Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pumpkins and whole lot more in Floydada

Country singer Don Williams was one of the more famous people who was born in Floydada, Texas, but the people who reside there today, get to enjoy a great town.  Floydada, the Pumpkin Capital of the US, is also home of the highly attended annual Punkin Days in October.  It also has a great Floyd County Historical Museum, and several  yummy restaurants.  We had a tremendous turnout at the 17th (1/3 of the way through our 52 Counties) Special Stamp Cancellation. Karl Rivers with TravelHost Magazine, Eric Turner with Main Street Plainview, Charles Starnes Professor at Wayland Baptist University, Dr. Holle Humphries from Lubbock,  Rick Vanderpool, Harry Bob Martin from Dickens County, Harry Record from Post, Dolores Mosser from Lubbock.  Postmaster Mike Lange and Lenda were gracious hosts for us, and thanks to Mayor Bob Gilliand, Museum Director Dorothy Turner, and Chamber members Regina, Justin, and Carolyn for making the Plains Trail Organization feel at home.   Rick and I spoke to about 100 6th, 7th, 8th Graders from Floydada Middle School about the Stamp Cancellation and the Plains Trail Program.  They had just completed their last TAKS test and were noticeably relieved.  Thanks to the teachers and principal for making this possible.   While in Floyd County, set your radio on KFLP 106.1...that's a plug for my Cousin Tony Rickett's wonderful channel.   Well, heading down the road to put out regional brochures at Palo Duro Canyon.  See you next week in Foard County.  Deborah Sue   

Driving Downhill All the Way to Donley County

I really don't mean to brag, but when it comes to my job....what can I say?  It's a dream job.  Oh, the places and people I get to meet!  On April 20, 2010, off I went to Clarendon in Donley County.  After making connections with Chamber Director and TPTR Board Member, Judy Burlin, we made our way to the absolutely gorgeous Donley County Courthouse to meet with Judge Jack Hall and to tour the building.  If you can find one more historic and beautiful...please let me know. We had a great conversation with several folks in the courthouse, and then I made my way to visit some of the cute shops in Clarendon as well as visiting with KEFH Oldies channel.  I love of my fav's.  Judy had put together (in her spare time) a three day tourism conference for her locals at the Library. This was an wonderful opportunity for her to use her fellow experts on regional tourism/heritage/preservation and as she said "set a fire under Clarendon!" And cooked some really good food...mmmm Barbeque!  After Nancy Cordero, Kris Alexender, and I gave presentations,  I set out for the Bar H Dude Ranch west of Clarendon to relax and get work done.  OMG-this place is a real getaway...and one of the best steaks I've ever had!  It was a little bit of a rocky weather night...with no tv, internet, or phone service, I caught up on some reading and rest.  I guess that counts for  R & R!    We had an excellent turnout at the Post Office for our 16th Special Stamp Cancellation. Charles Starne, Holle Humphries, and Dolores Mosser all made the did Viola Moore and the new President of the PTMC organization. Thanks to the Postmaster who served up some delectable Turkey Sandwiches, chips, cookies, and dips.  Perfect timing as I was heading to the Airport to go to Houston for the THC Annual Conference. have SO much to offer visitors....the Sandell Theater, your great Museum, Clarendon College and so much more.  Have to run.  Deborah Sue McDonald, Executive Director TPTR

Saturday, April 17, 2010

For Dickens Sake...Visit Dickens County

On a scale of 1-10...I'd give the Day in Dickens County a 10 1/2.  Good drive, great people, yummy barbeque sandwiches, fun friends, superb hospitality, smart students from Spur, unique community, and a picnic at Dickens Springs Park....what more could you ask for?   Margot Hardin, Barbara Bogart, Holle Humphries, Tai Kriedler, Dolores Mosser, Harry and Mary Martin and many more made the day a one to remember in Dickens.  While there stop in at the Dickens Museum and the historic courthouse.  You can find out more about Dickens County here.  Come join us at the next stamp cancellation in Donley County.  See pics of all of our community visits here.
Photos by Holle Humphries

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Happening in Hereford!

