God Bless Texas

The rain storm passed and we went in for supper.  One of the best meals I’ve had.  It has been 6 years since I’ve eaten Blue Point oysters, and they were as good as I remember.  The Shrimp Etoufee I ordered was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.  We then went to a movie in one of those VIP theaters.  Reclining leather chairs, we nearly had the place to ourselves, a button that lights up when you want food or drink, and a menu full of schmancy fancy high powered rum drinks.  “The Jungle Book” – it is very good movie, and was probably a really great choice for a theater. The last movie I watched in a theater was in highschool, over 20 years ago.

Day 7 – Wednesday

I could make a separate blog for the food that we ate on this trip. Also one about all the people we have met.  We started the day out with some Tex Mex at very well reviewed restaurant.  It was amazing.

Off to Abilene area to find a storm. We found one

texas wind 2

It was gusting out when we got there, so we took a few shots and decided what to do.  The storm produced very strong straight lined winds (I saw reports of 100 mph winds, but I observed 90 mph) as well as hail up to 1.25 inches. The winds knocked trucks and trailers over, as well as power poles. The storm was tornado warned around this time, but I wonder if they did it because the straight lined winds were as powerful as an EF1 tornado.  In summary, it was windy.

Texas wind storm

The powerful winds blowing the dirt in the distance, before the rain and hail hit


Day 8 – Thursday – 72 oz steak “The Reckoning”

The next day we drove to Amarillo.  The crew from Extreme Tornado Tours joined us at the “Big Texan Steak Ranch” for supper.  I considered ordering the 72 oz steak, but instead went with the “Man vs Food” 18 oz steak.  You still get the roll, the baked potato, the salad and the shrimp, but the steak is only 1/4 of the size of the old 72 ouncer.  I also ordered an appetizer of mountain oysters, which was a lot larger than I thought it would be.  The steak was the best steak I remember eating.

Bart decided he was going to do the 72 oz steak challenge. As it turns out, Discovery Channel Canada was there filming, so he is going to be on TV.

His Steak

72 oz steak challenge Big Texan

33 minutes down, he’s made great progress, feelin good!

72 oz steak challenge Big Texan

One of the Discovery Channel crew joined him. Notice the bucket.  If they use that, they are disqualified and have to pay for their steak ($72)72 oz steak challenge Big Texan


13 minutes left, he’s nearly done his steak!!

72 oz steak challenge Big Texan


1 minute and 18 seconds… all the steak is gone, but notice the bucket placement.  The potato proved to be too much.

72 oz steak challenge Big Texan

I was planning on buying a souvenir from Texas.  When I saw they were selling Texas Longhorn horns, I figured I better have a look.  I found this pair with a curve I really like.  Kyle and I ty-wrapped them to the grill so when the others came out they could have a chuckle.

We left them on.  They are still on. We have had them in major hail, severe winds, bumpy roads.  They may have a few marks from hail, but those are battle scars.
Rolling Thunder Storm Chasing Truck

Back to a parking lot to party with the ETT crew and guests.  We knew this would probably be our last chance to socialize.

The Canadians taught the Texan’s the proper way to pronounce words.  Well, we tried anyways.  I also found a new driver for the storm truck, even if she says “Tennis Shoes” wrong.

Rolling Thunder Storm Chasing Truck

Day 9 – Touring Texas and a Bonus Storm

We started the day a the Cadillac Ranch.

Cadillac Ranch Armarillo

From there we went to Palo Duro Canyon.  The scenery there was amazing (pictures to follow at some point) Kyle found a Collared Lizard, and I had a lot of fun taking photos of it.

We also found a storm.  While on this storm, the National Weather Service called twice to ask for a report about what kind of hail we were seeing.  I use spotter network and have my email and phone number listed.  This is the first time I’ve received a call before I was able to make a report.  Kyle took a screen shot when we were seeing hail.

National Weather Service severe weather report Spotter Network

The first time they called, I pulled over, Kyle had just collected some hail.  The second time they called, we did not hear their phone call because of the heavy hail. Kyle called them back when things quieted down. It was not very large, but it came down in such large amounts that it piled up on the road.  I’d estimate at least 6 inches deep Note to self, bring ear plugs next time.  I’ve never seen anything like that.

Off to El Reno to get a motel room, go for some pizza, and watch some amazing structure move in, without my camera.

To be continued









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