Cross-Country Trip V, Day 8: OKC to NM via Amarillo

It was at this stage in our trip that we left urban settings behind, and headed into the great wide West.

Rest stop BBQ grill in TexasFrom Oklahoma City, we traveled west on I-40 and found ourselves in Texas yet again. About 30 miles into Texas (in approximately Alanreed) we stopped at a fairly elaborate rest area with an overlook to the vast grasslands to the north of it. There were also displays explaining the history of the area and some information about the nearby energy production industry (oil; windmills). It also featured picnic areas with Texas-shaped grills.

We stopped for a late lunch in Amarillo. At the suggestion of a billboard, I got a sudden craving for Mexican food, and Dave managed to find a pretty tasty, authentic place called El Tejavan. I got tacos de carne asada, and Dave got burritos. It was basically a mid-afternoon dinner for us.

As we headed out of Amarillo, we noticed a bunch of graffiti’d cars just off the side of the interstate, and people stopping to get out and walk amongst them. We couldn’t resist. We stopped for gas and then headed backwards to check it out.

Cadillac RanchWhen I first saw it, I thought of it as “Carhenge”. A quick Google search afterward explained that this is Cadillac Ranch, an interactive art installation owned by an eccentric local businessman.

What is most surreal about it is that people bring spray cans to leave their own mark on the cars – even though this will be soon covered up by more layers of paint. It’s quite possible that the paint layers on these cars is now thicker than the original metal body.

The heat drove us back into our air-conditioned car, and we headed west. We soon left the interstate and headed north on two-lane highways that took us into northeastern New Mexico.

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