This morning, I had Cadillac Ranch to myself for about 45 minutes from sunrise till the first spray painters showed up.
After returning to the hotel, it was time to pick up Denice and eat some hearty hotel food for breakfast. This was not our hotel but...
neither was this one
Denice had discovered that on the first Tuesday of each month the Amarillo Livestock Auction has a Tuesday auction and the public is invited. We drove over there but it was too early so we just drove around Amarillo for awhile. Then it was back to auction only to discover this Tuesday there is no auction.
This delay led to our being able to go to 6th St. which has many antique shops trying to recapture the old 66 days. Seriously, this was not my fault. At the first place I bought a creepy baby doll, a cherub adorned dish, and a cool old steel tape measure for $22. At the second place I bought two small spindles and a huge spindle painted like a circus pole for $20.
Then we discovered an Army surplus Quonset hut now a junk place run by some old dudes. When I asked old dude number one how much this rusty old folding chair was (thinking $5 tops, baby) he ran in the back and consulted the second old dude. Consensus price: $25. We were outta there.
You see the strangest things on Route 66. This old gas station sits in the front yard of a rather nice house. The amazing thing to me is that they have preserved the station but have not done one thing to fix it up including failing to paint it. Although I am glad it was there to see I do not understand why you would stare out your front window at this pile o' junk every day and not think, "Man, that would look darn pretty with a little white wash."
So it was off down the road to Conway where some enterprising businessman at some point decided to out Cadillac Ranch the Ranch by placing his cars east of Amarillo to capture all the gullibles before they got to the real deal. Thus, The Bug Ranch was born. Yes, its Volkswagens.
This bad boy had the misfortune of being abandoned by the Volkswagens so he got the same treatment from the spray paint.
Now the gas station is a ghost town. What amazed me on this trip was what I would find inside these abandoned structures. Here the gas station still had tools hanging on the walls and cans of fluids laying around on the shelves.
The weirdest thing was inside the station itself where I found a saddle. Yes, it was a complete saddle, laying on the floor in front of what used to be the cash register counter. I was so freaked out and also thinking it might be a trap that I just walked out. I did not even take a picture.
Then from Lark we were into Groom where the largest cross in the western hemisphere is located. This has proven to be a great way to attract people into the town and the complex that the cross is on has stations of the cross and other statuary in addition to the cross.
While I am not a religious person it did seem like it was still hot as hell on this trip.
Lunch today was at The Grill in downtown Groom where I had Larry’s sandwich (egg, ham, bacon on Texas toast). Actually, it was a sandwich called Larry's sandwich and I have no idea what Larry actually had for lunch.
In Jericho I fell in love with this old car we found in a field behind some abandoned buildings. To my surprise, Denice wanted to explore these buildings with me and she really got into it. There were all sorts of structures at this site including an old motel.
Pickin' at this site left me with two sets of door knobs, some rusty wire, some rusty metal and a bone! The bone was the part that Denice was not too thrilled with.
Alanreed fell beneath the tires before reaching McLean and the first Phillips 66 gas station to be restored in the restoration of The Mother Road.
Lela led us to Shamrock and the U-Drop-Inn Restaurant and service station with its gorgeous art-deco tower.
We took a mid-day brunch at McDonald’s (which is Niebuhr travelese for either someone had to pee or I was having a diabetic episode) and then it was miles and miles of Fuller, Texola, Erick, and Hext. At Sayre, we found The Odd Shoppe was still open at 6:30 p.m. (in startling contrast to some shops which appeared to have very irregular hours). It was only after we left that Denice told me they had a flood of some kind and were only there to watch the big fans running to dry everything out. I was so intent on junkin' I never saw the water, the damage, or the fans. Prices here were a little to "to" so I only walked out with a hand held butter churn for $6.
By this time we had been on the road a long time and despite plans to reach Oklahoma City, we only made it to Elk City and a Super 8. We asked the clerk's recommendation for the Homestyle Cooking restaurant across the street and her eyes bugged out of her head so far we both had to step back. So we went to Amando’s Italian Bistro which is not as toney as it sounds but had good food.
Miles today: 331
Total miles for the trip: 4,316
You can see every darn photo from this trip at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gniebuhr/