Cadillac Ranch. Some crazy Californians from San Francisco who formed an art collective called The Ant Farm got together with a helium millionaire named Stanley Marsh to create a monument to the “Golden Age” of automobiles. The 10 cars span the period of 1949-1963 and are buried in the ground at the same angle as the pyramids with the evolution of the Cadillac fins showing in all their glory. Throughout the years, layers upon layers of graffiti have created an ever-present waft of spray paint fumes that surrounds the monument.
At one point, development forced the cars to be moved 2 miles from their original location. Those who excavated the cars also moved the litter from the surrounding area because the scattered paint cans were considered to be an integral part of the art. Of course, we wanted to leave our own mark on the cars, but we didn’t have spray paint with us. We ever-resourceful Bloom girls remembered that we had red nail-polish in the car, so we put graffiti on with nail-polish. How many people can say that?Interestingly, the heavy rainfall over the previous week led to a complete lake surrounding the cars… where years of people clamoring up next to the caddy’s for a photo op created large craters in the dirt. However, we were not going to come all this way without getting up close and personal with the cars. While others scoffed at the ankle-deep puddles and thick mud, we sloshed through, climbing on trash and old tires in order to cross a creek-sized puddle and get close to the only car that wasn’t surrounded by 3 feet of water. Thanks to the mud, we had the whole ranch to ourselves for the morning. The water surrounding the cars created a beautiful reflection so that you couldn’t tell where the cars ended and where the land began. We talked to on e museum attendant that day who said that in all the years she has lived within a few miles of Cadillac Ranch, she had never seen it completely surrounded by water. She actually envied us for our experience. If we had given up because of the mud, like the several other groups who walked the trek to Cadillac Ranch only to turn back for fear of getting dirty, we would have missed out on one of my favorite experiences on the trip…… And, washing our legs, feet, and shoes in a puddle by the car while a group of tourists showed up in a large bus and stared at us strangely was definitely a memory that I wouldn’t change for the world.