A night in Amarillo

June 29, 2011

Yesterday was my 1st day of vacation. Our destinations is our usual Summer vacation to Pagosa Springs Co.  This year I am driving to Albuquerque, picking up Gwen at the Airport, and from there driving to Pagosa Springs.

I really love the drive to Amarillo which is always an experience.  The country is mostly empty and the vistas on go on forever.  While driving I spend quite a bit of time dreaming about the Comanches and Quanah Parker who used to rule this land with an iron fist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comanche).  I also thought a lot about the dust bowl (see the book “The Worst Hard Time”  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5128581).  From there I drift off to the eternal questions of why and how we exist in a certain moment of time and place instead of another.  Most of all I am most gratified the Comanches did not capture and torture me and I never tried raising crops in this rain starved land!

The drive always lifts my soul.

On a side note, I made an interesting discovery while driving – a discovery for me as I am sure hordes of others already know about it.  I can play Internet radio on my iPhone and route it through the car radio.  No more local radio stations!!!  Enough of the diversions…

But in the end I finally arrived here in Amarillo which is almost as close to Denver in distance, climate, and attitude as it is to Dallas. I checked in at the hotel and exercised while waiting for my buddy Mike, who moved to Amarillo last Winter, pick me up for a wild night on the town – well, wild for AARP members anyway.

Mike arrives and we are off see the Helium City!  First stop is at Joe’s Tacos for Dinner.  I have the house special tacos which are delicious and very spicy.  I highly recommend Joe’s if you are ever in Amarillo and looking for a causal meal.

Next we cruise down 6th street.  We finally stop at the Golden Light Cafe for beers.  It was established in 1946 and is on the list of National Historic Sites.  The cafe is surprisingly small.  I bet it was a booming joint after the War.  The cafe is staffed by a huge crew of 2 – a lady who is really good looking.  I did not expect someone like her.  The guy – bartender and short order cook – was young and some what challenged.

The Golden Light Cafe

After the Golden Light we shuffled on over the Scooter’s, a biker bar and finished the night there.  We were the only males in the establishment not dressed in black?  However they treated us like regulars.  I met a bevy on interesting characters.  First was Junk Yard Dave who owns a junk yard (what a coincidence)  and quite successful.  He kept buying everyone beers and apparently is a regular.  I think they were all regulars except us. The 2 bar maids were both good looking.  Why are the bar maids in biker bars always good looking?  One of the bar maids kept showing everyone her breasts!  Weird behavior, but maybe normal in Amarillo which is a far cry from Dallas.

Then we topped off the night with a viewing of Mike’s late but much loved mother-in-law’s collection of at least a thousand ceramic Santas!

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County road in Palo Pinto County, Texas

June 25, 2011

County road West of Mineral Wells Texas