During our travels so far, we’ve taken well over 2951 photos – so obviously you don’t get to see all of them because that would be a lot to post and your eyes would start glazing over. Many of them are sorted and will get posted with the appropriate blog for the day, as appropriate. As for the inappropriate photos… well, too bad.

However, we told friends that this trip would include us stopping to see quirky things. As a result, we’ve come across some really odd things as we drive through the back roads of Americana.

In no particular order, here’s some of the odds and ends we’ve come across so far. J

The Interstate Space Capsule in Casa Grande, Arizona – I blinked and almost missed it.  Basically, an actor named Jack Millard had a small part in the 2006 Star Trek movie. He painted an abandoned cement mixer into a replica of a returned-to-Earth space capsule. Yeah… quirky. As promised.

Marfa Texas has a lot of odd things about it… We saw a few of them, but I’m sure there are more that we missed

The Prada store at Marfa. Sitting on the side of a country road, a completely sealed full-size replica of a Prada fashion store. It was an art project and seriously quirky. All of the items inside are from the 2005 Prada line.

Around the Marfa Prada store is a chain link fence where people have decorated it with locks and small “gifts”. Many of them with personal inscriptions. (click on photos to expand)

Marfa Prada Store

Another art rendering was one for the move “Giant” which was partially filmed around Marfa.

This was a plywood tribute to the 1956 James Dean/Liz Taylor film “Giant,” erected by artist John Cerney in October 2018 of the main characters and the house. Solar array powers a speaker with country music by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees. As a side note, the star of the film, James Dean, is a distant cousin of Steve’s. Unfortunately we didn’t actually get any photos because it was on the wrong side of the road.

(By the way, I should probably mention that when we passed the first sign mentioning “Marfa” Steve went into his Batman-Affleck voice and started yelling “Marfa? Did you say Marfa???” Total DC geek moment.)

Other odds and ends included the border patrol blimp –  A semi-stationary blimp, sent aloft while tethered to a circular track. The TARS (Tethered Aerostat Radar System) watches for border crosser activity.

Jeff Davis county – where the population is so low that it’s one person per square mile. – They live the social distancing lifestyle every day.

Area2,265 mi²

Founded1887

Population2,241 (2019)

Grasshoppers getting it on. Or as Steve referred to it, “Bughub”

The only land-locked Submarine West of the Pecos. Actually just a replica conning tower of a submarine (in the middle of the desert). It was built as a tribute to the sailors lost in the sinking of the USS Thresher (the conning tower number is the Thresher’s number)  

The Cowboy Ruckus: Giant Cowboy Cutouts in Vaughn NM

An 18-foot-tall cowboy points accusingly across the highway at another towering cowpoke, who shrugs it off. Another bit of art created by John Cerney, the giant full-color wooden cutouts are modeled on the two cowboy brothers who own the land.

And of course, we would be remiss to ignore Roswell, NM – the infamous alleged landing site of space aliens.  Well there’s really too many things to mention, but here’s the welcome sign and landing depiction. It wasn’t as we expected it; Roswell actually is a functioning town apart from its stellar past, but there was no way to avoid the Aliens theme.  Green figures in front of gas stations, a dedicated alien museum, alien eyes on the street lamps. How much stranger could it get? Well, as we drove into Roswell the radio started playing the theme song from the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” No, seriously… it did, just as we passed the “Welcome to Roswell” sign.  Doo do doo doo…

There will be more Odds and Ends to come!

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