What a fun day in Hereford today...April 7, 2010.  Funny thing, this same week many, many, many (No more many's) years ago, I was born in this Panhandle town. My Paternal Grandparents and other relatives lived in Hereford, so I spent lots of time there as a child gathering up fond memories of Bible School at the Baptist Church, taking swimming lessons at the now "cemented" swimming pool at the Park, and walking across the not-so busy 385 to buy some candy at the market.
      Today Hereford is a busy, bustling city, "the Beef Capital of the World."   My first stop was at the KPAN Radio 106.3 with Brad and Chip.  Great fun for me.  I appreciate them letting me yak for a while.    Deaf Smith County was the Plains Trail's 14th Special Stamp Cancellation Day, and boy howdy, it was a great time at the Post Office.  Thanks to Karen and her staff for serving yummy cookies and punch. (In a crystal punch bowl even!)  We had a nice crowd with Chamber Director Sid Shaw,  Deaf Smith County Museum Director Paula Edwards, County Historical Commission President Carolyn Waters, Hereford Brand photographers, Brad from KPAN, and several other fine Hereford residents....and TPTR Groupies Danyel Parkhurst, Charles & Susie Starnes & her sister, and Rick Vanderpool.  Thanks to Sid and Carolyn for inviting us to the Lion's Club for oh-my-gosh great Chicken Fried Steak from the Ranch House.  We enjoyed the program given by the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon.   Rick and I headed on out to visit Paula and the magnificent Deaf Smith County Museum---it's a very special museum. The exhibits make you feel like you are walking back into the past.  Hereford should be very proud!  After leaving, we drove around town looking at many of Hereford's sights  including the Deaf Smith County Courthouse,  E.B. Black House,  POW Chapel , Railroad Depot,  the murals on the Grain Elevators, Hereford Aquatic Center, John Pitman Golf Course, VFW Memorial Park, Spicer Gripp Memorial Arena, plus just looking at all the unique businesses and residence areas.  I'm telling ya, things are happening in Hereford.  Thanks Hereford for making the Plains Trail Region welcome.  Click to find out more about Deaf Smith County and Hereford.  Deborah Sue McDonald

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lamesa...LOVING IT!

                                                     If you haven't visited the City of Lamesa  in a while, you would do yourself a favor to do so asap.   Talk about a city with "stuff" going on!   It's not one of those slow-poke towns with boarded up store fronts.  The downtown square is bustling with businesses--all of which beg you to enter.  Some of the sights to take in are the Dal Paso Museum,  the Chamber of Commerce & EDC Office that is in a beautiful historic building, Lamesa Golf Course, a  hospital going in, and their brand new Activities Center.  All of these will wow your socks off.  It's obvious that folks in Lamesa are aiming at a great future.   Now, if that's not enough to lure you to Lamesa, here's a story that the people in the town are sticking to: According to legend (and a great little tale) Lamesa is the birthplace of Chicken Fried Steak. (Yep, just try googling it.) Now, of course, there's another little Texas town that makes claim, but again, "This is Lamesa's story, and by gosh, they're dang well sticking to it."  In fact, there "may" be a Chicken Fried Festival in the near future, so begin preparing your tastebuds for this tasty treat.
While in Lamesa, Holle Humphries, Dolores Mosser, and I had a great time visiting with Mike and Stephen at the Chamber along with Fallon- who really runs the office and is the facebook queen. Try to to take a tour of the museum.  Oh, and the greatest little (or big) road art is the giant Uni-Royal Cheerleader.  And from our visit, we highly recommend eating at the Mexican Food Restaurant. (Name later.)    Read more about Lamesa here or visit their website here.   Oh, and did I say, you'll love it in Lamesa???  You will.  Happy Trails, Deborah Sue

Exiting for the XIT in Dalhart

Dalhart, Texas...Home of the XIT Ranch Rodeo, Empty Saddle Monument, XIT Museum, Lake Rita Blanca and grasslands, La Rita Theater, wonderful eateries like Hodies, precious stores,and  exceptional schools. Put this all together and you have the perfect formula for the perfect place to visit and live. I would dare to bet that not many people go to New Mexico to hit the slopes without stopping in at one of Dalhart's many quick convenience stores for food, gas, and bathroom breaks.  It would be worth their time to take a larger break to poke around to see the many historical sites in Dalhart.    To find out more about Dalhart/Dallam County visit these places:  and    Enjoy your time in Dalhart!  Deborah Sue McDonald


