Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 7 away from home - August 16th, 2013 - part 2

On our trip through Texas we were looking for interesting places to visit around Amarillo, and we came across Cadillac Ranch, which both of us had heard about before, and since it was on our way just off Rt. 40, we decided to stop and take a look.  I remember watching something on TV about this place a couple of years ago.

On our way there we stopped at a traffic light right next to a place called Cadillac RV Park.  There were three gorgeous and pristine Cadillacs arranged in a manner similar to those we had heard about at Cadillac Ranch.

At around 2.00 p.m. and not too far from these lovely looking old Caddies, we saw Cadillac Ranch on Rt. 66.  If you haven't heard about them before they are basically a line of Cadillacs that have been half buried in the ground.  There were several people already there when we arrived, and when we left people were still visiting, so it is obviously a popular place.

If you go here you will find an article written at Roadside America.  Part of this article reads:

"Standing along Route 66 west of Amarillo, Texas, Cadillac Ranch was invented and built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco.  They called themselves The Ant Farm, and their silent partner was Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh.  He wanted a piece of public art that would baffle the locals, and the hippies came up with a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin.  Ten Caddies were driven into one of Stanley Marsh's fields, then half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt (supposedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza).  They faced west in a line, from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville, their tail fins held high for all to see on the empty Texas panhandle."

Above Gregg can be seen standing next to the caddies sitting in a pool of mud, with paint cans strewn everywhere.  There is also a very heady smell of paint that after a while made me feel nautious.  I was kind of shocked to see all the graffiti but apparently this has been an acceptable practice for many years.  I think I was expecting to see something like those beautiful Cadillacs I had seen earlier near the RV park.   I also couldn't stand seeing all the empty cans of spray paint strewn everywhere imaginable, and people had obviously tossed them in every direction.  There were literally hundreds of cans left in the field.  I just didn't get it and found it all a bit bizarre.  Stanley Marsh wanted to baffle people, and you can say yes, I am definitely baffled.  I am usually quite good at 'getting' art but this time I found it difficult to comprehend and the surrounding area seemed so toxic to the environment, that it really bothered me. 

Here's Denise feeling totally baffled and bothered!

I stood back and watched two groups of people come to pay homage for want of a better term.  I watched as these young men armed with spray paint proceeded to 'decorate' the first piece of art.  One of them even had his business suit on.  His friends wore shorts.

It was a little windy out there and as they sprayed I stepped back because I certainly didn't want any of that green paint going on me, and within minutes I heard the young man in the suit exclaim that he now had green paint all over his pants and nice shoes.  Well, I shook my head.  What else did he expect? No, I didn't get it, I was baffled just as Stanley Marsh wanted.  I guess whatever plan he had in the beginning has succeeded.  

And why on earth would that young man come out into this field and spray in those nice clothes of his?  Because from his reaction he wasn't too happy when he realized he now had his own brand of graffiti art on his good clothing.  

When Gregg said he was ready to leave I happily followed him back to the road.  I'm glad I got to see this place.....

not sure if I will ever come back but who knows, I might get it one day. There is another article on Wikipedia that you can read if you click here.

Along this journey of ours we have also come across many windmill farms.  

 There were hundreds of them disappearing into the distance as far as the eye could see.  

At 2.52 p.m. we are 2058 miles into our journey and are heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

3.30 p.m. we crossed into New Mexico and spent half an hour looking around the next visitor center we came to.  We met a young man who had started chatting with Gregg.  He was with a very cute three month mix golden retriever.  Such a cute and friendly little pup. 

This young man told us he had just graduated from Belmont Abbey in Nashville, Tennessee, after majoring in bio medical science.  He was on his way to a school in Phoenix to get his Masters Degree but we both forgot the name of the university.

Everyone we meet always seems genuinely friendly and polite, and happy to tell you why they are on the road, even without being asked.  It makes for a nice break in the journey. 

No cell reception there and none on the road yet at 4.03 p.m.  We want to stop early tonight and tried to book a hotel but had to wait until we were within range of a cell tower.
4.05 p.m. we spotted more windmills on a ridge way in the distance.  I still like the old ones.

We didn't get as far as Santa Fe but decided to stay the night in Tucumcari, New Mexico tonight.  We are learning to slow down.

Added note: on our journey away from the Cadillac Ranch and as we were discussing our reactions to what we had just seen, Gregg says he's going to pay homage to me by erecting a sculpture of a giant piece of toast, stuck in the ground at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza, showing it buttered corner to corner.  It's a family joke.  Gregg daubs his toast willy nilly, I'm the corner to corner girl.  I guess this could explain my reaction to the caddy art.  


