The Road Home Part 5: How to Defile a Cadillac

We rolled into Amarillo in the early evening.  We weren't sure what to expect and frankly, we didn't find much 🙁  We started by heading straight downtown to see what there was to see and weren't able to muster up anything to do outside of visiting one of the local watering holes for a drink.  Feeling disappointed by downtown Amarillo, we decided to drive around and explore a bit more.  Our discovery that most of the action in Amarillo seemed to exist outside of downtown near Walmart and the other big box stores was disheartening.  As we've travelled the country, we've seen this pattern over and over; many towns' unique and vibrant downtown small business scenes have been boarded up and swallowed by the Walmarts, Lowes, Best Buys, and Barnes & Nobles out in suburbia.

After realizing we weren't going to find much to do in Amarillo without springing for drinks, we decided to split a meal at a local Tex-Mex restaurant and call it a night.  While chillin' in the van and searching the web for something entertaining to do the next day we came across The Cadillac Ranch.  We'd heard the name before, but had no idea what it was.  After learning a bit about it, we happily had our agenda for the next day.

The Cadillac Ranch is a strange spectacle indeed.  You follow a Route 66 (I-40) outside of town and then there it is just off a frontage road...  10 old Cadillacs (models from 1949 to 1963) sunk half-deep in the dirt and placed at the same angle in the middle of a farm field.  Weird much?  Word has it that there is some significance to the placement of these Cadillacs in correlation with the same angles of the Great Pyramid of Giza.  And if that wasn't quirky enough, visitors are encouraged to leave their marks on these Cadillacs with spray paint.  

Excited at the prospect of painting my first graffiti piece, I searched the pile of discarded paint cans hoping to find one with a bit of paint left (as our cheapass budget didn't allow for purchasing paint of our own).  It was my lucky day!  I found a can of red paint that seemed to be about 90% full 🙂  I enjoyed trying to scribble my name onto the hood of one of the Caddys and it seemed Meisha enjoyed laughing at my lame attempt while taking pictures of me.  The thing I found most intriguing about this odd roadside attraction was the juxtaposition of the seemingly permanent nature of these buried Cadillacs and the all-too-temporary nature of the paintings created on them.  After spending little more than an hour at the site, it became clear that most of the decorative paintings on these Cadillacs will likely be covered and replaced by the end of the day.  So, I sighed at the prospect of my beautiful art piece being painted over in the next few hours and rejoiced in my opportunity to get my fingers sticky for a few moments at no cost.

Once we'd had our fill of Cadillacs and spray painting, we'd had our fill of Texas as well and we on to New Mexico...

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