As a vacation destination, Amarillo, Texas can certainly hold its own. There are several attractions in the area which demanded our attention, the Big Texas Steak Ranch providing only the smallest glimpse of what was to come. The parking lot was very full when I was there taking pictures near sundown on Wednesday night, so there must have been a lot of people in that place trying to earn their free 72-oz steak by eating it within an hour — something probably very interesting to observe. However, since I don’t eat steak, we have to move on find to less burly but more suitable refreshments at a local Thai restaurant. Then the next morning it was on to more exploration.
If you love roadside attractions as much as I do, then you are in luck because there is a most informative web site catering to this addiction: Roadside America. This is how I learned that there is another great Texan in the area, somewhat south of Amarillo in the town of Canyon. He is the Big Texan, aka Tex Randall, erected in 1959, but in past years under siege and even now in danger of imminent demise. I had to make sure I got to see him before he meets his inevitable end. Unfortunately, he’s not doing so well these days. Hang in there, Tex! You’ve lasted this long, I hope you’ll stick it out for another 50 years.
Heading back towards Amarillo from Canyon, one can also see this amazing sight, the so-called Huge Pair of Legs, standing out in the middle of a field of cows (many thanks to the model for providing the much-needed sense of scale):
Evidently, the legs are also the work of Stanley Marsh 3, the creator of Cadillac Ranch. Read the whole sordid story at the link above, if so inclined. Now, having heard of the legendary Cadillac Ranch so many times, I was living in a state of heightened anticipation until I finally got to see it. But as with so many things in life, the things you obsess over the most often turn out to be disappointments.
Cadillac Ranch has turned into a giant graffiti site, where the main attraction is the chance to go crazy with a spray can without fear of reprisal, with the blessing of the owner of the establishment.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that I love graffiti when it’s done well, but this is a community free-for-all with no organization, and so it’s pretty much just a big mishmash of colors and there’s no real art to it.
Everyone is just busy spraying everything in sight, and even the hardpacked dirt road and the unfortunate nearby cow leavings are subject to the frenzy.
The empty cans are all left behind to be blown by the blasting wind into the adjacent empty field.
As great as these things are, there is another surprise of unsurpassed super yummy goodness, but I fear this is getting way too long, so I shall save it for tomorrow.