Sunday, May 5th – Day 33 – Amarillo to Groom

Screenshot_20190505-151020_Ride with GPS
Best part of the day:    A short ride day

Worst part of the day: A too early rising

Distance: 45miles         Riding Time: 4hrs 7min

Bed count: 17                Sleeping Bag count: 16

The sounds and voices of those in rooms around ours at 5am was an unwelcome awakening. Don’t know what these people were thinking at that hour, certainly not about the other guests.

We took our time getting ready. The motel’s “breakfast” was just a grab-n-go: a pastry, granola bar and bottle of water. So, we had our own breakfast items: Fay’s oatmeal and Rob’s Pop Tarts; and saved the grab-n-go stuff for later today and tomorrow.

Today’s ride was pretty non-descript. Gray skies and crosswinds once again. The only “excitement” we had was on the Business 40 road leading out of Amarillo. Just before reaching I-40, what looked like a pit bull mix escaped from its yard and ran full-tilt after us!! It’s home was on the other side of the grass-medianed, 4-lane roadway.  Fay got the  first glimpse of it just before it took a slight stumble on the median in its pursuit of us and shouted “GO, GO, GO!!!” That stumble was all the pause we needed to accelerate fast enough to outrun it into the wind and a bit uphill!! It didn’t look like it wanted to play!!

The rest of our route was all on the decent Route 66 frontage road. Flat grazing and farm lands surrounded us and our next door neighbor, I-40. Part of our route towards the tiny village of Conway brought us through a line of those wind turbines. We’d never been that close to one of those before! The whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound as each huge blade swung by was fascinating.20190505_110208(Going through a row of  wind turbines. Note the gray clouds in the distance. Had these all day!)

Our planned destination for tonight was the Lake McClellan Campground about 3 miles off route 14 miles east of the small town of Groom. Groom’s claim to fame is “The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries” site alongside I-40 which has the 190’ high cross on the grounds . This cross can be seen for miles around and is illuminated at night. 20190505_134054

The site also has a circle of statues for the 14 stations of the cross representing the time where Jesus was sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be crucified to his dragging of the cross to Calvary to his crucifixion and resurrection. 20190505_134201

We spent some time there walking the stations and also chatting with the woman who was running the gift shop. We had seen on the ACA map that this site allowed tent camping and we inquired about where folks were allowed to camp. So, she showed us the location at the back of the building. We also asked about where we’d go if the tornado sirens went off!! Strangely enough, she said to scurry to the site’s “tomb”, the replica of where Jesus’ body was taken after his crucifixion!! We checked it out and it appeared to be deep enough to provide sufficient shelter!20190505_13451820190505_134454(Their replica of the tomb where Jesus’ body was taken after his crucifixion.)

Our weather check earlier showed rain and possible thundershowers this evening. Camping there was a little tempting, but, the forecast trumped everything! We also abandoned the idea of camping at Lake McClellan and we knew that Groom had a motel at the east end of town (the town itself is pretty small in area anyway). Fay called to check for availability, and yes, a room was open!! Great!

Rode back on Route 66 into the “business district” of Groom. We found their lone grocery store where we picked up a few things for tonight’s dinner before heading off to the motel. At the store, we learned that there was a tornado in the town of Vega yesterday (about 14 miles east of Adrian) through which we rode a couple of days ago!!

So, it’ll be another night indoors protected from the elements. We also checked the weather for the next few days in the towns to where we’re looking to lodge. It seems we might be in for some more sporadic showers. Hope we can dodge them in the upcoming days!!

Until our next post….


7 thoughts on “Sunday, May 5th – Day 33 – Amarillo to Groom

  1. We were amazed at the size of that cross when we finally got close to it.

    Glad you have tornado shelter!
    We made it to Oklahoma City before we had to worry about tornadoes. In the end it was a wild fierce storm and thankfully no tornadoes.
    Stay safe! I have loved reading your posts.


    1. Thanks, Mark! It was even crazier a couple of days later!! Glad to have been indoors again. We keep a close eye on the weather both in advance and while we’re riding. When outside, always looking for shelter locations because you just never know. Doing our best to stay safe!


  2. Sounds like you’ve met a few challenges in the Texas panhandle. I’m sorry you didn’t get to stay in the tomb replica. That was one of a kind tornado shelter.


    1. The gift shop woman even said that if she there was a storm coming, she would’ve come by and check on us. It would’ve been a crazy weather day if we’d had to use that tomb for shelter!! But, alas, we didn’t want to take that chance.


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