I absolutely love Texas! Everything is big and well Texas style! If you haven't been there I suggest you get your bottom moving and go visit Texas! I have lived in Texas and even then, I have so many more things to see and do there!
One of the coolest places I have visited there is the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo off of Route 66 (or as it now known I-40, between exits 60 and 62). They were buried by a group called Ant Farm, hired by the eccentric Stanley March 3 (He passed away in June 2014 at the age of 76). He hired the artist group to pay home-age to the "Golden Age of Automobiles." It is considered a public art piece. The ranch is made up of 10 Cadillacs buried nose down in the ground. Apparently the cars are buried at the same angle as the Giza Pyramid. I don't know how true that is, but hey it sounds good right?
|The morning of our trip- it was just a tad bit foggy!|
In 1974, the pieces were buried at one location and then in 1997 were moved to the present location, this was done as the city of Amarillo was growing. The trash that was there on the day of moving was even collected and scattered around the new site. You can see them from the highway and are very easy to get to. The Cadillac from the west are from 1949 to 1963. When they were originally buried the intention wasn't for them to become an evolving art piece with help from the public it became just that. It started as vandalism and theft, with people stripping the cars of the parts, breaking the glass and carving their names into the vehicles. At one point the wheels were welded to the cars to make sure they were not stolen.
|original cars as they were buried in 1974- source: roadsideamerica.com|
Eventually, it was encouraged to come and help add to the piece. In March 2002, the cars were painted back to their original colors and then again in June 2003 were painted in flat black in response to the death of one of the founding members of Ant Farm. The Cadillac are never the same as people are now encouraged to come and mark and "graffiti" them.
There is some controversy surrounding the Cadillac Ranch as they cars are now considered antiques and people are upset that there were "destroyed."
Enough history already: Visiting the ranch, make sure you bring a camera and a few cans of spray paint. Make sure you document your artistic expressions as chances are within a few hours they will no longer be visible. I suggest visiting in the early morning, so you wont have to deal with the crowds. It's no fun to try and paint and have people coming right before you and painting before your paint even dries.
When we visited the ranch, we had begun our road trip and arrived at 4:30 am. Not really the best time to visit the ranch. We decided to sleep and rest right outside the gate. The fog was really thick when we awoke around 9:30am. I was a bit disappointed after a few minutes the fog started to lift and we were able to go and make our mark on the ranch. We spent the next hour and a half, decorated, climbing and exploring the ranch.
|the view as we walked from our truck- it is a bit of a walk but well worth it|
|amazing! Love all of the details|
|makes you want to drive a Cadillac right?|
|this is my favorite picture from the day: I love all of the paint cans|
If you are in the area and you have time, I highly recommend you bringing a picnic lunch and just people watching. You will be amazed at what you see while you are there. During our visit, we saw one guy climb in what would be the back window and hang upside down to take pictures. Just wow!
My favorite was the children kept asking if I was sure they were allowed to paint on the cars. Pumpkin kept looking at me saying "ok, Mama?" as she held the can of spray paint. When discussing the history with Peanut, he asked if he graffitied his bedroom walls enough would it turn into art? Hmm, nice try kid, I think not!
|Mama and pumpkin painting|
|Peanut was so excited to write his name, he kept asking are you sure this is alright?|
|part of his creation|
|some people get really into it!|
Visit the ranch, watch and participate in the ever evolving art piece. Make sure to buy your paint before you get close to the ranch, the gas stations sell it there but it costs a fortune!