Back in late 2013 and the first half of 2014 I was working as a contract business analyst for Golden Spread Electric Cooperative in Amarillo, TX. Although my home was in Parker, CO, at the time, I had an apartment in Amarillo where I would stay for two weeks at a time. It was much more convenient and economical than staying in a hotel every night.
On the weekends that I stayed in Amarillo, I explored the town and outlying area. All of the images in my Route 66 on the Texas Panhandle galleries come from my weekend excursions.
Amarillo sits on the high plains, and is dead center in the Texas Panhandle. The terrain is mostly flat except for the canyons of the Canadian River and the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River. Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the United States was formed by the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River.
Outside of Amarillo the population is sparse. The climate isn’t well-suited for much agriculture. If it weren’t for Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909, this part of the country would be even more sparsely populated.
And the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s cleared out a third of the homesteader’s second-generation.
But those who stayed are a bunch of hard working, resilient people. I’ve made some good friends here and have come to appreciate the West Texas spirit.
The locals live with a cycle of ups and downs, good times and hard times, challenges and opportunities. They hang on and stand fast, with a rope of deep faith, strong hope, and a willingness to lend a helping hand to their fellow Texans. And the endless parade of folks like me, passing through, stopping in, and kicking back for a few beers, a Big Texan steak, and a whiff of the unmistakable scent of the feedlots in nearby Hereford.
The old, abandoned English Field terminal building on the grounds of Amarillo’s Rick Husband International Airport.
An old cotton barn near Amarillo, TX.