Friday, January 6, 2012

On the Road Again...Part II

Cadillac Ranch

Bumper Crop - The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

Who would have thought that burying ten old Cadillacs in an Amarillo dirt farm in 1974 would make such an indelible mark on Texas roadside attraction maps? The product of helium millionaire Stanley Marsh 3’s eccentric mind, Cadillac Ranch was designed with a California-based artist collective called Ant Farm as an homage to the Golden Age of American Automobiles (1949-1963) and to the historic Route 66 which passes by Marshs’ palatious West Texas ranch.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch

The Big Texan – Originally located along Route 66, this classic road sign was relocated to the current location of the Big Texan Steak Ranch, on interstate 40 in Amarillo. The Big Texan is the well-known as the home of the “Free 72 oz. Steak Dinner”, i.e., if you eat the meal in one hour, it’s free. Incredibly, the current record for the entire meal is 9 ½ minutes in 1987 by Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Frank Pastore.

The 2nd Largest Cross in the Western Hemisphere

Ten million people pass by every year. One thousand stop each day. This 190 foot tall free standing Cross can be seen from twenty miles away. 

Sense of Scale

12 Stations of the Cross

McClean, Texas (ghost town) 
In 1927, the Mother Road, U.S. Route 66, was built through the town, and it became a stop for tourists as well as a center for oil, livestock, and agriculture shipping. By 1940 the population had risen to 1,500 with 6 churches, 59 businesses, and a newspaper. In 1942, a prisoner of war camp was built east-northeast of the town and was operated until 1945, housing about 3000 German prisoners.
As the prominence of other Texas Panhandle cities, especially Amarillo and Pampa, surpassed McLean, the town began to decrease slowly in size. In 1984, the town was bypassed as part of the final phase of construction of Interstate 40, which replaced the old U.S. Route 66 through that area.

Leaning Britten Tower

Old Filling Stations.

McClean Tower

Shamrock, Texas
You might recognize the Conoco Tower, it was the inspiration for Ramone's Body Shop in the Disney movie Cars.

The magnificent art-deco “Tower” Conoco Station in Shamrock, Texas looks exactly as it did during it’s heyday, complete with the U Drop Inn Café signage at the right side of the photo. Sadly, the old station no longer sells gas or food; it’s now the Chamber of Commerce building for the city of Shamrock.  

In 1936, the U-Drop Inn was built at the corner of the U.S. Route 83 and the now historic Route 66. At the time of opening, the U-Drop was the only café within 100 miles of Shamrock, enjoying brisk business and becoming a successful establishment.  Once considered a beautiful and impressive example of Route 66 architecture in Texas, the U-Drop Inn fell into disrepair with the decommissioning of Route 66.  Referred to as "one of the most impressive examples" of Route 66 architecture by the Texas Historical Commission, the U-Drop Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. 

Magnolia Station

The other vintage filling station in Shamrock, this beautiful old Magnolia station boasts 3 exquisitely preserved gravity feed gas pumps.  The Mobil Oil Company was a product of a merger of the Magnolia and General Petroleum companies in 1959.

Graceland Home of Elvis

Living Room - first room when you walk through the front doors to your right! Stunning!

Elvis' Parent's bedroom.

Immaculate Dinning Room as soon as you walk through the front doors to your left.

Photo of Priscilla and Lisa Marie in the Dining Room.


Basement/Rec-room -- check out the mirrored walls and ceiling

Game Room off the Rec-Room -- fabric covered 
the walls and ceiling

The infamous "Jungle Room" so named only after Elvis' passing when Graceland opened it's doors to the public.

Hundreds of Records now fill what used to be the 
Racquetball Court.

The Exterior

Elvis' Grave Site

A Few of Elvis' Ride's 

Silver Dollar Caddie (below)

14 Ct. Gold Caddie - right down to the door handles and seat buckles! (below)

Pink Caddie (bought for his mother)

Nashville, TN 
Cadillac Ranch Bar
Named after the famous sculpture in Amarillo of course!

Grand Ole Opry

Opyland Hotel

Have you ever seen a 24 speed limit sign?  We thought it was strange!

Startling Similarities 
When I saw this musician in a local Nashville Bar I couldn't help but think of Sam the Eagle from the Muppets!  
Does anyone else see it?

How Did We Fit 5 People In Here???

Time to Unpack!!

The Mess in my Bedroom.

The Mess in my Living Room.

The Mess in my Spare Bedroom.

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