The Great Baseball Ride: Route 66 and The Big Texan.

So far on The Great Baseball Ride, our trip to see the best of the baseball experience including every MLB team, we’ve seen five MLB games, Universal Studios/Harry Potter World, Ft. Lauderdale Beach, South Beach in Miami, the Louisville Slugger Factory, the Gateway Arch, Navy Pier, part of Route 66, and Uranus. With all this done within two weeks, it’s been a very busy trip to say the least.

As we loaded up the car, to depart Joplin, MO and head further along Route 66, I noticed a minivan with a Wisconsin plate.  It was next to another minivan with a Florida plate and the groups belonging to each van seemed to know each other.  As we passed the van I asked if they were from Wisconsin. One of them asked, “Can you tell from our accents.” I quickly found out that the vans were both rentals, and both groups were from the UK.  They were touring Route 66, and one of them had done the route nine times, with another of them having done the route four times.

They were pros and were going far slower than we were. They left before we did, and we later caught up to them out taking pictures as we cruised through a town. I know the Route is a popular spot, but it never dawned on me that someone would come from another country to spend two hard earned weeks of vacation going through middle America. 

This particular part of the route was to take us out of Missouri, through a bit of Kansas, through a lot of Oklahoma, and eventually to Texas.  Our first scheduled stop for the day was in Galena, KS. There is a old filling station in town that has some replicas of Mater and Red from the movie Cars.  We love that movie, and it was worth it for us to see how excited Soren was.

We continued down the route, and eventually came to the town of Shamrock, Texas.  Here was on old service station that was the inspiration for Ramone’s in the movie Cars.  This was very well preserved, and a lot of fun to explore.

We continued to see other fun artifacts along the route, but we were getting tired and were ready to call it a night.  Our goal was to get to Amarillo, TX, and we pulled into town as the sun was setting. Keke found a good deal at a Red Roof Inn (the western one, there are a couple in town).  

We had heard there was cool place to visit called The Big Texan.  This was a Texas-sized bar/restaurant/entertainment venue, complete with a gift shop with a live rattlesnake in it, and a stretched Cadillac limo that would pic you up and bring you to the restaurant.  You can get a 72 oz. steak there, and if you eat it all in an hour, you’ll get it free. Evidently the record is held by a 120 lb woman who ate it in 4 minutes.  

My pictures cannot due justice to how “Texas” this place is.

I am not sure if the rattlesnake was actually alive. I stared at him for awhile and he didn’t move. For some odd reason I had wanted to see a live rattlesnake on this trip. We have them in only a small part of Minnesota, and I don’t know of anyone who has actually witnessed one locally. I don’t think The Big Texan would lie to me, so I’ll cross the live rattlesnake off my agenda.

I saw a rattlesnake, but it didn’t move, and I am suspicious of it actually being alive.

It was late, and a sit down dinner wasn’t going to work, but Keke and I did visit the bar and try a couple of their beers (they have their own brewery).  Keke got the Soultry Blonde and I got the Whiskey Barrel Stout. Both were very good.  

I have seen on Instagram that there is some debate between Texans and Californians on which is better Whataburger (TX) or In and Out (CA).  We’d never had Whataburger, so, when in Rome. We got burgers for everyone. I would say they make a good burger, but I am not sure I could give them superiority over In and Out, further research will need to be done.  After yet another late night dinner, we hit the hay (that seems like a Texan thing to say).

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