When Crystal first requested a stop at Cadillac Ranch, I was a little confused – it sounded like something you’d name a bordello. Wrong ranch, apparently. This ranch is much tamer.
If you’re driving on I-40 just west of Amarillo and notice a small crowd gathered on the side of the highway, it’s not a car accident. They’re taking photos or spray painting a group of classic Cadillacs buried nose-first in the dirt.
According to Roadside America , these cars were buried in the dirt by a group of artists called The Ant Farm in a field owned by a billionaire who wanted to bring some odd art to Amarillo. And though it was an oddity in the 70s, Cadillac Ranch has become an iconic stop for road trippers.
This may seem like a strictly American curiosity, it draws people from around the world. When we stopped by, the three in our group were the only Americans milling around the cars. And it was definitely a surprise to hear German and French in the middle of the Texas panhandle.
While some leave love notes and signatures, others settle for simple initials. With so many layers the marks can be hard to make out. What is clear is that thousands upon thousands of travelers have left their mark here.
The cars themselves have been reduced by the weather into rusted shells of what was that old Cadillac stateliness.
During the day they’re the canvas for roadside artists leaving signatures that will be painted over by the end of tomorrow. At night they rest in the panhandle’s breeze like cattle asleep in the pasture.
Yet these cars aren’t just an exhibit. In fact, your contributions are encouraged. Feel free to leave your mark on the cars – just remember to bring your own paint.