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Road trip, part II – Amarillo

March 27th, 2009|Inspiration, Photography, Road trip|1 Comment

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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.

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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.

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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):

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The empty cans are all left behind to be blown by the blasting wind into the adjacent empty field.

Oh well, then, let’s go back to Amarillo momentarily. Are there words to express how much I love this place? Observe just a small sampling of the the delights to be found here:
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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.

March 27th, 2009|Inspiration, Photography, Road trip|1 Comment

Road trip!

March 26th, 2009|Inspiration, Photography|2 Comments


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Big Texas Steak Ranch, Amarillo, Texas

This is Spring break, and I am off from school for an entire lovely week. We were long overdue for a road trip, so it seemed like a good excuse to just get in the car and go. I had not set foot inside the great state of Texas for a long time, so we decided to do some exploring in the panhandle area and then start making our way back west in New Mexico.

The first day of travel was filled with our usual gotta-do-six-million-things-before-we-can-leave futzing around, so we didn’t get out of the house until around 3:00 pm. That gave us enough time to reach the bustling metropolis of Raton, NM. We spent our first night at the Colt Motel.

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There was a large selection of cute little retro motels to choose from, so the selection was difficult. I finally settled on the Colt because of its mascot (I can always be depended upon to fall for a life-size fiberglass animal, especially when it’s a happy little horse).

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The next morning, after breakfast and some brief photo opportunities in town, we headed east on Highway 72 towards the town of Folsom. We soon found ourselves in a strange and lonely landscape, with no trees and very few other people, with just the occasional herd of cows as the only other company.

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Finally, we reached Folsom. The town has very few residents left. There were a few occupied homes, several abandonded of same, an abandoned school and historic hotel, and the very happening downtown area.

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Further on, we had to make a decision about where to stop for the night once again. We saw this place, but passed it up in favor of the Holiday Inn Express in Amarillo — our big splurge of the trip.

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Tomorrow: Cadillac Ranch!

March 26th, 2009|Inspiration, Photography|2 Comments

Luckily, we’re not going here after all…

March 7th, 2009|Painting, School|6 Comments

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1st — larger version2nd — larger version | 3rd — larger version

Thanks to Magsramsray for her brilliant suggestion to just post the image without explanatory text. She really hit the nail on the head with her comments. I do feel a kind of self-imposed pressure to say something momentous each time I post, which is intimidating and leads to self-censorship. But since this is my party, I can do whatever I want, including making the choice to be free of substance. So here’s the painting mentioned in the last post, submitted here without commentary.

March 7th, 2009|Painting, School|6 Comments