Mile 1153 - Palo Duro Canyon and The Cadillac Ranch
It is true that we have plains in Alabama and Georgia, but comparing our plains to Texas plains is like comparing a hill to a mountain. Anyone who has ever lived in Tennessee is laughs at the things Florida people call mountains. If you have never seen the plains of Texas the closest image I can draw to the mind is it is like looking at the ocean but the whole thing is brown grass. Like looking out over the ocean you can see for miles until the sky meets the water at the horizon. The Texas plains are huge brown oceans of grass that go as far as the sky.
Back home we go up to the canyons. For us a canyon is a gap between two mountains. I have now learned that there is another way to do “canyon.” You are supposed to go down to a canyon, as in drive along the very flat prairie and all the sudden there will be a mega ditch in the ground that goes for miles.
While in the Amarillo/Canyon, Texas area we visited the Palo Duro Canyon and saw the outdoor musical aptly named Texas. I had never seen an on stage musical until I married Shannon. Now I am acquainted with several. The musical Texas is a more manly way to do a musical as it is outdoor, in a canyon, with horses in full sprint, stage coaches, and even a snake that slithered across the stage just before the performance began. It was an entertaining show. From all the staged musicals I have seen I give it an above average grade, but the setting is what really makes the show. There is not a play in Broadway that has a canyon as a backdrop. Furthermore, it is hard to fabricate real tree splitting lightening bolts in a playhouse. They do it at Palo Duro and it is very cool.
I know we are on our way to the Grand Canyon, but since I have never seen a real, out west canyon, Palo Duro was an awesome orientation. The colors of the canyon walls were spectacular. I have always heard people talk about the colors in the canyons, now I have seen it. We arrived at Palo Duro as the sun was setting which only added to the majesty of the sight. If the next canyon we visit is the “Grand” one, I can’t wait to see it.
We knew that The Cadillac Ranch was in Amarillo, but it had somehow slipped off the radar. There were no signs along the way, and after a good morning swim we had all but forgotten about it. Shannon was driving, I was blogging and just happened to look up and see a trail of people walking out into a brown field. I looked further out to see huge hunks of metal aligned in a perfect row. “What is that?” Then I realized, these huge hunks of metal were the back ends of 10 Cadillacs rising up out of the dirt. We had found the Cadillac Ranch. This is the sort of road art we expected to see on this trip. I’m not sure if The Cadillac Ranch is one of the 1,000 things you must do before you die, but now I can say we have been there. Someone gave the girls a few cans of spray paint. We left our Branam mark. Too bad some dudes with blue paint were slowly covering up the most recent spray paint art, but that must be the cycle as each car was no longer metal but a paint bubble build up encased Cadi. We need something like that in the South. Like a field of sculpted SEC football coaches that you can stop by and desecrate. Maybe if we had a “Coach Ranch” we would go easy on the trees!
On to Albuquerque . . .