Thursday, April 16, 2015



13 Apr

Where did you guess we are with my clues of Cadillac's and 72oz steaks, if you guessed Amarillo, TX you are correct. When planing this road trip these were a throw in. If we were ever close to Texas Panhandle and Route 66 (I 40) Cadillac Ranch was a must stop for me. I don't remember how many times I have seen or heard of this as a child, and lately reading in blogs every few months it was an inch I just had to scratch.  For Hiromi she LOVES food and The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a must, even if she can only eat an 8oz steak. With the two sites only 15 minutes apart from each other, it was a no brainier that these two stops made it on our 2015 road trip.    

Cadillac Ranch is an historical roadside attraction or art work to others along Route 66. It was created in 1974 by a group of artiest from San Francisco calling themselves Ant Farm. Their silent partner whose land they use was Stanley Marsh 3 (1938-2014). Be sure to bring your spray paint and leave your mark. Or pick up a half used can off the ground like I did. Because, Cadillac Ranch is art work its meaning may differ between different people. But, one thing is clear a picture paints a thousand words.

During our research of finding a place to stay for the night we decided on Amarillo Ranch RV Park. They have an indoor pool and spa. However, it only during office hours. The pool is deep at 10 feet. There is even free donuts and coffee in the morning. Large and clean shower house. Our stay almost felt like a chain hotel.

With us only staying one night we were looking for a pull-through sites so we do not have to unhook the car and an easy way to get to The Big Texan Ranch. Come to find out that The Big Texan Ranch has a free shuttle to pick up and drop off us at our RV front door. We were thinking a white airport shuttle type van, instead it was a limousine.

I ordered the 16oz steak and Hiromi ordered the 8oz steak. What goes good with a steak? Beer! I had my first beer in 40 months. We sat by the grill and watch as our steaks got cooked. If you come hungry, you can try the 72oz steak dinner. If you can finish in one hour the meal is free. If not it will set you back $72. There were two guys trying when we arrived and both failed. However, the world record was set by Molly Schuyler 26 May 2014 4 minutes 58 seconds for one meal. That was not enough she set the record for two meals on the same sitting at 14 minutes 57 seconds. I found the video on youtube HERE if you want to watch the 15 minute video.

World Record
2 guys try but fail
First beer in 40 months and got 
photobombed by the guy in the back ... WTF

 Before mine
 Before her's
 After both

 The closest I'll get to holding a snake

I asked for a pull-through site and the office said it is. Must be a Texas pull-through. Double click the picture to enlarge and see the route we had to take to get out. Remember I could not reverse with my toll-dolly hooked up. 

14 Apr
Midland Rock Hounds are the AA affiliate of the Oakland A's and play in the Texas League.

I called and checked on open sites at the campground, but they were booked full. I called the Midland Rock Hounds and asked the price for parking a RV. The lady replied, "parking is free". We headed to Midland and arrived at 2:00pm. Four and half hours early and a prime parking stop in the back.

 I got our tickets (2 for 1 night) and took pictures of the back office where the 2014 Texas League Trophy was displayed. The Championship pennant was hanging inside the batting cage where I would have to wait until the stadium open to get to take that picture. You can see the bating cages from the concourse (something I have not seen at any other park). With four hours to wast we ate and took a nap before the game started. I could not rest long as sounds of music played in the stadium speakers as the teams took batting practice. I could not enter the gates for batting practice, but I could stand outside the fence and see where the ball landed.

The stadium opens 30 minutes before first pitch. This is odd as most stadiums open one to one and a half hours before first pitch. Needless to say I was first in line. In front of the stadium is a large rock. The rock was found under the playing field when construing the stadium. Fans are encouraged to touch the rock while walking in the stadium for guaranteed fun and good times at the ball park.

The gates opened and I was off to where I saw batting practice homeruns landed. Season ticket holders or staff must have found them, because they were gone when I arrived. I walked around the stadium like always to get the view of the field from different angles. There is a kids corner and it's free. There is also a train the drives around the concourse for kids to ride (not sure the price).  There is a water sprinkler in center field.  I assume it's for hot Texas nights so kids can run threw it to keep cool, but for tonight it was just for show. As the sunset, there was different color lights in the water. A bit of a tricky corners for the right and left fielders. The bullpen are along the outfield wall and part of it goes into the outfield. There is a fence, so I'm assuming if a ball is hit in the bullpens it a homerun. Unfortunately, I can not be for sure as no one hit a ball there. By the time I finished walking around the stadium, the starting lineup and National Anthem was being played. Because we parked the RV in the parking lot Hiromi showed up just as the game was starting.

As I was walking around the stadium I happened to find a ball that someone missed. My first Texas League ball. Our seats was right behind first base. In the second inning the kid next to us was on the scoreboard so we were looking at him, then out of nowhere a ball flies by our head. The third baseman over threw the first baseman and the ball landed in the stands next to us. I threw the ball back and asked for it when they were done warming up. He kept his word and that was ball number two. After the 7th the center fielder caught the last out and ran back to the dugout. I stood up and asked for the ball and he threw it to me. Ball number three.

Look at the view from our seats
and ticket was only $4.50... what a deal
3 baseball night 

The Rock Hounds played hard, but came up short losing 6-4 and the Arkansas Travelers remaining undefeated at 6-0.  For a team who are defending Texas League Champs, the crowed was small. Official attendance 2,717 ... no way! Tickets sold maybe. People in the stands, maybe 200 if they are lucky. How else would have gotten three balls, just look at all the fans around me.

What's next?
El Paso, TX

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