Amarillo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico
27.06.2010 - 27.06.2010 74 °F
We began our seventh day on 66 by heading West out of Amarillo. On the outskirts of town we came across a famous roadside attraction known as "Cadillac Ranch." For those of you who don't know, "Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm, and it consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of early Cadillacs; the tail fin) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt." - Wiikipedia.
Although located on a private ranch, in a dusty field, it is encouraged that the exhibit is open to the public 24/7. It is also encouraged that you leave your own piece of art on the cars by tagging them with graffiti. So naturally we were prepared for the visit and brought a couple cans of spray paint. We put our names on one car, and a greeting that read "from Indiana, with love." A tribute to the Cadillac Ranch was featured in the Walt Disney and Pixar film Cars. The fictional town of Radiator Springs sits at the edge of an area referenced on a map as the "Cadillac Range", and throughout the movie, rock formations shaped like the upended cars can be seen as a horizon backdrop.
Another icon mimicked in the Pixar movie Cars is the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas http://midpointroute66cafe.com/ . The Midpoint Cafe is the declared half way point of the mother road. We stopped in for an early lunch and met a woman, who is actually in charge of PR for the Big Texan restaurant, but gave us a tour because her friend Fran (the owner) wasn't there. She approached us after we were caught admiring a signed sketch of "Mater" from John Lasseter of Pixar. She told us how the Pixar crew came through in 2001 for inspirations for the town of Radiator Springs. The Midpoint Cafe found its way into the film as inspiration for Flo’s V8 Café.
After leaving the cafe we headed West to continue into New Mexico. There are not as many side attractions in some of the South West States as there are in the previous States. So with little stops to make, we just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful landscape. We finally made our way into Santa Fe, New Mexico where we stopped for some shopping. Santa Fe is the oldest Capital in the United States, celebrating its 400th birthday. They have a unique downtown area, as the whole center of town in one large open shopping village. The only downfall to the city is that every building looked and blended into the next. Due to the stucko building code they seemed to have, every building fascade where square brown buildings. Even the Shell station followed this standard, causing us to circle the city before finding the gas station. We had dinner at a pizza joint in the center of town, while being entertained by some local live music. Then it was back on the road to head into Albuquerque where we crashed for the night.