Sunday, October 13, 2019

If you plan they will come... day seventeen

Sunday October 13th

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I've got, is just what I've got on...

Started humming that one yesterday and it's still in my head! Another sunny day and we're looking forward to what the day has in store for us. If ten Cadillac's partially buried nose down in the middle of a field sounds odd you'd be correct. But Cadillac Ranch  as it's call is an iconic Route 66 landmark, only twenty minutes from our overnight spot and on our route. It's just a short walk off the highway across a field... if it's been raining prepare to get muddy or wear some good boots! What makes this even odder is that you are allowed to spray paint the cars to your hearts content so that even if you go regularly it will never be the same twice.

Cadillac Ranch from the road side.

Getting closer...

Phyllis and Andrew trying to decide their favorites.....
We met a couple of artist, Ackzilla and Wiley Art, plying their trade and asked one of them how long it took him to create his particular piece... he said about half an hour but that it would probably be painted over by the end of the day!

@wileyart at work

@ackzilla at work

It was interesting to see how thick the paint was in most places and the different styles of painting represented. On the other hand it was a bit disappointing to see how many spray cans were just tossed to the ground when there is a large garbage bin at the entrance to the field. Definitely worth the stop if you have a half an hour or more to spare. There is a gift shop just a little east of the Cadillacs but we didn't stop in, probably worth it as well.

From here we continued further westward on the I-10 before turning north at exit 57. This was another great day for driving, the weather was great and the traffic was light. It was on this stretch of highway that we saw the only other Alberta license plate on the trip, other than our own of course. They passed us rather quickly and disappeared ahead. The Festiva was still running rough but we were able to keep up to highway speeds and the engine wasn't overheating or anything like that. I did notice that fuel consumption had gone up noticeably though.

Also going up was our elevation. Yesterday we started at 198m/650ft above sea level in San Antonio and ended up at 1099m/3605ft in Amarillo. Our elevation continued to climb as we made our way to Raton NM. WE stopped for gas once before reaching Raton where we reconnected with Andrew and Phyllis at the town's visitor center. 

Picnic in the sunshine in Raton, NM

At the Raton Visitor Center

Took advantage of the weather and sat outside with a picnic lunch. Raton is at 2036m/6680ft but we hadn't finished climbing yet! To get to Colorado Springs, our next destination, we had to traverse the Raton Pass which rises to 2388m/7834ft as it crosses the New Mexico/Colorado border. Once over the pass it was mostly downhill to Garden of the Gods, another 2½ hours northward.   

Over the Raton Pass and down into Colorado.
A friend of ours had connected us with Stewart Green, a prolific author and climber based in Colorado Springs. To say he was familiar with Garden of the Gods would be a gross understatement, a number of his books are about this area. We met him at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Centre at the agreed time and he pointed out features and told us a story or two on our two hour excursion that we wouldn't have noticed or heard if we were there on our own, we couldn't have had a better guide.

Park plaque

Sharon and me with Stewart Green in Garden of the Gods

What a beautiful place! Would love to come back another day.
After giving our thanks and saying our goodbyes to Stewart we made our way to our overnight spot... Bass Pro Shops. Why Bass Pro you ask... they allow overnight parking for RV's at no charge! Andrew managed to find a spot that was within reach of a plug so we could run the HVAC in the unit and freely charge all our devices. Once parked and setup we walked to a nearby Wendy's for our supper. After a nicely paced day we settled in for the night looking forward to new adventures tomorrow!

Thanks for following along. We'd love to hear from you in the comments section.


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