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U.S. Highway 87 North - Lamesa to Lubbock

U.S. 87 North
This view looks north at US 87/US 180 enter the town of Lamesa from the southeast. The two US highways meet at a diamond interchange just south of town. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Los Ybanez is Lamesa's only suburb, and was incorporated in the 1983 solely to sell alcohol. The population is about 32. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 continues on a northwesterly trend to downtown Lamesa. This view looks north at the split. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Downtown Lamesa sits to the west of the US highway routes here. The town is pronounced "la-MEES-uh", as opposed to the original Spanish form of the name, which means "the Table". Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87/180 through Lamesa. The town has about 10,000 people and is the county seat of Dawson County. It was formed in 1905 when the site won the county seat election, and free lots were given away to begin the town's growth. Today it is a regional center with a large energy production centered economy. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 827 runs eastward from Lamesa through agricultural land for about 6.3 miles. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Another view looking north along US 87/180 in Lamesa, with the town's main water tower in the background. Cotton is an important crop here as the arid land can be irrigated using underground aquifers. Oil wells also frequently punctuate the landscape. Photo taken 07/05/08.

US 180 splits off from its US 87 multiplex here and heads west. It will eventually run through southeastern New Mexico, and then back into Texas at El Paso. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The main intersection in Lamesa features US 87 and US 180's split. SHs 137 and 349 and U.S. 180 meet just west of here so the banner should read "to". They form the main business routes through downtown just to the west of here. Much the business on this side of town is abandoned, as is evidenced by the large building on the right. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 826 is a bit of a mystery. The route runs eastward for about 1.7 miles but not does reach any points of interest or connect to any other roads. This view looks north at its west end at US 87. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 2592 is the last intersection in Lamesa, and its junction with US 87 is well signed. The route runs west along the far north side of town. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 leaves Lamesa heading north into Dawson County, past pastures of irrigated crops and oil wells. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Another consecutively numbered secondary state highway, FM 825, sits northeast of Lamesa. Like the other two, it generally does not go anywhere and extends three miles east of here before dead ending. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The barren landscape becomes visible here as US 87 leaves town. Photo taken 07/05/08.
O'Donnell, the next town, sits about 7 miles further north from Lamesa. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Loop 76 is the first non-FM numbered route encountered past Lamesa. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Just as it enters O'Donnell, US 87 enters Lynn County. The county was opened for settlement after the local Apaches had been removed in 1877. However it remained sparsely populated for years afterward, the county's population in the 1880 census was 9. By 1900, the county population had blossomed to 17. Photo taken 07/05/08.
A US 87 reassurance marker at O'Donnell. The town was founded by the O'Donnell brothers as a railroad pit stop in the early 1900s. The population today hovers around 1,000. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Loop 76, which forms the pre-1937 route of US 87, runs through the center of town. Here it meets US 87 again at O'Donnell's only gas station and convenience store. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 2053 runs east and west through southern Lynn County connecting irrigated farm land and ranches with US 87. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Tahoka, the county seat, sits about 14 miles north of O'Donnell. All of the counties in this region of Texas are square, with 30 mile long sides. The county seats of almost all these counties sit directly in the center, making them all 15 miles from the county lines or 30 miles apart. Tahoka is no exception here, as it sits 15 miles north of the Dawson County line. Photo taken 07/05/08.
New Moore and Draw are the communities named on this directional sign. New Moore was named for its developers, Newman and Moore - rather than being the "newer" version of an older Moore. The population in 2000 was 10, and is likely closer to 0 today. Photo taken 07/05/08.
This view looks northbound along US 87 at FM 213 - the main east/west route in southern Lynn County. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The Permian Basin region slowly gives way to the South Plains region of Texas. Here there is a slight elevation change as US 87 begins its northward route into the great plains. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The importance of Tahoka is seen here as the first sign in town shows that US 87 forms a freeway through here. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Loop 472 is the old route of US 87 through town. The freeway was built through here in 1970, and was probably originally planned to be a southward extension of IH 27. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 northbound at Loop 427 at the south end of Tahoka. The city is the county seat of Lynn County, and sits squarely in the center of the county. Photo taken 07/05/08.
