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Hey There

Texas Plains Trail Region 2012–2019

Enjoy the rugged beauty and shimmering sunsets of the Texas Plains. Miles and miles of short grass prairie gives way suddenly and unexpectedly to spectacular canyon vistas as you cross this 52-county region that covers approximately 50,000 square miles! The normally pleasant weather can change in an instant and quickly change back again. One of the last parts of the continental United States to be permanently settled, the Texas Plains have been occupied for millennia. More than 12,000 years ago, the Clovis people, the earliest known residents of North America, roamed this land hunting the ancient bison and the Columbian mammoth. In time, the Apache and Comanche nations came, followed by Spanish explorers, cowboys on the free range, and finally, homesteaders seeking opportunity in a new place. The stories of the land and the people are the history of the Texas Plains—and the true stories of the West.

History Just Down the Road: Half a Century of the Texas Heritage Trails

The Texas Heritage Trails Program began in 1968 as the Texas Travel Trails, a revolutionary way of attracting tourists from San Antonio during HemisFair ’68 into every corner of the Lone Star State. Authentic Texas, Winter 2016–17,  pp. 46–49

Tex Randall Gets a New Lease on Life

AT 47 FEET IN HEIGHT AND weighing seven tons, Tex Randall is the second-tallest cowboy icon in the Lone Star State (those of you who’ve visited the State Fair of Texas probably know who stands taller). Tex has stood at the intersection of US Highway 60 and 15th Street in Canyon, Texas, since 1959, when local merchant William “Harry” Wheeler constructed him to attract canyon-bound tourists to his Corral Curio Shop.Authentic Texas, Winter 2016–17,  pp. 35–36

Texas Plains Trail Region
Barbara's TrailBlazer Blog, 2015

Slipping, sliding, and shopping: Small Business Saturday


Barbara Brannon - Saturday, November 28, 2015

So it’s Small Business Saturday soon at sensational stores and specialty shops across the Texas Panhandle, and you see, I’d speculated on shopping in Shamrock, along Route Sixty-Six. I had some simoleons to spend. 


I was supposed to stay at a splendid little inn within spitting distance.


Since the first ice storm of the season suppressed my swing through that swath of the state, I’m still sitting here well south of the starting point. Sure, I have sustenance, snug shelter, and all services.


But outside, surfaces are slicker than . . . well, scroll swiftly down a list of Southern sayings, and sundry scurrilous similes will show up. Mostly using s-words suggestive of salacious or scatological substances. I’ll select a more suitable one, short and simple: Slicker than sin.


Which is to say, stay settled in your sanctuary, be it shed, shack, shanty, or chateau (yeah, I know that last one was cheating) until the sleet, snow, or whatever species of slippery stuff is spread over your streets and sidewalks has subsided.


So as soon as it’s safe, sally forth, Shop Small, and support your select sellers. They’re what make your specific spot special. See you shortly.


From the top to the tip of Texas, Nov. 27, 2015


Barbara Brannon - Friday, November 27, 2015

Yep, this morning, Fri., Nov. 27, I was expecting to tell you all about the fascinating history and culture of Texas communities north of the Canadian River.


Later in the afternoon, I was planning to talk with a couple who've collected art from Bouguereau to Rockwell, and a doctor who's chosen to practice and raise his family in a city of fewer than 3,000. And by nightfall, to photograph the newly installed LED lights that grace an Art Deco service station many will recognize from the animated hit movie Cars. It's all part of a week-long journey down the longest highway in Texas, U.S. 83, from Perryton to Brownsville. With the aim of sharing my stories with you via daily blog, social media, and photos.


Don't worry - the weather's due to clear within 48 hours, and I'll be back on the road on a revised schedule. In the meantime, coming to you from here in gray, icy Lubbock: stay warm, stay safe. 


Barbara Brannon, PhD, Executive Director, Texas Plains Trail Region * Facebook * Twitter @TxPlainsTrail

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