One thing you will find out about me quickly is that I am intrigued by abandoned places. They make me think about the past and almost feel sorry for the (typically) sad disrepair of the buildings. I try to pay homage to that in my pictures.
My family and I have stopped here twice, once last summer (2018) and Memorial Day weekend this past May. We have yet to graffiti art on the bugs but we definitely explored more this time.
Here’s a breakdown on the ranch’s history:
- It was originally owned by the Crutchfield family. They bought the land in 1967, put a gas station, a souvenir shop, and a rattlesnake ranch on the site. Being the only place for gas nearby, many people got off exit 96 for the items listed above.
- In 2002, Love’s Truck Stop decided to plant a gas station of their own on the other side of the bridge. This made it easier for travelers to get on and off I-40 as quickly as possible. In order to combat the issue, Tom Crutchfield placed the five slug bugs in the same 45-degree angle as the Cadillac Ranch, 35 miles west of them.
- They realized very quickly though that most travelers had stopped coming over to their side of the bridge, so in 2003 they sold their land and moved east.
The thing I find the most interesting about this abandoned place is that it wasn’t this way too long ago… Heck, I was even driving (though barely) when it was still operational!
Worth a Stop?
Tiffany- Yes, if you’re headed that way. If not, I wouldn’t detour too much out of your way simply because it’s a short stop- you might spend 20 minutes there tops.
Breanna- Yes, because it’s cool.
Nevaeh- I don’t know and I don’t know.