Cadillac Ranch

On our trip to Colorado, Alex Santiago and I were killing time driving through north Texas when we were reminded about the Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo. We were just entering the outskirts of Amarillo and quickly had the new destination on our phone GPS.

I had seen the Cadillac Ranch in movies and videos before, so it was somewhat surreal to actually be there. What I wasn’t prepared for were how the cars are now painted with graffiti and visitors are encouraged to keep the artwork fresh by adding their contribution.

From Wikipedia:

Cadillac Ranch is is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, USA. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs: the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground…  Cadillac Ranch was originally located in a wheat field, but in 1997, the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor to a location two miles (three kilometers) to the west, to a cow pasture along Interstate 40, in order to place it farther from the limits of the growing city.

 

The Cadillac Ranch, by Tim Stanley

 

The Cadillac Ranch, by Tim Stanley

Denver Union Station

It was our first full day in Colorado and our destination was downtown Denver. We started by taking the commuter train in from the suburbs into downtown and departed in an area full of construction. We soon found our first photo stop just a block away, the historic Denver Union Station.

In 1880, the owners of four different railroad lines agreed to build a central station at 17th and Wynkoop Streets. The station opened in May 1881. Throughout the years, it has been through numerous renovations, with a massive update completed just a few years ago. This blend of the modern architecture of the open air train hall, the historic Union Station and the Crawford Hotel make for a great visual experience.

 

Union Station, Denver, Co. Photo by Tim Stanley

Union Station, Denver, Co. Photo by Tim Stanley

Austin Light Trails

Standing in front of the University of Texas tower, look back over your shoulder and this is the view you see. Looking down University Avenue, the Texas State Capitol also towers over Austin. Beside standing out for its architectural uniqueness, the white dome lights the skyline and is hard to miss.

On a recent trip in Austin, my friends and I had been by the tower a while. Jeremy Mancuso and David Morefield were still shooting the tower, but Andy Crawford and I were looking for something else to entertain us. While having nothing against the UT Tower, we were looking for something else to shoot also and thought the light trails from the cars made for a fun diversion.

 

Austin Light Trails, by Tim Stanley.

On Golden Pond

Driving through the mountains of Colorado during the height of fall color is like no other time during the year. Yes, winter and spring are beautiful for their own reasons, but “color week” is special. The yellow-gold of the aspens last only a few weeks and at every turn, you are surprised by groups or fields of the bright color. They have different qualities depending on light or shade, but still very beautiful.

As we were driving on this morning, the clouds were low in the mountains, making you feel like you were even higher up than normal. This large pond sits in a small valley surrounded by golden aspens outside of, where else, Aspen, Colorado.

 

On Golden Pond. Photo by Tim Stanley

Snail Creek Hat Company

Walking around little Luckenbach, Texas is something you take your time doing. It’s not that big. So soak it in and look for the little hidden gems along the way. One of those gems is the Snail Creek Hat Company, located back behind the general store.

If you want to be a true Texan, this is the place to get your straw headwear. They can shape it to any size, shape or style. They’re nice folks and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face as you make this most important decision. You’ll leave a little taller, with a bit more hattitude as you show the world you’re a true Texan. It’s a state of mind, after all.

 

Snail Creek Hat Co. in Luckenbach, Texas. Photo by Tim Stanley. 

Snail Creek Hat Co. in Luckenbach, Texas. Photo by Tim Stanley.

 

Snail Creek Hat Company. Photo by Tim Stanley.

Luckenbach

Back in high school, a popular country song came out about Luckenbach, Texas. I didn’t even know where Luckenbach was and I’m guessing many others didn’t either. So during our Texas Hill Country Tour, I was all in when David Morefield insisted that we visit the booming metropolis of Luckenbach. (David did a good synopsis of our trip here).

On most mornings, it is probably very quiet and empty, but on this fall morning, the “Harvest Classic” motorcycle convention was gearing up. We arrived at sunrise with tents and campers all around. Vintage and new motorcycles were everywhere to be found too. Since it was still very early, most folks were looking for coffee or breakfast, but we were already checking out the General Store.

This old building has quite a history and I encourage you to read more about it.  Today, the front room is where you will find most items for sale, while the old post office/bar is in the back. They don’t deliver mail there anymore and it was too early to be selling beer, but there was still plenty to look at. Below is a shot of the bar area.

Luckenbach is a short drive from Fredericksburg, TX and worth the visit. And while it’s not a large place, I hear it’s still a great place to listen to live country music in the pure Texas tradition.

 

The back room of the Luckenbach "Post Office" and General Store. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Texas Longhorns

On a recent trip to the Texas Hill Country, we had a chance to ride through the Blue Ridge Ranch, in Llano to take a few photos. (Thanks Susan!)  Not having a lot of cattle experience, we weren’t sure how their longhorns would react to several guys hopping out of a pickup with cameras. Once they realized we were not there to feed them, they soon returned to their grazing.

These guys are as big as Texas and a very stately animal. According to their website, this young bull is BRR Smoke’n Mirrors. This 2.5 year old fine specimen already has great horns and just seemed to exemplify what a longhorn was to look like. Thanks again to Blue Ridge Ranch for allowing to take a visit and admire these Texas icons.

I wasn’t sure which way to process the image, so I did it with several variations, so make sure you scroll down to see all three.

 

A Texas Longhorn at the Blue Ridge Ranch in Llano, Texas. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

A Texas Longhorn at the Blue Ridge Ranch in Llano, Texas. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

A Texas Longhorn at the Blue Ridge Ranch in Llano, Texas. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.