As US 87 prepares to head under Loop 472, the main east/west route in the county is coming up next - US 380. US 380 runs east to Denton and IH 30 at Greenville. From here it continues west into New Mexico and IH 25. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Tahoka was founded in 1903 specifically to be the county seat. It was the first town in this region to be built south of Lubbock and was incorporated in 1915. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 380 is the main street in Tahoka, and this view looks north at its exit from US 87. US 380 is known locally as the cotton highway, and cotton farming is the main region in the south plains. This differs from the more arid Permian Basin just to the south, where oil is still king. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 prepares to meet up with Loop 472 again, as it begins its journey out of Tahoka. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 northbound at Loop 472 on the north side of Tahoka. The town was named for Tahoka Lake, which is a nearby spring fed lake. It is thought to mean "Clear water" in Apache. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 400, and Wilson, is the first exit north of town. Cotton gins and storage equipment feature prominently on the horizon in all directions here. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 400 is an 85 mile long FM road (extremely long for an FM) which runs north/south east of Lubbock to Plainview. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Lubbock is the next major town and sits 27 miles north of here, or 30 miles north of Tahoka. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 reverts to an expressway here north of the Wilson exit. Cotton is not the only crop grown here, as peanuts and canola are also important. Photo taken 07/05/08.
A US 87 reassurance marker in northern Lynn County. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 211 is an east/west FM road that runs 60 miles through northern Lynn County. The road runs east to Wilson. Wilson was founded as a German colony in 1912, a project spearheaded by William Green of Shiner. Today Wilson has about 500 residents, mostly of German extraction. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 enters Lubbock County north of FM 211. While white settlement did not begin in the county until after 1900, the county is actually one of the oldest inhabited places in Texas. The Lubbock archaelogical site north of the county seat shows evidence of constant human inhabitation in this region for the past 12,000 years. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Slaton is a suburb of Lubbock and sits along US 84 southeast of the city. FM 41, seen here, heads east to it. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 northbound at FM 41 south of Lubbock. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The first populated place encountered in Lubbock County is Woodrow. Woodrow was founded in 1917 and at the time there was considerable discusson over whether or not to name the town Woodrow or Wilson, after the President at the time. Because there already was a Wilson nearby, Woodrow was settled on. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Loop 493 forms the old route of US 87, and runs north into Woodrow - which has a population of about 85. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Woodrow Road is the main east/west route in town, and is seen here crossing US 87. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The impending freeway section of US 87 is noted here, as frontage roads begin soon. Photo taken 07/05/08.
North of Woodrow, Loop 493 returns to US 87. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 1585 is the first exit along the freeway section of US 87. FM 1585 is an 80 mile FM road and runs through Wolfforth to the west and continues to US 84 in the east. Photo taken 07/05/08.
A standard practice in Texas is to place these hazardous cargo signs at the entrance to major cities and towns. Texas is an important transit destination for hazardous cargo headed from the eastern states to storage sites in the less-populated west. Photo taken 07/05/08.
FM 1585 forms the first exit in the Lubbock area, and is shown here from US 87 northbound. Photo taken 07/05/08.
114th Street is the edge of Lubbock's sprawl and new housing developments. Most of the city spreads out to the west and south. Photo taken 07/05/08.
US 87 northbound at 114th Street in Lubbock County. Photo taken 07/05/08.
98th Street is the next exit along US 87 northbound. This exit contains "the strip" which is where almost all of the area's liquor stores sit. Lubbock does not allow liquor sales within the city limit, but the county does. Thus they're all clustered along major roads out of town. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The first taste of IH 27 is encountered here as an "exit 1" tab appears for US 84 and Loop 289. Photo taken 07/05/08.
The 98th Street exit is shown here with many liquor stores in the background. Lubbock numbers its streets higher as they go south of downtown. This is also the last exit before encountering the Lubbock city limits. Photos taken 07/05/08.

82nd Street is a major street along the south side of Lubbock and contains a lot of the city's more upscale retail further to the west. Photo taken 07/05/08.
This road is still US 87, and no IH 27 signs are shown here on northbound onramps. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Exit 1 approaches as the high mast lights for the Loop interchange can be seen in the background. Photo taken 07/05/08.
Business US 87 is an important route through Lubbock and parallels the Interstate to the west for the entire distance through town. It splits off here at the Loop 289 interchange, while US 87 stays along the mainline of the interstate. Photo taken 07/05/08.

Page Updated August 23, 2008.