If you have ever driven between Dallas and Amarillo, you may want to turn the page right now – you know this trip…well, maybe.
For the rest of you, let us share the experience and romance of West Texas.
Texas is a big state with diverse landscapes. East to west, Texarkana to El Paso is about 800 miles, from north to south, Dumas (in the panhandle) to Brownsville is 840 miles, about the same as from New York City to Nashville. Dallas to Amarillo is only 380 miles, about the distance from Boston to Philadelphia.
Some people would say that the landscape between DFW and Amarillo is boring. Maybe. But we invite you to take a moment to see what isn’t always obvious, and to find the charm of the old west where it still exists today.
A few miles outside of the DFW metroplex the sky opens wide and the highway runs through the prairie like a long silver ribbon. The sky becomes the subject of our view.
We watch it change from bright blue with fluffy clouds, to showers on the horizon.
A new industry is growing on the prairies. Wind turbines have sprouted in the field like tall beanstalks reaching to the sky. They share their acres with oilfields and cattle grazing beneath their long tentacles. They support the Texas Power Grid, one of three power grids in the country.
There is a wildfire on the prairie to our south.
The stockyards are full.
Each town we pass has a story to tell. Many were founded as stops on the early railroad. There were great battles between the townships as they vied to gain a rail stop.
Communities failing to gain a stop on the line often became ghost towns. The railroads were a lifeline to commerce, and where the stops existed, cattle, wheat, cotton, were traded and shipped to the north and to the west.
Surviving communities are quickly fading, but the industries remain in the wide land surrounding them.
So, if you think the visual image of West Texas is boring, consider what is happening within that landscape and enjoy the beauty of land only gently disturbed.
There are so many discoveries if you just look closer.