Day 4 – Texas Panhandle

Day 4  – approximately 300 miles

Today we left out of Dallas on I-35 to 380 west to Denton TX.  We got on Hwy 287 and rode through Vernon, Texas.  The scenery is much different than what we saw in East Texas.  The dirt is a copper color like you’d see in Georgia.  The terrain went from flat plains to semi desert to hilly.  We continued on Hwy 287 and crossed the Red River.  It was dry as a bone.   It looked like a red salt bed.

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From there we traveled 83 north out of Childress and into the Panhandle.  Did you know that the Texas Panhandle encompasses 25,610 square miles?  That’s a pretty big skillet if you ask me.

Our destination today – the town of Shamrock which lies at the crossroads of Hwy 83 and I-40 , the only crossing of two major border to border highways in the United States.  Today I-40 and Route 66 are the same road across Texas.  When I-40 was built in the 70’s it sent Route 66 into ruins and by-passed towns like Shamrock and Borger.  They practically died out.  I guess we could call it “Death by Progress.”  Shamrock sat deteriorating for years but thanks to its dedicated citizens like Mayor Buc Weatherby, rejuvenation has begun.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right next door to the U-Drop Inn.

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The Inn-keeper, Kayla told us some interesting facts about Shamrock.  For example:

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The likeness of Shamrock’s Historic Tower Station and the U-Drop Inn were featured in the movie “Cars” and “Cars II.”

Tomorrow we’re heading to Perryton, Tx and we might pop over to Oklahoma just to say we did.  Then U-turn and head south to visit two magnificent natural attractions:  Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyon (Home of the Official Bison Herd of the State of Texas).  I hear the stars at night are big and bright there so I intend to get my star gazing eyes ready.

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ryp01

http://www.traveltex.com/cities-regions/panhandle-plains.aspx

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