Tag Archives: Cadillac Ranch

Photography 101 – Day Eighteen: Edge & Alignment

Today’s assignment is to show an edge — a straight line, a narrow ridge, a precipice. A narrow ridge is a long, narrow, elevated strip of land or any raised strip or band. A precipice is a very steep rock face or cliff, typically a tall one. And an edge can be a transition from one surface to another – i.e., a shore line, or a cloud bank, or the horizon.

This was my first choice for the assignment. I did not like the clutter of highway signs at the bottom of the image. I did not want to just crop the bottom off and I am not adept at photo editing the ‘junk’ out of the photo. That is for another day. The photo would have been titled –  “The Edge Of Night”.

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The Edge of Night

Second choice for this assignment was a Southerly view from Interstate 40 about 5 miles West of Amarillo, Texas. The horizon in the Texas Panhandle is pretty flat, thus creating an edge. The cars seen in the photo is an iconic landmark on I-40 better known as the Cadillac Ranch. Click that link to read an earlier post that tells more about that.

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Cadillac Ranch
Amarillo, Texas

Searching for a more unique POV on the assignment, I walked to the South side of the 4th car from the right. Do you see that small splash of fuchsia in the following photo? There is a purple circle around it.

18c DSC_0237Let’s get closer. Do you see it yet?

18d DSC_0238That splash of fuchsia points to the object that is my focus for our assignment: Edge and Alignment. I just about had to stand on my head to get this shot to work. The sunshine was great but I stood behind my right shoulder. After a little creative staging and minor cropping, I am happy with the results. I present The Edge of Paint.

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The Edge of Paint

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.



Playing Tourist

Today we played tourist. We enjoyed a lazy morning while waiting for the sun to burn off the morning fog.

DSC_0076The Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument is a 60 foot, three-tiered spire with a large model of a helium molecule in the center of the spire. The monument was erected in 1968 to commemorate the centennial of the discovery of Helium (HE) in 1868 by French astronomer Jules Jansse and British astronomer Norman Lockyer.

In 1925, the Federal Government set up the National Helium Reserve in Amarillo where 1 billion cubic meters of Helium is stored in a natural geologic gas storage formation, the Bush Dome reservoir, located about 12 miles northwest of Amarillo.

Due to the debt incurred in collecting the helium, Congress decided to phase out the reserve. The  “Helium Privatization Act of 1996” (Public Law 104–273) directed the US Department of the Interior to start liquidating the reserve by 2005. While the reserve was slowly dwindling, in 2013, the House of Representatives voted to extend the reserve under government control.

Each spire is filled with books and artifacts from 1968. When constructed in 1968, the stipulation was that the four time capsules would be opened at 25, 50, 100 and 1000 years after initial construction. The first spire was opened in 1985, the rest are to be opened in 2018, 2068 and 2968.

Next we drove about 10 miles west and visited the infamous Cadillac Ranch.

DSC_0098Cadillac Ranch is the creation of  Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels.  It consists of 10 Cadillac automobiles that represent the evolution and death of the tailfin that defined Cadillacs from 1949 to 1963. The original project was completed in 1974 and subsequently moved to its current location in 1997 about 2 miles further west.

From a distance, the cars do not look like much. Up close, the cars are an interesting sight.

DSC_0079Forty years of spray painting  preserves the steel bodies pretty well. In some spots, the paint has been carved away so visitors can see just how many layers of paint are there. The photo on the left shows the depth of paint. The blowup of the same photo shows the individual layers of paint that has been applied.

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There are some sections of some cars where the depth of paint is even greater than this. Pretty amazing, if you ask me. Even the undercarriage of these vehicles is canvas to graffiti artists.

DSC_0084One problem with allowing the public to have open access to this display is the amount of liter that is left behind. There are two dumpsters at the entrance, but I guess visitors cannot see them. I imagine someone comes out here to clean up the spent paint cans. It is sad to see the public abuse this display by litering. Apparently some feel liter is an art form.

DSC_0086Ready to get up close and personal with these 10 works of art? Here they are. You can click on any photos to see even greater detail than what you see here.

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Hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.

Groom, Texas – The Rest of the Story

Yesterday, I posted about the Cross of Christ in Groom, Texas. I hope you enjoyed the photos. While that was the highlight of our day trip, there where more things to see and do. Today you get the rest of the story.

