Participants: Bill, Megan and Tag
Destination: Amarillo, Texas
Secondary Destination: Four states in one day
Timescale: 36 hours
Last-minute travel plans are often the best. As a trio, we had discussed the idea of a road trip for weeks, but in the end it all came together at about two days' notice.
The Cadillac Ranch, just outside Amarillo, Texas, is a unique colorful speck on the wide plains of West Texas. Essentially, it consists of ten classic junked-out cars that have been wedged into the ground. Covered in graffiti, the cars offer a fantastically fun canvas for any savvy traveller who shows up with spray paint.
And so we did. As the photos below attest, we had a great time spraying our names and anything else we could think of all over the cars. Think of it as an artistic pacifist's equivalent of a paintballing session. Well worth the four hours' drive from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
We stayed at Amarillo's La Kiva hotel, mostly for pure comedy value and the fact that the vacation spot of much faded glory was offering a two-room suite for the same price as a double room in a chain hotel. The greasy complimentary breakfast was hot and nasty, while the hotel bar apparently only served Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors Light. A rogue's gallery for sure!
To explain the title for a moment, there was a very cheesy song released in the 1970s called "Is This The Way To Amarillo?". Written by Neil Sedaka but made famous by Tony Christie (and again much later by a fat disgusting British comedian named Peter Kay), the song apparently only used the name of the Texas town because it rhymed with willow and pillow. As evidenced by our little visit, the place has not much else to offer!
Our secondary mission on day two of this lightning road trip was to hit four states in one day, including two - Kansas and Oklahoma - that two of us had never been to before. Even just to pass over the state lines, this necessitated a lot of driving! Mile after mile of plain farm fields, punctured by agri-industrial provincial eyesores, were the order of the day. In the end, the route offered up far more po-dunk towns than pretty sights, but was no less of a unique Southwest road trip experience.
Ultimately, I think the principal lesson of our little trip was that while visiting other states is an interesting diversion, New Mexico is the prettiest state in the union, hands down. Even though I had already done most of the drive from northeast NM down to Albuquerque before, it unquestionably provided the most beautiful scenery on the whole drive, which totaled almost a thousand miles. Until next time, dear readers, enjoy the colorful photos and consider the Land of Enchantment for your next holiday!