Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Counting Cars...

The love affair with the automobile is universal, but I've never felt this connection stronger than in my travels to the States. After several road trips in the west coast and the southwest, one can immediately understand this affinity with cars. Long desert roads and that feeling of freedom can be a liberating experience. 

And along the way, one can still find the classic and graceful road warriors, majestically parked around the bend, like a monument. Like this classy Cadillac in Arizona during a road trip along Route 66 many years back (more on that awesome two-week road trip, cool and amazing sights and great food here in a previous post in my other blog at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2011/09/driving-mother-road.html). The sun was setting fast, but I just had to stop and take a closer look. The paint may be faded, but her elegant lines still make her a timeless beauty.

One can see even more examples of this love affair with the automobile. Near the end of an epic Route 66 road trip, I spot the popular Cadillac Ranch south of I-40, a public art installation in Amarillo, Texas. Depicting the golden age of American automobiles, the public sculpture consists of ten Cadillacs from the years 1948 to 1963, some with the distinctive tail fins, half-buried at an angle. A short drive off the highway leads to an open gate near the art installation. Though it's on private property, there are no entrance fees. And you can even scribble your name on one of the Cadillacs, now how cool is that? Against the mid-morning sun, the Cadillac Ranch is quite a sight, and one cool monument to our love for cars.

On a road trip along the Pacific Northwest, I spot a pair of vintage classics along Alki Point in Seattle  (more on that road trip here in my other blog at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2011/03/thousand-miles.html). I was originally headed for the Alki Point Lighthouse, but it was closed that day. Spotting not one, but two classic cars near Alki Point Lighthouse salvaged the day. Not a bad deal. 

And here's the other beauty, just a few steps outside the entrance to the Alki Point Lighthouse. Classic, elegant lines from a bygone era, and still a beauty (see more on Seattle here in my other blog at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2012/02/side-views-wide-awake-in-seattle.html).

Like virtual time capsules, each perfectly restored beauty captures that period in time, forever immortalized in a glossy paint job. More than just a way of getting from one place to another, cars have defined us and our aspirations, and will continue to be the object of our affections. And that's why I love road trips. 

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