Leaving Your Mark at Cadillac Ranch {Route 66 Side Trip}

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Traveling Route 66 inevitably brings with it several side trips. In Texas there’s a spot where imaginations run wild, where cars seemingly grow out of the ground. This place is one that so many travelers pass by on the 40 headed toward California.

Cadillac Ranch was dreamed up by a wealthy rancher named Stanley Marsh 3 (apparently, he prefers the 3). He had a group named “Ant Farm” create the multi-Cadillac sculpture in 1974; the cars were moved to the current spot in 1997. Researching online, I’ve found that there are so many stories about Cadillac Ranch, why it was built, and what it means. Plain and simple, it’s art…. a sort of sculpture. Reading in Jerry McClanahan’s EZ66 Guide, he says that it was never located on Route 66. However, we still wanted to visit the Ranch, so we took a little side trip while we were in the area.

Cadillac Ranch is made up of 10 Cadillacs, placed front down in the dirt and buried. It’s out in the middle of a field, outside Amarillo, Texas. Walking to the cars, we could feel the hot Texas sun beating down. All around the cars were old spray cans from travelers who’d been there and left their mark. The cars were covered in graffiti, as well as writing from travelers all over the world. I think that was the most fascinating thing to me; everyone wants to leave their mark on these classic vehicles, and leave our mark we did.

Most of the spray cans still have paint in them, and other visitors are perfectly willing to share if they’ve brought their own. We all had a good time climbing around, checking out the old classics and exploring.

There’s no charge; it just requires a bit of a walk along the road and out through the field. Up close or even far away, it’s quite the sight, and honestly, it’s a place that everyone should try to visit at least once in their lifetime.

(Disclaimer: Researching just a bit, I found information in Jerry McClanahan‘s EZ66 Guide, as well as the Legends of America website.)

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