It’s a long, open road to get through the Texas Panhandle from Colorado to Oklahoma.
Since we’re intrepid travelers, we use websites like Atlas Obscura to find quirky things of interest along the route, as well as zooming in on Google Earth and looking at anything that might provide a break from the long drive.
Since we’ve done this drive several times, we have quite a few things on the list and now is the time to finally check them off.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
The marketing department hails this as the second largest canyon in the United States, second only to the Grand Canyon.
There is a huge difference between number one and number two! While a nice drive to go through and see once, this is more like any of the canyon areas in northwest Colorado or Utah. Pretty, but pretty far from being anything like the Grand Canyon.
If you’re in the Amarillo area, worth checking out but nowhere near the hype. There are some very nice campsites within the park, you need to be very comfortable with your rig to make the drive down from the canyon rim to the base though.

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon
The sun casts long shadows as it sets over Palo Duro Canyon

The leaning tower of Britten – most people driving along I-40 probably don’t even see it. The only reason to stop is to take a Leaning Tower of Pisa photo like this. A two-minute detour at most.

Leaning Tower of Britten

Leaning Tower of Britten in the Texas Panhandle
Just one of the many quirky roadside attractions you can find throughout America

The restored 1929 Phillips 66 gas station in McLean. This is very nicely done, and worth the stop since you can also visit the Devil’s Rope Museum (barbed wire) up the road. Unfortunately they were closed for the winter season when we rolled through, but that leaves something to do on some inevitable future trip.

Phillips 66

Phillips 66
A classic sign at the 1929 gas station in McLean Texas

1929 Gas Station

1929 Gas Station
The restored 1929 gas station


I’d like a few gallons of ethyl for my Model T

Route 66 Fuel

Route 66 Fuel in the Texas Panhandle
The first restored station on old route 66

Devil’s Rope Museum

Devil's Rope Museum
A tribute to barbed wire

Big Balls

Big Balls
Those are some big balls of barbed wire!

As a general rule, the Texas panhandle is a place to avoid if you can, but it just goes to show that you can find something quirky and interesting if you take the time to look around.

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