Ever drive down a dusty highway in the desert or through the woods with your windows down and the music up? Of course you have. How about when you’ve hit the point where you are daydreaming of your significant other or the destination you are headed towards or (if you’re like me) your next meal or the one you just had? Yep. And then there’s something that appears out of nowhere and as you zoom past it you do a double take and you’re all like W.T.F. I know. There is some crazy shit out there, right? It’s American kitsch, yo! And it’s literally all over the country, if you know where to look, or where to turn your car around if you’ve already passed it and want to circle back to get a better glimpse.
I’ll start today off with one of my favs—Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo, Texas. Ok, let’s get historical: Caddy Ranch is a public art installation that resides in a wheat field just off the highway (I-40). Created in 1974 by the San Franciscan, hippie art group Ant Farm, this installation features Cadillac models ranging from 1949-1963. With their bodies dug half way into the ground (nose first) you’ll get a view of their tails suspended into the air. Best part: visitors are encouraged to tactfully add their own mark to the graffiti that covers all ten cars. I know, it’s rad.
So what are cars doing in the middle of the Texan panhandle? Good question. Like many kitschy American things, there is probably more than one answer. One, interstate 40 used to be historic Route 66, which is the mother of all roads to celebrate the automobile. Two, classic cars invoke a sense nostalgia for many that embraces the family road trip. And three, Cadillacs are awesome. So there’s that. It won’t cost you any money to get onto Cadillac ranch but come prepared with your own spray paint. And remember to take a picture…because the beautiful art you create while on the ranch is more than likely to be painted over within 24 hours.