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.