From Russell Streur
Francisco Coronado came through in a futile quest for New World gold in 1541, crossing paths with the ancestors of a tribe that became known as the Apache. Horseback Comanche came later, pushing Geronimo’s fierce ancestors west and holding sway until after the Civil War. Then another mounted tribe came, the U.S. Cavalry, and sheepherders and cattle barons followed.
Somewhere along the way, the area captured the name Panhandle, the Texas Panhandle. In shorthand, it consists of the 26 counties at the top of Texas, bordered to the north and east by Oklahoma, in the west by New Mexico. Texas State Highway 207 divides the Panhandle one way; over the bones of Route 66, Interstate 40 divides it the other.
Somewhere else along the way, the name West Texas took hold, too
By either name, it’s a dry place, tilting up through the Llano Estacado tableland toward the High Plains. The country’s second largest canyon, the Palo Duro, is here, and a casual geographer may guess correctly that Amarillo is a Panhandle city. So are Dumas, Borger, Hereford, Canyon and Pampa, but it takes a more dedicated cartographer to place those pins on the map.
The Saloon’s own Stephanie D. Rogers lives and writes in the Panhandle, and she’s been known to take a photograph or two of the place. She has graciously shared the scenes and sights with the tavern, and I am delighted to invite all the patrons to come along for a ride.
20/20: Stephanie D. Rogers -Eye on West Texas