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Published: February 11th 2020
blog 02-10-20 Longhorn Parade
As predicted the weather was the X factor in plans today. Yesterday the forecast was for rain in the morning and semi-clearing for the afternoon. So my trip to Ft Worth was planned for the afternoon until I got up and it wasn't raining. Again checked the forecast and the rain would be heavy in the afternoon but not starting until about 1 pm. There are 2 Longhorn parades a day, one at 11:30 and the other at 4. So I quickly dressed, walked the dog and layered my clothes, grabbed my gear and off I went.
The trip into town was fairly effortless, the route taking me through some farm land then mostly industrial, huge grain storage towers, rail cars and lots of trucks on all kinds of construction jobs. This area is growing like crazy.
The stockyards are in the historic district which is away from the main town so there was much less traffic. I found a parking place in a lot next to the stock pens and started getting the lay of the land.
There are several historic buildings with varying uses now but the stock pens
are still where they used to be and still contain cattle. The Texas Longhorn is a breed of incredible durability. It was the only breed to withstand the harsh environment of little water and scarce food. Also the only breed to weather the long walk to Ft Worth and points north as far as Denver. It was noted today that they actually gained weight on the journey. The average age of a cowboy on the drives was 16, they must have thought it exciting. I can't imagine how difficult the task must have been eating dust, dealing with ornery critters, rustlers, the possible stampede and very little sleep.
The daily procession is a tribute to the past. It is part of the original Chisholm Trail and commemorates a very important part of America's past. The north needed beef and the southwest had cattle but the only way to get them to market was walking. The only cattle breed that could make the journey was the Longhorn but their beef was not choice.
The cowboys, and girls, that drove the cattle today were a sight bit older than 16, actually some may have been on one of the original
drives. It has become a commercial enterprise and there is a tour or a picture op for a price everywhere. They even had 2 longhorns tied to a fence with a saddle you could climb onto and have a friend take your picture for only $5 bucks.
It was a fun atmosphere and the anticipation grew as the time got closer. It was bloody cold, the temps about 43 with a 10 mph wind and overcast skies but everybody stuck it out, even the cowboys, and the show went on.
They explained to us that the wranglers try to keep the cattle 2 by 2 so they are not crowded or spread out too much, those horns can get dangerous. Actually the critters seemed annoyed to be disturbed in this cold weather to walk down the street, but they did their part and it was fun for all. Pictures
I got it on good authority that the best Mexican restaurant was up the street about 2 blocks and best to leave the car where it was. I went into a Western clothing store and saw some beautiful clothes starting at $300. The boots and belts were exquisite
with tooled leather, silver and some with bling. I escaped debt less and walked to lunch. The food was really good and the atmosphere was a mix of old TX and Mexico. I left with enough for dinner.
I had 1/2 a block to go and the rain started. It was light to begin with then as I reached the car it got serious. I was SO lucky.
When I got home it was pouring but I had to take Watson out so we both got wet and cold. The temp was down to 37 and it was only 57 in the camper. I turned the propane heater on but no heat came from it just cool air. I'll try it again later but in the mean time I discovered another setting on the electric heater and it is now 62 inside, tolerable. A cup of hot tea and a blanket warmed me right up. It was thundering with the storm and Watson was barking at me again. Guess he can't understand why I let this happen.
I was thinking about leaving here tomorrow because it is supposed to rain again but further west it is snow,
so I'm staying put. I leave on Wed and the forecast is for sun and warmer temps, sure hope that happens.
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