A Visit to the Cadillac Ranch

Wednesday July 8th 2020

The triple digit temperatures have arrived limiting outdoor activities. Never the less, I did a few things today in the one hundred degree heat. It was a lot of touring in the car with a couple of excursions in the heat.

Amarillo is a large growing city and metropolitan area in the middle of the Texas panhandle. When I arrived on Monday the city crept up on me. There is an abrupt transition from open plains to industry and retail approaching from the west on Interstate 40. Today I found a similar abrupt transition to the north. I suspect I’ll find similar transitions to the south and east.

Historic route 66 passes through Amarillo. Many of the older touristy things date back to the hay day of the cross country road. I’d long heard about a road side attraction called Cadillac Ranch along route 66. It turns out to be here on the west side of Amarillo. I passed it without knowing on my way into town on Monday. I backtracked to visit it today.

View of Cadillac Ranch from the frontage road.

The Cadillac Ranch is ten Cadillac automobiles planted nose down in a field pointing west. The unique artistry was first created in 1974 in a wheat field along the side of old route 66. Over the years the art evolved by condoned vandalism and graffiti. Today it is hard to tell the cars were once caddies, but they remain unique forms of art. In 1997 the ten cars were moved 2 miles west to their current location in a cow pasture along the south side frontage road for Interstate 40. As the city expands it is getting close to encroaching on the Cadillac Ranch again.

There were many people making the few hundred yard walk from the frontage road out to the half buried cars. Many people came prepared with spray paint to add their creative touch to the exhibit. The smell of paint was very strong around the cars. You had to be careful not to get caught in someones over spray. It was a fun visit, but I don’t have to do it again. Once you’ve seen it you can’t forget it.

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