Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017

Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017
Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017

Monday, October 19, 2015

Amarillo Factoids - Mon., Oct. 19, 2015

Has it been a week already since we were in Amarillo? It seems like only a couple of days ago. Life flies by faster and faster!

In a previous blog, I mentioned we learned a lot about Amarillo that is very interesting and this info deserves its own blog. So here we go.

Factoids about Amarillo, Texas, and its immediate surrounds: Amarillo's history includes helium!
Abandoned Amarillo Helium Plant
(next door to Ft. Amarillo RV Resort)
Abandoned Amarillo Helium Plant

A sign of our times on the old helium plant
First and foremost, Amarillo has a lot of names!
  1. Amarillo was once the self-proclaimed "Helium Capital of the World." The United States government bought the Cliffside Gas Field with high helium content in 1927 and the Federal Bureau of Mines began operating the Amarillo Helium plant two years later. The plant was the sole producer of commercial helium in the world for a number of years. The U.S. National Helium Reserve is stored in the Bush Dome Reservoir at the Cliffside facility.
  2. Amarillo's nickname is the "Yellow Rose of Texas." Amarillo is the Spanish word for "yellow." The nickname could stem from yellow wildflowers that grow in the area, or from yellow soil along the banks of Amarillo Lake and Amarillo Creek.
  3. It has most recently been called "Rotor City USA" because of Bell Helicopter Textron's V-22 Osprey hybrid assembly plant located there.
  4. Bomb City because of Pantex Army Ordnance nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility, the only one in the country.
Other interesting stuff:

  • Amarillo operates one of the largest meat-packing areas in the United States. A major Amarillo employer is Tyson Foods (previously Iowa Beef Processors plant). About one-quarter of the United States' beef supply is processed in the area.
  • The city is headquarters for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.
  • The Ouachita mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the Arbuckles of Oklahoma have an extension of underground structures known as the Amarillo Mountains thousands of feet underground. The Amarillo mountains were discovered by pioneer oilmen. Some of the underground peaks are believed to be 10,000' high. The tallest peak is reported to be 2,500' underground beneath the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. The amazing geology of the area just keeps on coming.
  • Amarillo is recorded as the windiest city in the U.S. per the Weather Channel.
  • Amarillo is in the Llano Estacado (Palisaded or Staked Plain) region. This region includes parts of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas. It is part of one of the largest mesas or tablelands on the North American Continent and lies at the southern end of the Western High Plains ecoregion of the Great Plains. It is part of what was once called the Great American Desert.
  • Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle are in the the western portion of "Tornado Alley."
  • Route 66 passes through Amarillo (but you travelers probably knew that fact).
  • Fourteen million acres of agricultural land surround the city. Crops grown are corn, wheat, cotton, sorghum, silage, hay and soybeans.
Needless to say, we found Amarillo to be quite fascinating.

Travel Bug out.


6 comments:

  1. We drove yesterday from Bartlesville, OK to Woodward in the strong winds. Tomorrow we plan to head to Amarillo. I really didn't want to know about it being the windiest city until we pass through there.

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    1. I hope all is well with your drive to Amarillo and you didn't get too much wind. How long will you be there?

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  2. We both traveled to Amarillo on business when we were working visiting Pantex, it wasn't until we stopped there while full-timing that we fully appreciated what Amarillo had to offer. They are right about the wind for sure. Did you see the 'Cadillac Ranch' while you were there?

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    1. Yes! We saw Cadillac Ranch, Jack Sisemore RV Museum, Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Wildcat Bluff Nature Center. (See previous blogs.)

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    2. I'm really far behind reading blogs as I was out in he RV for three weeks and busy every day. Enjoyed your trip to Amarillo and visits to many of the same places we visited earlier in the summer. Glad you had a good time.

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    3. Colleen, We went to some of those places because of your blog.

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