  1. So enjoying this road trip!

    Have an A&W root beer float on a hot day for me:-)


  2. I think I heard about those cars in the ground on the TV news a long time ago. What an incredible thing to do!

    Welcome to New Mexico! I can't wait to see what you see there.

  3. Gorgeous pup.
    And I am with you about strewing empty cans from Christmas to Breakfast - bizarre.

  4. I don't get the Cadillacs either and I can imagine the paint smell.

    You're meeting some really friendly people on your trip. Being on holiday releases tension and makes people more affable, I think.

  5. Dear Denise,
    What a wonderful adventure!Very interesting art and you got amazing pictures!The Cadillac Ranch is so cool!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. quite the journey Denise; the painted cadillacs don't do it for me either; what happened to cash for scrap metal?

  7. LOVE the RV caddies! Hate the graffiti ones! I'm with you...I think it's a horrible waste to cover those beautiful cars with paint like that! The mud and the strewn debris and paint cans made it look awful. This is the kind of thing my daughter would have wanted to have stopped to see, but I know she would have been disappointed...the RV park cars are much more delightful.

  8. Denise, the cadillacs look kind of cool and the graffiti could be considered art. But the trash has to go, that is disgusting. The paint smell would make me sick too and sad for the environment. Enjoy your trip and I love the photos.

  9. I have never been to Amarillo....or Palo Dura you are giving me an education with your trip. I don't get the Cadillacs either, but each to their own. Love the wind turbines. And what an adorable dog! Hope your trip through New Mexico is more pleasant than my daughters was a couple of years ago. They were on their way to Colorado. They stopped at a McD's to eat and some locals tried to start a fight with her hubby. She was terrified they wouldn't get out of there alive. Her hubby is a peace loving person so he wouldn't get riled by them, so no fight....but she was afraid they would follow them....she said she would never go to Colorado through that one town again!

  10. I really an enjoying journeying along with you.
    Those cadillacs certainly are something else and to see that bloke in his good clothes with a spray can!!! Unbelievable. You do wonder what goes on in their minds.
    I love those wind farms and yet lots of people object to them. I think they look quite majestic.
    Look forward to continuing your trip along with you and thanks again for sharing.

  11. I've driven by Cadillac Ranch a few times but have never stopped. I think I need to. I'm going to bring a few cans of spray paint and some old clothes. I'll also be sure and not leave the spray cans there and I'll log tghe virtual cache that is there.

    I'm looking forward to your Santa Fe post.

  12. Well, I guess I see it fitting that those caddies, representing Biggest American Macho Materialistic Consumerism...or something like that, should be laid to rest ignominiously. The cans of paint on the ground are juvenile however.

  13. What an idiot that guy in the suit was. Lol. I guess it takes all kinds to make the world.

  14. Original fotos with cadilliac, best regard from belgium and have a nice week, lovely dog!

  15. I have never been to the USA before but read a lot about all these sights you are coming about to... so it's neat to see the photos you are taking. Those Cadillacs aren't as lovely as I imagined, hahaha but still very odd. But I really love that wind farm! My favorite!!

  16. the first photo i ever saw of cadillac ranch - all of the caddies were painted pink and it did look like art. it has been getting grafittied, though, for years and years. hate that it is a trash dump, basically, now.

  17. Denise, looks like you & your hubby are having a wonderful time traveling. That is the strangest painting area I have ever seen, gives a new twist on the word graffiti! : )

  18. Art is subjective.

    I'm glad you got to see it and shared it with us.

  19. Looking at the painted vehicles makes me queazy, odd and interesting. enjoy reading about your travel and interesting sites.

  20. Your photo of the cars stuck in the mud is really a unique site to see. I didn't know it could last that long.

  21. Managers at the RV park when we stayed there told us that Marsh has a pretty bad reputation and has been in court a few times. They advised against now at least I know what it looks like, and I'm glad you survived;))). We had mixed feelings anyway and so we decided to skip it. I know you'll love New Mexico!

  22. What a fun post! I don't think I "get" that Cadillac Ranch art either. Seems like it would have been much nicer to pay homage to the caddies with a nice clean showroom full of those classic cars. Oh well.

    Oh, by the way, did you receive my email?

  23. Denise, I am with you on NOT getting the sight of all those graffiti sprayed Cadillacs. This would NOT be on my "to see" list after reading your post. Overall, you and Gregg are having fun.

  24. I'm with you the art and trash looked awful but as you say the ones at the service station were much nicer.