|Entering the great state of Texas on Route 66. |
On the other side of this sign is the
When there is no river or other natural border to mark the changing of a state boundary, you can usually cross from one state to the other without even noticing. Not here though. Almost immediately after entering Texas, the land changes from the rolling, wooded hills of Oklahoma to the open, flat, treeless plains and wide open spaces of the Texas Panhandle. It's as if the state line just naturally belongs right here. Back in the day, this was a dangerous land; not the place for your horse to pull up lame or for your old truck to throw a rod on the way with your wife and little ones to California. This is a land where you either accept it, give in to its stark beauty, openness and dangers and fall in love with it or hurry as quickly as possible across it to an easier region.
Early travelers were so convinced they were in danger of becoming permanently lost that they drove wooden stakes into even the smallest rise to point the way. Riders coming up from the south came upon these markers and named the region Llano Estacado - the Staked Plain.
|There were originally 178 miles of Route 66 |
across Texas, but about 25 of them are dirt
and no longer open for travel. This is right
on the state line.
A few miles into Texas and the first town you come to is Shamrock. Originally named Wheeler, George Nichols emigrated from Ireland and began a sheep farm. He named his homestead Shamrock to remind himself of his roots. When the railroad constructed a stop here, it took up the name and the town began calling itself Shamrock also. It was officially incorporated under that name in 1911. When the paving of Route 66 was completed in Shamrock on St. Patrick's Day in 1938, the town held a parade. The event has become an annual tradition now, during which, for 1 day, all of the town's citizens become Irish.
|Piece of the Blarney Stone in Elmore Park|
|Blarney Stone or "Barney Stone?"|
|U Drop Inn/Tower Conoco in Shamrock, Texas|
Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state: