August 4: Amarillo, Texas
In Texas, everything is big. The state is big. The hats are big. The desert is big. The livestock is big. And the steaks are big at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, in Amarillo, where the Overdrive 40th Anniversary Voice of the American Trucker Tour is making one of its last few stops before the Great American Truck Show in Dallas this weekend.
At the Big Texan Steak Ranch, you can get a 72-ounce steak for free if you eat it all in an hour. Now, that’s about 4 1/2 pounds of meat, worth about $200. You can also visit the Texas Tornado Museum in the corner of the parking lot of the Big Texan Steak Ranch.
Amarillo sits at the crossroads of America, almost equidistant from both coasts. Francisco Coronado, the first European to see the vast open spaces of the American Southwest, crossed the high plains in 1541 — nearly 80 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. He was followed by cattlemen and sheep herders from all points of the compass looking for fresh grazing grounds and a place to start a new life. Most famous of them was Charles Goodnight, inventor of the chuck wagon.
When the oil boom hit Texas, it exploded across the Texas Panhandle. Vast fortunes were made overnight. and the region’s economy grew because of the lure of black gold.
Since World War II, the Panhandle economy has diversified to include heavy manufacturing, petrochemicals, farming and, of course, modern ranching.
Amarillo and the surrounding Panhandle area are a unique blend of two American eras. There are the working ranches, essentially unchanged in the day-to-day operations from the late nineteenth century, and there is a vibrant twenty-first century economy, providing leadership for the modern west. That’s why we say when you step into Amarillo, you “Step Into The Real Texas.”
Tomorrow is the last chance you’ll have to catch the Overdrive 40th Anniversary Tour before it heads to the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas this weekend.
Petro I-35/40 Exit 127 (Eastern Ave/MLK Rd)