Monday, May 4

The Lonestar State or the Longhorn State?

There is something extremely alluring about a cowboy town. Main street with stores, saloons and restaurants with flat faces. Dusty streets. Cactus dotting the horizon. Cows and bulls lowing in the distant field. Okay so maybe my idea of a cowpoke town is slightly romanticized and grossly influenced by Hallmark movies and romantic novels…but still; I love that lifestyle. It's dusty, hazy, romantic, quiet and adventurous all wrapped up in one.

I just finished up a quick trip to one of my favorite cities in Texas- Fort Worth. In this year alone, I've been to Texas three times so I'm becoming a little familiar with all the roads and some of the local restaurants. But one of the things I've never been able to do in Fort Worth is really get to explore the "old" parts; specifically the Stock Yards.

I woke up early on Sunday (thanks time zone difference), hit the gym for a quick Crossfit session, got room service, a shower and was out the door by 9 a.m. The sky was bright and blue with some wispy clouds fluttering through the air. Downtown was in a quiet lull, sleepy from the night before. So I grabbed my Jeep, rolled the windows down, put on some Tim McGraw and drove down to the Stockyards.

 On the way down to the Stock Yards I found some old little antique stores with such wonderful art work that I just had to stop. This particular place was called the One-Eyed Moose. Definitely stop and take a look if you're in Fort Worth!
Turning down Main Street of the Stock Yards, I was greeted by two gorgeous Quarter horses just meandering down the road. Now you know this horse girl was super giddy and it took everything in me not to creepily take (too) many photos. I always say, I wasn't born in a barn but I was raised in one. I was a hunter/jumper rider from the time when I was about 12-years-old. I've ridden a big ol' lazy quarter horse my whole life, first there was Kip (part quarter horse part thoroughbred) and later on Scooter. They're such gentle giants, sweet dispositions and the most understanding and searching eyes. Horses trump men any day in my book.

 After visiting the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado… this hall of fame isn't nearly as big but nonetheless still fun to visit. You feel like you've stepped back in time…or at least to 1980's Footloose set.

 Two years ago I visited a friend in California and we took a day trip to Yosemite National Park (talk about God's glory in manifestation). However she surprised me with a stay in this old mining town on the way back to San Francisco. We rolled into LITERALLY a tumbleweed town. There was less than 200 people who resided in the city, there was one (blinking) light, a general store, a saloon, a bar, a hairdresser and my personal favorite the hotel. That was it. We spent the night in this deserted town and had some of the most fun hanging at the saloon, shooting pool and having a few drinks with the bartender who happened to also be our waiter, the hotel desk man, and I think even the chef?! Ha. 

Anyways, this little hotel reminded me of that town outside of Yosemite. It was old and charming and just oozed cowboy charm. 
 Keep on walking down the main street and veer towards the left and you'll find traditional Texas longhorn just hanging out. These guys are actually the longhorns they "stampede" down Main Street twice a day (11:30a and 4:00p) every day. Now don't get your hopes up, it's less of a stampede and more of a slow saunter down the road but it's still cool to see! I stood out there with them on the fence post for a long time, probably longer than a normal 5'4 blonde gal would, but I just love nature, animals and watching these gorgeous creatures.

After watching the livestock for a while I wondered over to the Stockyard Station which is an old train station they've converted to shops and restaurants. You can buy every "Texas" themed thing you'd ever want here: from belt buckles to hot sauce to a Texan flag- you're in the right place.

Finally, what everybody had been waiting for: The Stockyard Stampede. Cowboys on horseback guided the longhorns down the main street and back into their pen for what I presume is a lovely lunch waiting for them. Ha. I think it was worth the wait (hey its free, why not) but if you have something else pressing to do than you won't miss something earth shattering.

 I ended my afternoon at the Stockyards by stopping by the Stockyard Hotel for a quick bite to eat. Went to the bar and absolutely loved the end of my experience in the Stockyards- complete with sitting in a saddle eating my lunch and riding into the sunset….or something like that.