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

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.

Moody Gardens Poolside at Dawn

A trip to Galveston Island offers many great things to see, including the attractions at Moody Gardens. Their Rain Forest, Aquarium and other attractions can easily make it a multi-day adventure. Fortunately for you, there is a pretty nice hotel by the same name to cater to your every need. One of those needs is a great big swimming pool, where guests can enjoy time between attractions, or maybe just unwind after a long day.

This image was taken from my hotel window at dawn. Photo tip: To reduce glass reflections, turn off all lights in your room and stand between the curtains and window, with you lens as close to the glass as possible. Finding a clean area on the outside of the window can sometimes be a challenge, but not in this case. Moments later on this morning, the pool guy emerged and spoiled the visual tranquility. I’m glad I didn’t hit the snooze bar on the alarm clock.

 

Moody Gardens Poolside at Dawn by Tim Stanley Photography

Pizza Time

It may have been a long day at the office, a day with friends on the ball field or the latest blockbuster movie with your significant other, but few things can end a day as well as fresh, hot pizza! The aroma and taste of melted cheese, meat and your favorite toppings, followed by a cold, refreshing beverage is a great way to complete the evening.

The longer shutter speed in this image blurred the “chef” adding to the sense of movement in the kitchen. Holding the camera still so everything else is sharp helped complete the exposure. Now, guess what’s for dinner tonight?

 

The aroma and taste of melted cheese, meat and your favorite toppings, followed by a cold, refreshing beverage is a great way to complete the evening. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Hays Street Bridge at Night

After sunset, the Hays Street Bridge lights up with an odd industrial feel, yet different. The wooden planks below and the iron structure above contrast one another. Add to this the lights that line the sides and shine up through the floor give it somewhat of a contemporary feel. The quite atmosphere at night is somewhat surreal, at least until a train passes underneath. Everything just grows loud as the engines pass, then a rhythmic cadence sets in as the cars stream by.

 

After sunset, the Hays Street Bridge lights up with an odd industrial feel, yet different. The wooden planks below and the iron structure above contrast one another.