For forty years, an audience-interactive art project dreamed up by a San Francisco based art group Ant Farm has been on display in a pasture in Amarillo. This iconic stop off Route 66 invites people to get out of their cars, walk a bit to the row of rusted out Cadillacs half-rising out of the earth, and put their own form of embellishment on them. That is, as long as they brought their own spray paint (or there was any left in the hundreds of bottles that gather by the end of the day). Every once in a while, the cars are freshly painted specific colors for various advertisements and special occasions, and yet, within 24 hours, the graffiti returns, each visitor intent on leaving their individual mark.
On this day, the second full day of our summer road trip, we stopped here to let the boys experience this (my only regret is not buying them their own can of spray paint before we got there). It was hot and windy, as it seems to always be here. After this, we headed out of Texas and into Colorado, heading first north, then northwest along the Highway of Legends.
Night found us at Blue Lakes Campground, part of the San Isabel National Forest. This place excited my older son’s senses. It was his favorite campground ever, he told us. I asked him if he wanted to join me in writing something about it, and he agreed. I decided to try an experiment where we co-wrote a free-verse piece together. This is our little dedication to this favorite campground of ours, with his participation in italics:
Blue Lake: crisp, clear, cold
Sea grass sitting still under silent water
Mysteriously hidden from us on nighttime entrance
To epic campground
Pretty awesome campground
Intoxicating you with the fresh, clean mountain air
Entrancing you in a place so far away
From the industry of the city
Flowers bloom in patches
Dark looming trees
A creek gurgles; a calming, constant sound
Trails beckon you, calling out
To the wild in your soul
Other highlights of this day included: two extremely creative caches in Dalhart, a picnic lunch watching horses swat flies, a walk in a secluded area of a state park to get an earthcache that taught us about an asteroid impact, chicken pitas cooked over the campstove, and the boys exploring the Blue Lake trail. I wish we had more daylight or time to explore the trail system, but as always we were trying to do too much and just skimming the surface.