IntroductionThe Texas Panhandle is the land of big skies, big farms, big men and women, enormous pickup trucks, and fading towns and farm houses. The Panhandle is the northern rectangle of the state, bordered by Oklahoma and New Mexico and northwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis. Most people drive through in a hurry, but the area offers a wealth of photographic topics. The famous Route 66 crosses the northern Panhandle (type "Route 66" in the search box to see posts on this topic).
Highway US 287 takes you from Dallas to Amarillo and passes through a number of small towns. These were bustling and active up through the mid-20th century but today are slowly fading. I drove east on US 287 in 2017, and numerous abandoned farm houses caught my eye. I promised to return and record them before they disappeared. For a trip west in September of 2019, I loaded my Hasselblad medium-format camera and Tri-X film into my camera bag, but at the last minute added my little Yashica Electro 35CC rangefinder camera with one of my remaining rolls of discontinued Kodak Ektar 25. Long-term readers may recall that I have experimented with Ektar 25 before and concluded that it is well past its prime. Of course, I ignored my own advice and decided to use it for this trip.
Future articles will include black and white photographs from many of these towns.
In the PanhandleFor my September 2019 road trip, I took my time, stayed in seedy motels long past their prime, and enjoyed warm summery weather (and almost stepped on a rattlesnake in my sandals). A month later, an ice storm was threatening and I drove back east in a hurry. We will start in Quanah, a town west of Wichita Falls and proceed northwest on US 287. Click any picture to see it enlarged to 1600 pixels wide.
|Dinner at eight, Quanah, Texas|
|Repair shop and Cadillac, Spur 133, Quanah, Texas. The Cadillac was in surprisingly good condition.|
|Attack of the giant chickens, Rustic Relics, Quanah, Texas|
|Even the chickens in Texas are big. Rusty Relics, Quanah, Texas|
|Nash Metropolitan automobile, US 287 east of Childress|
|No lunch any more, Estelline, Texas|
|Commercial building, 704 Cleveland St., Estelline, Texas|
|Abandoned farmhouse near Memphis, Texas|
|Benitez Tire, Hedley, Texas|
|Taqueria Tijuana, Hedley, Texas|
|Lonely farmhouse near Clarendon|
|Abandoned house near Goodnight|
|Gas station, Claude, Texas|