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The Panhandle Plains of Texas comprises the southern end of the Great Plains of the central United States.
The Panhandle Plains region surely deserves the title “King of the Back Roads.” Farm-to-market and ranch roads crisscross counties where cattle often outnumber people. Taking the path less traveled isn’t just a choice, it’s a necessity to appreciate just how big the “Big Country” is. You’re entering real-deal ranch country, home of storied ranches and sprawling spreads such as the JA, the Guitar, the Matador, and the XIT.
The Horse Wrangler
by Erwin E. Smith, Bonham, Texas
Source: Library of Congress
US 84 stretches diagonally across the middle of the Llano Estacado like a long rope of blacktop pulled tight from horizon to horizon. Today, cotton fields line long stretches of the four-lane highway, but when settlers began arriving in the area a little more than a century ago, the countryside was a treeless prairie as far as the eye could see. Even now, the small towns that occasionally rise from the plains seem like oases of trees and houses. One such oasis is Muleshoe, at the intersection of US 84 and US 70, in northern Bailey County.