Worth the detour to Texline
The Route 66 Team decided to take another detour from the old highway’s route in Texas in order to experience something surprisingly elusive in that state these days: real cowboys.
The team knew it would find them up in this part of the state, which was once part of the X.I.T. Ranch, a 3 million-acre spread that in the late 19th century was the largest ranch in the world. The X.I.T. ranch was sold and broken up years ago. But the 10 counties that it encompassed in its heyday are still very much cattle country, home to dozens of feedlots and hundreds of thousands of heads of cattle.
We filled the 912 all the way up, putting nearly 12 gallons into the car’s tank and running up the largest gasoline bill — $43.60 — ever for it.
But it was all worth it. Because Texline was crawling with real, horse-mounted cowboys. In fact, the Route 66 team wound up being late for their appointment at Carrizo Feeders because they got stuck behind some cowboys moving a herd of cattle from one pasture to another.
Photos: James Kelleher/Nick Carey, Dalhart and Texline, Texas on May 18, 2007.