Connect with cowboys. Woody Guthrie wrote about Route 66 in his album-liner notes because for him Oklahoma was very much a part of the Route’s karma. Guthrie’s “Dust Bowl Ballads” put the towns of Arcadia, Elk City, and Texola on the music map. Today Allen Ranch near Tulsa it is possible to take part in a lively western experience. In Oklahoma City the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum salutes the cowboy with displays and events supporting both fact and legend. Visitors will be treated to artifacts from seventeen western states. One of the best events of the year, annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children’s Cowboy Festival, is held each Memorial Day when the facility is alive with action. 1(405) 478-2250 or www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
Find the Cadillac “lemons”. On the west side of Amarillo the place called Cadillac Ranch is a must see. Not really a ranch but a cultural sculpture, ten Cadillacs are buried grill down on the prairie. The cars date from 1949 through 1963 and some say were buried one per year for ten years by the owner who was apparently annoyed with the auto manufacturer. The other story, more likely, is that Texas billionaire Stanley Marsh 3rd wanted to create highway art and did so with the cars. It was once the custom for visitors to add graffiti to the auto monoliths but the custom may have been abandoned since the restoration in 2002.
Experience a musical at Palo Duro. The official play of the state of Texas, the musical drama Texas is held in the canyon’s natural amphitheater. For more than three decades the pageant has been performed under the stars with a 600-foot as the dramatic backdrop. The drama depicts the pioneer spirit and the enormous number of challenges and struggles of living on the frontier. Through dialog and song the audience is taken through the life politics of the early settlers, cowboys and Indians. 1(806)655-2181.
Ride to the sky. Albuquerque is the site of the world’s longest aerial tramway. The Sandia Peak Tramway provides riders with an 11,000-square-mile view of New Mexico. Beginning with desert terrain the tramway moves over canyons and pine forests, to the mountaintop at 10,378 feet. The distance to the top of Sandia Peak is 2.7 miles and in the summer months the perfect respite from the heat. 1 (505) 856.7325 or www.sandiapeak.com
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