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Friday, February 6, 2009

The Cadillac Ranch Cache, Amarillo, Texas

Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to visit some friends in the Dallas-Ft Worth area and in northern New Mexico. Naturally my GPSr went with me. I flew into DFW from Ecuador and drove west to Weatherford, TX. I used the last three hours of daylight to hunt caches along the way. I was saddened by the number of businesses that have closed down leaving vacant parking lots. Many of these have become the location of caches in a series about vacant parking lots. While in Weatherford I had meetings most of the day so I had to get up early to grab a few caches. My caching time was limited there. The next day I took an American flight up to Amarillo, arriving early in the morning. Wow! A whole day to cache in a place with lots of caches! Being from North Carolina originally and living in the Andes Mountains now this flat land is something to get used to. I found a series of caches headed out of town to the west. The weather was sunny, windy and cold. I could see for miles and miles. Probably the caching highlight on this leg of the trip was the Cadilla Ranch virtual cache (GCG71X). Just west of Amarillo on the south side of I-40. Here is the description from the actual cache page:

The Cadillac Ranch, located along the tatters of historic Route 66, was built in 1974, brainchild of Stanley Marsh 3, the helium millionaire who owns the dusty wheat field where it stands. Marsh and The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective, assembled used Cadillacs representing the "Golden Age" of American Automobiles (1949 through 1963). The ten graffiti-covered cars are half-buried, nose-down, facing west "at the same angle as the Cheops' pyramids.

I doubled back at the next exit and pulled onto the service road. I joined a group of several families who had stopped to check out this interesting piece of Americana. It seems that that the tradition is to spray paint something somewhere on or inside the shell of the Cadillac remains. There are ten buried there! I recommend this one to all that travel this way. I continued on my trek westward and found a few more interesting caches. In Vega, Texas I came across two nice caches. Both are historically significant. One was The Vega Magnolia Station Returns (GCPZH1). It is an old gas station that is being maintained in its 1930's look as a reminder of the way things were along historic Route 66. It is situated at the midway point between Chicago and Los Angeles. The cache was in the adjoining park. Just a little west but still in Vega I found the Plains Pioneers (GCP5BQ) cache. This small municipal museum of farm equipment is worth a stop. Both sites are free of charge and are reminder of recent American history.

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