized form of insanity, and I do it very well.’ – Stanley Marsh 3

Who would have thought that burying ten old Cadillacs in an Amarillo dirt farm in 1974 would make such an indelible mark on Texas roadside attraction maps? The product of helium millionaire Stanley Marsh 3’s eccentric mind, Cadillac Ranch was designed with a California-based artist collective called Ant Farm as an homage to the Golden Age of American Automobiles (1949-1963) and to the historic Route 66 which passes by Marshs’ palatious West Texas ranch.

With the distinctive fins of the cars prominently displayed, the cars are buried nose-down ‘at the same angle as The Great Pyramid of Giza’.”

To read more about its relocation and history, click here.

Max was almost a bigger attraction than the Cadillacs. A family stopped to play with him as we were walking in; some young Germans wanted to pet him and take photos; and I heard numerous comments about like “look at that fluffy dog,” “look! a poodle!” and many people asked about his age, etc.

I think this is my good side, don’t you?

The celebrity is back.

Unfortunately, I was appalled at the trashing of this site. The cars are now covered with graffiti, which people are still doing even today. We met people walking away from the cars with paint on their hands.

I have no problem with the graffiti – well, OK, I wish the cars were still in their original paint – but I think it’s a sad statement on the American people that when they are through spraying the last of their paint, they throw the empty cans on the ground.

There’s even a dumpster right outside the fence gate, so WHY? Let’s show a little respect here, folks…


About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Eating out on a road trip, Grand Canyon, Musings, On the Road, Puppy antics, Texas, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Amarillo – day two…

  1. Gandalf says:

    Ah, well, palacious should be a word but it’s not, at least, not that I could find. How about palatial.

    Just checkin’ on ya, Momo.

    Your meal sounded GREAT! We just had the best artichokes I’ve had in five years!

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Hendrik, that was a direct lift from Wikipedia. I checked on that spelling too and found nothing else either…

      Artichokes even better than anything Eliot has to offer in summer??? WoW!

  2. Ellie Adams says:

    Your dinner sounded wonderful! Have a great day tomorrow as well! Maybe another dinner at Macaroni Joes? After all…You still NEED confort food!

  3. Your blogs lead me onto other adventures.
    This time I Googled Palo Duro Canyon – the second-largest canyon in the US. And you’re in Georgia O’Keefe country.
    I’ve now read The Art of Racing in the Rain. What a wonderful, wonderful book!
    Your meals are so enticingly described. Delightful.
    Waiting for the verdict on good ol’ Tumbleweed…

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Thanks Marilyn, I didn’t realize that Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the US. But, I did know that I am in Georgia O’Keeffe territory! I’m so glad you are enjoying the book. I want to re-read it when I get home. Stay tuned for word about Tumbleweed…

  4. Diana Richardson says:

    Wonderful post. As always I smile on your Max captions. But since you didn’t give him his voice for the one in the back seat of the car……….”If I’d known I’d be flying business class, I’d have insisted on an upgrade.”

  5. Lori C. says:

    I like “palacious!” Rhymes with salacious…

    Sure is a handsome boy ya got there…

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