Sunday, November 22, 2015

Route 66–The Rest of Texas



  West of Amarillo the road climbs slowly through the Staked Plain, a 37,500 square mile mesa that covers half of the panhandle and extends into New Mexico. It’s hot in summer, cold in the winter, gets very little rain…

and the wind blows all of the time! Texas makes good use all of the wind. One turbine will provide power for 225 – 300 households.


  It’s a hard, desolate place and we wonder about the story behind each abandoned farm house.


  The population of  Vega, Texas never reached 1,000 but it’s status as the county seat has kept it alive. The 1920’s Magnolia Service Station on Main Street has been completely restored by local contractors and dedicated volunteers. Displays inside can be viewed by peeking in the windows.



  The Milburn - Price Culture Museum, with a beautiful mural on the side, is just a block west of the gas station. This little free museum has items donated by the local community.



  In the 1940s Dot Levitt and her husband opened a small store near Route 66. The store closed after the interstate bypassed Vega but Dot still welcomed visitors at Dot’s Mini Museum to see her collection of western artifacts and other memorabilia. Dot passed away but her daughter has kept the museum opened. It was closed when we stopped.


  Ervin Pancoast built the Vega Motel in 1947 and managed it for over 30 years.


   We hit the halfway point!  1,139 east to Chicago and west to Los Angeles.  We started at the end of September so we’ve been driving along Route 66 for more than a month and a half and we’re 3/4 of the way down the list of interesting points on my map. The west has more empty spaces than the east so we’ll probably see the Pacific Ocean by the year’s end.

  The midpoint, little Adrian, Texas, is home of the MidPoint Café, closed for the season; Sunflower Station antique and gift shop, closed until a new owner comes along; and the Fabulous 40 Motel, just plain closed.



  There was so little traffic that we could park in the street to take this picture.



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