Sunday, January 5, 2014

EPIC ROAD TRIP: The End of the Road

Midday Sunday we reached Amarillo (Armadillo...heh), Texas. It was DEAD. SILENT. So much so that Nikki had some kind of random freak out while she was driving around trying to find a place to have lunch. She kept saying, "It's not a real city. It's not a real city" over and over. Finally, Lauren made her pull over into an abandoned parking lot so she could take over driving. Nikki is way too weird for her own good sometimes.

We found a restaurant open on a lonely street of closed businesses, mostly banks and corporate stuff like that. It was called Acapulco, and hardly anyone there spoke English. We didn't care though, because Mexican food is basically the best thing ever, and here we had found a genuine one!

 Very pretty building too!

Know what else is the best thing ever? Frozen sangria.

After the girls got buzzed on sangria, they realized that driving wouldn't be a solid plan, at least for a little while. So they took advantage of the empty streets by posing with some of the city's statues.

Nikki loves reading, so she wanted to join this mother and her children for story time.

What captured our attention?

The Bible! Kinda odd that there's a religious statue in the city, but if Amarillo is a religious place, then that would explain why no one was around on a Sunday afternoon.

Lots of cities have "themed" statues that best represent what their city is all about. Baltimore, for example, has crab statues. Denver has cow statues. Amarillo, Texas has quarter horse statues. Our first photo op was with "Horse Feathers."

So patriotic!

I should be a horse jockey! I'm the perfect size.

Nikki tested whether or not the statue would hold a human's weight. Turns out, yes. (Look at how empty the street is!)

Lauren and her pretty pointy toes

Lisa showing off how fab she looks on a horse

Not sure what this horse's name is. I'll call it "Deep in the Heart of Texas."


This seems about right. :p

I'm the size of Texas!

We walked back to the car and set out for our final "official" destination: Cadillac Ranch, a SUPER COOL art installation in the middle of this field off the highway. A guy bought the land and "planted" a bunch of Caddies into the ground and let people paint all over them. Obviously, we had to take advantage of this opportunity!

Heading towards the ranch's entrance...

Valid rule.

Even the entrance is artsy!


Lisa is ready to graffiti some cars!

Layers upon layers of spray paint. I wonder what these cars originally looked like?

Nikki repped the Ravens on this car! (The purple wheel & the yellow writing on the side.)

Lauren had a tetanus shot recently, so she figured climbing inside the car wouldn't hurt!

Queens of the cars!

I wanted to make sure that people knew I came from Denver to visit!

Here are some examples of the cool graffiti that people put on the cars:

A dad spent 15 minutes painting this for his daughters. They were so delighted!

15 minutes later, these boys started painting over it. Art is so impermanent!


Even straight-laced tourists stopped by! Hopefully they wore smocks though, because it was really windy that day!


Covered from head to toe in spray paint (told you it was windy!), we left our spray paint cans with some kids who hadn't brought any and hit the road again. We were heading west towards New Mexico, which we'd only get to pass through on our way back home. Texas, like the Midwest and all the states we'd driven through so far, was nothing but sky, flat land, and road stretching out past the horizon.

On our way through Texas, we saw a sign for the tiny town of Dalhart. Nikki asked that we stop there, as the town was a central focus in a book she'd recently read called The Worst Hard Time, about the Dust Bowl, which ravaged the Midwest during the 1930s. We wouldn't get to walk around it, mainly because there wasn't much "it" to walk around, and also because we didn't have the time, but we were able to get a picture of Nikki in front of the town's sign.

We kept driving (and driving and driving) and were passing through the town of Clayton when we noticed a sculpture that made us pull over for a chance to snap some photos.

Awesome metal dragon attacking a building!

That wasn't the only sculpture the artist (unknown to me, unfortunately) had prominently installed on Clayton's main street...

This guy looks like a less colorful, slightly less demonic looking version of "Blucifer" a.k.a. "Demon Horse" a.k.a. "Blue Mustang," which stands tall in front of the Denver International Airport. It was our favorite piece of art on the main street.

Famous citizen Charmayne James

This beautiful mural on Main Street said goodbye to us as we traveled farther west towards home.

Nikki's camera died somewhere in New Mexico. Because it was getting dark anyway, she decided that charging it would be silly. We looked at the beautiful mesas that turned into the Rocky Mountains as we sped past them, often the only car on the road. By the time we got home to Lauren's house in Aurora, it was after 11:00pm. We were tired and FREEZING; the three girls were in tee shirts and shorts because it had been 90* in Amarillo and Clayton, but it was still early spring in Colorado, meaning freezing temperatures, especially at night. I put Nikki's scarf on and waited in the car while the girls said good-bye. We drove home, dragged our stuff into the apartment, and promptly fell asleep.

I'd LOVE to take another Epic Road Trip, maybe heading west this time, over the mountains and into Utah, or get a chance to check out New Mexico. There's a big country to explore. I can't wait to do just that.

The end.
...especially for all the bugs that hit our windshield.

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