Friday, July 6, 2018

Heading West

After wrapping up some legal work I drove to Amarillo - about six hours away. The next morning I visited Cadillac Ranch, a regular stopping point on the way west. After all, how many art installations allow you to bring your own can of spray paint?

Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo TX

Since I was the only person in my party I couldn't get a photo of my efforts but others busily added to the scene.

Spray painting cadillacs at the ranch
Most people clean up after themselves. There's usually some trash bags tied to the entry gate. Remember, Don't Mess with Texas. At the bottom of that link you can see all the ads. My favorite is Johnny Dee and the Rocket 88s.

The XIT Museum in Dalhart reminded me of more Texas history. When Texas became a Republic the legislature set aside 3 million acres in the Panhandle to pay for building the Capitol. They soon found it would take too long to sell to small farmers so in 1879 they sold it to the Chicago Farwell brothers and two partners who created the XIT.

Buffalo at the XIT Museum, Dalhart TX

John Farwell established the Capitol Company in Great Britain for pay for the Capitol and ranch development by selling $10 million in bonds. Cattle prices fell soon after the XIT started so the company couldn't pay off the bonds that came due. Starting in 1901 they sold large sections until the XIT was history in 1963. Who knew this connection between west Texas and Great Britain?

Lots of saddles, lariats, spurs, branding irons, fossils, and tchotchkes on display. Railroads were built to bring cattle to market. Ties were laid with date nails indicating the year so people would know when to replace them.

Date nails used laying railroad ties

The museum is setting up an exhibit of the Dust Bowl era which includes this crow's nest. Lacking other materials, it's built of barbed wire and lined with twine, hair, and feathers. Just like us, the crows used what was on hand. Improvisational.


Dust Bowl era crow nest of barbed wire lined with dirt, twine, hair, and feathers.

Moving on, I crested LaVeta Pass before the Spring Creek wildfire started. It's now the third largest in Colorado history. You can see the billowing smoke on the second day of the fire.

Sunrise over Blanca Peak and the Spring Creek Fire, June 27, 2018

Continuing west I found this herd of big horn sheep crossing the road in Cochetopa Canyon... and taking their own sweet time about it.

Big horn sheep, Cochetopa Canyon, CO

Miles to go before I sleep.

Enjoy the day, Ann

14 comments:

  1. Pictures are gorgeous. Love those sheep, they do have a mind of their own! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey are one of the largest herds I’ve seen. This is only a few. All seemed to be ewes or juveniles. Quite opinionated.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful post -- like Glen said, gorgeous photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie. It’s good to take a break and see the country.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Angie. I find it interesting to see some of the places people go, too.

      Delete
  4. A very interesting post Ann, especially the connection between Great Britain and west Texas. Love the date stamped nails, and the buffalo is enormous!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maureen. I'm not sure how much people like reading about travels, especially in the arid west but I, too, was intrigued to find the XIT was funded by GB. I guess it was a "can't lose" proposition. At least the bondholders were paid in full.
      Buffalo are amazingly large. I've seen some alive and up close. Easy to forget how large they are and how dangerous they can be.

      Delete
  5. Great photos, thanks for sharing, Ann.
    My family and I have been on that road in those areas, a number
    of years ago. Still beautiful and amazing.
    Good travel wishes to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting how many of us travelled or vacationed through this area. So much room here. Just not much water.

      Delete
  6. When I was in Colorado last year (near Mt Princeton) I was amazed when the sky darkened with smoke from a wildfire in Utah. You're right. A lot of space and not much water. We saw antelope running around almost daily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of you while driving through Saguache because I remembered your photo from there.

      Delete
  7. That sounds like a great trip! The fires have been scary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great and scary. Everyone knows it's very dry but more people are careless every year. Most of these fires are human caused.

      Delete

I enjoy reading your comments and usually reply here where everyone can read and join in. We have some great conversations.