Fort Worth Star Telegram Editorial, 08/08/2014 6:48 PM

"Newcomers grin when we talk about the Palo Pinto Mountains.

But the gentle hills in western Palo Pinto County are the only mountains we have near Dallas-Fort Worth, and we want to enjoy them.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told us we could. When state officials gave up on the idea of an Eagle Mountain Lake State Park northwest of Fort Worth in 2006, officials told us they would use the money for a much larger, more useful Palo Pinto Mountains State Park a short drive away near Strawn.

Eight years later, Texans have yet to see the new park.

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials say they need more money to add trails, campsites and other facilities before they can open the park.

The Palo Pinto park is one of four state parks bought but never opened for the lack of funding. Besides an estimated $30 million to finish all four parks, it also would take about $1.5 million each year to operate them.

Every city thinks the nearest park is the most important, but there is a good case for funding the Palo Pinto park soon."

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by Bill Hanna -
Fort Worth Star Telegram, 08/03/2014 7:38 PM

"Residents in Strawn are hoping the long-planned Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will eventually provide a boost to the small town’s economy.

Outdoor enthusiasts, meanwhile, are looking forward to the day they’ll have a new state park about an hour west of Fort Worth."

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The Bucket List - Texas Monthly, March 2010

by Patricia McConnico, Stephen Harrigan, Don Graham, Skip Hollandsworth, Brian D. Sweany, and Pamela Colloff

"Driving the River Road, in far West Texas; having a drink at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, in Dallas; fishing for bass in Caddo Lake; eating a chicken-fried steak in Strawn; searching for a lightning whelk along the coast; and 58 other things that all Texans must do before they die."

"47. Eat a Chicken-Fried Steak at Mary's Cafe, in Strawn."

"The full Mary's experience begins with the inevitable hike in from wherever you parked on the dusty two-lane highway out front. (Do not arrive at noon or six p.m.) It continues with the wait for a table in the plain-Jane room, with its beige walls, black chairs, and beer signs. (Repeat: Do not arrive at noon or six p.m.) Once you place your order for a chicken-fried steak, things start hopping. Unless the place is slammed, your steak will arrive at supersonic speed in all its golden-brown, plate-lapping glory. Half an inch thick, tenderized on-site, it's cooked on a flat grill, the old-fashioned way. In other words, it's not one of those preposterously battered, preternaturally fluffy modern CFSs. Cut off a piece with your fork (knife unnecessary) and take a bite. It tastes of meat, not grease or batter. Dip it in the cup of generously peppered cream gravy that comes alongside. The flavors meld deliciously. By the time you finish your steak, choice of potato, and Texas toast, you won't be hungry again for a week. 119 Grant Ave., 254-672-5741."

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