Stockyard CafeWe started the day with breakfast at the Stockyard Cafe. This quaint cafe is located in the Amarillo Livestock Auction Building. The Amarillo Livestock Auction operates the largest independent livestock auction in Texas selling over 100,000 head of cattle annually. We will have to visit this auction but will sit on our hands. Breakfast was good enough for us to say we will go back. They advertise a tasty looking Chicken Fried Steak dinner that I will have to try out.

Groom-TXGroom, TX lies about 40 miles east of Amarillo on I-40 along the route of Historic US-66. The city occupies less than 1 sq.mile and, based on the 2010 census, registered around 600 people. Groom was named for Colonel B. B. Groom who leased over 500,000 acres and purchased 1,300 short horn cattle in 1882. Unfortunately, this was a failed venture that resulted in foreclosure in 1886. The city was platted in 1902 along the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway route.

On the north side of I-40 near exit 114, sits an old water tower. Normally this would not be of interest to anyone except this water tower leans like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

DSC_0047The Leaning Tower of Groom was a marketing ploy of Ralph Britten in the 1980’s. He figured if people saw a tower that looked as if it was about to fall over, they would pull of the highway and tell someone. When travelers pulled off the highway, they would find themselves in the parking lot of Britten Truck Stop and Restaurant. About 5 years later, an electrical fire permanently closed Britten’s business. Today, the Leaning Tower of Groom is all that remains.

Slug Bug FarmOn the west side of Amarillo, travelers will spot the infamous Cadillac Ranch where 10 Cadillacs are buried in the ground. Not to be out done, the Slug Bug Ranch, (AKA, bug farm)) is located in Conway, TX on I-40 at exit 96, about 16 miles west of Groom or 30 miles east of Amarillo. This quirky display of 5 Volkswagen Beetles buried nose first mocks the Cadillac Ranch. A photo from 2002 shows these bugs where painted yellow. The bugs are in pretty rough shape but are easy to get to.

Me With A BugOf course I had to take a selfie.

OOPSOur last stop for the day was  the United Supermarket on the west side of Amarillo. We have not been impressed with the quality of produce at our nearby Walmart so we decided to checkout a local grocery store.

Carol dropped me off in front of the store to pick up a few items. Just as she parked the car, steam billowed from the hood and coolant spewed in all directions. She called me to let me know what had happened. I continued shopping and decided we would deal with it when I got done.

When I got the few groceries loaded into the car, I took a look under the hood. Things were pretty steamy under there but I could not see any evidence of a busted radiator hose. I asked Carol to start the engine so I could check for the obvious. When I saw the coolant boiling in the reservoir, I knew we would not be able to drive the car back to the RV park.

We do have a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty on the car and we have towing on our car insurance so Carol called Gene Messer Ford. We could see their dealership sign from the parking lot. However, their service department closed about 30 minutes earlier and they did not their own tow service. SHEESH!

After a few phone calls, we were able to locate a tow service who would tow us to the Gene Messer Ford and contacted our manager at Amarillo Ranch RV who would pick us up.

IMG_2016When we got the car unloaded at the Ford dealership we though about our Good Sams Roadside Assistance policy. Perhaps it would have saved us the $60 towing bill. We’ll call Monday morning just to find out. We will be better prepared next time something like this happens. Over the last three years we have traveled over 5,000 miles with our RV plus about 25,000 additional miles without having a need for towing. Our day ended a little stressful but we managed just fine. Monday we find out what caused the car to overheat.

Playing Tourist

We had a wonderful day playing tourist. Who knew there was a great RV museum in Texas? We certainly did not know that. Fortunate for us, Jack Sisemore Traveland is home to a cool RV museum that is free and contains a small sampling of iconic RV’s from the past. Located in a large building in the back of the dealership, Jack Sisemore Traveland Museum is a hidden gem. And we learned today the Jack Sisemore Traveland is the largest Winnebago dealership in Texas. That may come in handy while we are here. They have friendly staff and from what we hear, a great service department.
DSCN0709From vintage motor cycles
DSCN0666To a replica of Jack Sisemore’s service station (before he got into the RV business)
DSCN0708Visitors can take a trip back in time to see how early RVer’s traveled. And they can see the 1948 Flxible that was used by he Gornike family in the Robin Williams movie “RV”.
DSCN0669For a quick view of the RV’s we saw today, click here. It was really a cool trip back in time.

We also took a quick trip out to the infamous Cadillac Ranch on I-40. The weather was wet so the grounds were muddy. We decided this would be an adventure for another day.
DSCN0710There are other cool places for us to visit while we are in Amarillo. We will have plenty of time for that.DSCN0707Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.