West Texas. I could leave the rest of this page completely blank and there would still be more to see than what the Panhandle has to offer. If I’m gonna drive it, it’s usually going to be at night where you can at least watch the red lights of the oil derricks bobbing up and down….uuuuuup and downnnnn….upppppp an….OK maybe that’s not such a good idea. Luckily, there’s a lovely little piece of Historic Route 66 along “The 40” to break up the monotony, and that little gem is, of course, Cadillac Ranch, which should be a Bucket List stop for anyone traveling east to west….and bring your spray paint. Yup! I said it.
Traveling west, about 10 minutes outside of Amarillo, if you look to your left, you’ll see a line of…..something….poking up out of the ground in the middle of a field that is in the middle of nowhere. Pull off the freeway and motor on over to the south frontage road. You’ll come to a pull off and a gap in the highway fence decorated with a couple of trash cans and dumpsters. “You Have Arrived” as the GPS Lady says. Yep. That’s it. There’s a sign on the fence that says “STATE OF TEXAS PROPERTY. GRAFFITI PAINTING OF ANYTHING ON THIS SIDE OF FENCE IS ILLEGAL” You might be the only one there…for a minute. You get out of your car, look around, maybe hide the spray can under your coat and reconsider what you’re about to do. Don’t. I mean, don’t reconsider. The sign is old, and on my recent trip, I noticed that some wisenheimer had sprayed the word NOT in front of “illegal”. So, really…spray. Empty the whole can if you want, but make sure you take plenty of pictures because some other bucket-lister will be along behind you in an hour or so and will cover your handiwork with his…or her…own *cough* Sorry 😉
So, what IS this thing?? That’s it…It’s just a thing. It’s art. We don’t ask questions of art. OK, sometimes we do. It’s a public art installation of 10 Cadillacs buried nose down in the dirt that was erected in 1974 and represents the evolution of the car’s body features from 1949-1963. You can read all about it here. It was actually put in place to “baffle the locals” as the artists put it, so you can sit there and read about it and ponder its existence, or you can get out of the car and have some fun. If you find yourself looking up at a rainbow Caddy with nothing to contribute with, cheer up. there’s a home improvement store right off the freeway just as you cross the city line into Amarillo. Pit stop. Pro Tip, though, mind which way the wind is blowing, and leave your leather jacket in the car. If you get any on your clothes, you can show everybody the pictures and say that you had to 86 that shirt because it accidentally got 66’d.
If you like the pictures you see here, visit the full gallery at LivingDedGrrl: Cadillac Ranch.