Forget the Cadillac Ranch, How About Taking a Trip to The Bug Ranch?
Ok, here's something different to do for the weekend. Everyone knows about Cadillac Ranch, the crazy art installation done by the Ant Collective and funded by Stanley Marsh 3. But...if you head in the opposite direction on I-40E towards the Oklahoma state line, you'll find a less-famous but just as interesting display of absurdist, larger-than-life art: the Bug Ranch.
The Cadillac Ranch's smaller German cousin...
The Bug Ranch is the creation of the Crutchfield family who owned the Rattlesnake Ranch and Longhorn Trading Post in Conway, Texas back in 2002. The premise was simple, they needed a roadside attraction that would draw folks away from the brand-new truck stop built on the opposite side of I-40.
The Bugs were put up as both a parody and homage to the Cadillacs and were initially painted yellow initially with travelers invited to stop and "sign a bug." Naturally, the attraction drew some traffic, but it wasn't enough to save the business from failing. Big truck stops come with big amenities that travelers are looking for and signing bugs isn't enough of a draw. The Crutchfield's trading post didn't survive.
The Bugs Take on Their Own Identity
If you happen to make your way out there, you'll find a more pristine set of cars at the Bug Ranch that don't have nearly as much paint caked on with more of the cars still intact. The color palette is, of course, a rainbow of Krylon paint and ever changing as well.
There's More Than Just Bugs
There's another difference out here, an abandoned trading post building and roadster in front get just as much attention from the spray cans as the bugs do:
The Bug Ranch is along the east bound I-40 service road as it bends in for the State Highway 207 overpass. (exit 96)
A word of advice, If you happen to go there is usually a paint vendor out there during key times during the day but do keep an eye out for fire ants especially near the structures. rattlesnakes are a concern in the bugs themselves. They may not be Cadillacs but hey who doesn't like a good slugbug.
By the way, Here's some more great art around Amarillo you can check out:
The Incredible Street Art You'll Find Hidden Around Amarillo
Wildlife of the Texas Panhandle