Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amarillo, Texas

I just was not quite ready to leave Texas today and also felt that I wanted to drive into Amarillo since we are currently just about 10 miles out from it. So we drove into the city this morning, our first destination was Cadillac Ranch,  located west of the city on I-40. In a working grain-field of the ranch is half buried nose-down 10 cars. The roadside sculpture is called "Hood Ornament of Route 66".  Despite a brisk wind blowing across the field and the presence of cow patties, there were quite a few people besides us there to view the sculpture. John was a bit more fascinated with them than I was.
Speaking of Route 66, we spent some of our time in Amarillo at historic Route 66 and Sixth Street. It is a mile of specialty and antique shops, as well as numerous restaurants. The antique shops had everything imaginable.
Our other stop of the day was at the Helium Monument Sundial. Helium has been extracted from the gas wells of Texas since 1918. It is produced as a product distilled during natural gas production. Over the succeeding years large quantities have been stored underground in an area northwest of Amarillo. It has proven valuable over the years for industry, science and for our military and space programs. One of the many uses of helium is to preserve historic documents (as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution). When the monument was erected in 1968,  historic documents, books and artifacts were placed in sealed time capsules within a helium atmosphere. The plan was that the four individual columns are to be opened in 25, 50, one hundred and one thousand years from the time of the filling of the capsules. In one of the time capsules is also a $10.00 savings bond which will be worth $1 quintillion when the capsule is opened in the year 2968.That was our day in Amarillo. In Spanish amarillo means "yellow". There probably is an interesting story behind that !

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