Cruising around in Crosbyton

There are some places that you just feel like you're at home.  Crosbyton, Texas is definitely one of those towns where the people are friendly, the food is good, and the treasures are many.  Yes,  Crosbyton has it all.  On every occasion I visit, I like it more.  County seat of Crosby County, it's evident that their heritage is important.  Wayne Parker and his ancestor, Quanah Parker, Ranald MacKenzie and the buffalo soldiers all played a significant role in making Crosby County what it is today. Thanks to many citizens like Gary Mitchell and Verna Ann Wheeler, the Crosby County Pioneer Museum ( tells the story of Crosby County.  Joe Taylor of the Mount Blanco Fossil Museum has pieced together a spectacular collection of fossils, dinosaur digs, and much more. (  In our recent visit to Crosbyton for our 11th County Special Stamp Cancellation, City Manager Margot Hardin, Amy from the Museum,  Chamber Director Jacque James,and Postmaster Jesse Salinas pulled out the stops to make the Texas Plains Trail Region feel welcome.  Crosby County has been faithful supporters of the TPTR, and for this, and being the kind of community they are, we applaud them. Other stamp "groupies" with us were Barbara Bogart, Charles Starnes, and Photographer Rick Vanderpool.   After a yummy lunch at newly opened Charlies,  Rick and I headed out to capture photos of Casa del Sol and the million-dollar Silver Falls roadside park---one that would be hard to match.  There's so much more to take in--like the beautiful Crosby County Courthouse, Prairie Ladies Multi-Cultural Center, the Smith House B & B, Veteran's War Memorial, Swimming Pool....well, there's too much to list.  This is small town living with a big town feel.  A place where pride is evident. To find out more, visit :  But better than that, take a drive to Crosbyton as soon as you can! Tell em' Deborah Sue sent ya. Wanna know even more about Crosby County?   Click here:

Photos by Rick Vanderpool

Pointing out Paducah

Paducah, Texas will always have a warm place in my heart.  This is the place where my mother, Donna Janice Easley graduated from high school in 1947. The once-thriving, bustling town square is where my dad, Loyd Glass, first caught sight of her. Cottle County is also where many of my ancestors--the Drummonds, the Glass's, the Jones, the Easleys, the Yarborough's, and others I don't even know, hail from.  I guess you could say that my roots run pretty deep there.  On this day, March  10, 2010, I traipsed along rows and rows at the cemetery looking for my kinfolks who are now buried there. I have heard many a tale from Cottle County. The Cottle County Leadership Forum is making great efforts in cleaning up and restoring Paducah back to its earlier years.  The town was busy in anticipation of the upcoming Annual Pioneer Days.
The group from the Texas Plains Trail had a great time at the Stamp Cancellation.  Dolores Mosser, TPTR Board Chair,  challenged the 7th graders who attended to write to someone in Paducah, Kentucky, its namesake and also to take a field trip to the site of the historic "Tee Pee City."  At one time Paducah  had several saloons, gambling houses and a two room hotel!  We ate lunch at Crackers with  Harry Bob Martin, Holle Humphries, Nancy Cordero and Matt, and Barbara Bogart.  Read more about Paducah here:  or here:   Happy Trails, Deborah Sue McDonald

Photos by Rick Vanderpool

Wandering into Wellington

On March 3, 2010,  I wandered into Wellington/Collingsworth County pretty darn early in the morning.   Highway 83 out of Shamrock is a beautiful route to take.  Wellington, county seat of Collingsworth County, is a great town of about 2,500.  Driving into town you can't help but notice the red & black touches that proudly boasts the mighty Wellington Skyrockets.  As always, I drive around the towns I visit looking with "new eyes" at what it has to offer, and Wellington has lots.  Of course,  the newly restored Wellington Ritz Theatre is a showpiece that offers movies, concerts, and special venues to the public. The Wellington Activity Center is also an amazing facility, one that brings people together and supports healthy lifestyles. The result of an innovative public/private partnership, this million-dollar center is something you'll enjoy visiting.  You can learn about Collingsworth County's history & heritage at the Collingsworth County Museum in downtown Wellington.  One of the more notable occurrences was when infamous gangsters Bonnie & Clyde and crew accidentally took a drive off the bridge North of town.  Historical markers tell the story. Wellington offers lots of diners to find that great cheeseburger or chicken fried steak.  We had a great turnout at the Special Stamp Cancellation.  Thanks to Lisa Wilhelm, Tommy Hudson, and  Post Master Rodney Reeves for the welcome to Wellington.  Senator Robert Duncan's assistant Jennifer Foster was there also.  Wellington is definitely a place on the move--luring outside businesses to make their home where housing and living expenses are less expensive plus a top-notch school system and place to raise a family.   I would say All is well in Wellington.  Looking forward to returning for their Annual September Peanut Festival! All's well in Wellington.  Find out more here.

                Photos by Rick Vanderpool



Tales from the Plains Trail Region

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Borger, Texas Plains Trail Region, United States
Striving to inspire others to travel the rugged-beauty of the Texas Plains Trail Region where the grass is greener, the people are friendlier, and the sky is blue. Wow! A great place to live is a great place to visit. C'mon visit the "Texas You Will Remember."