Cow Town

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

With expert directions from our camp site booklet, we set off to explore Fort Worth - where it is still possible to get a feel of the Old American West. It was once the biggest and busiest cattle, horse, mule, hog and sheep marketing centre in the whole of the South west. More than 160 million head of livestock were sold there. The "Stockyards" area is very popular with tourists as you may imagine, but on a Monday near the end of Jan it was hardly thronging. No doubt just a couple of days before it would have been, as the Rodeo and livestock show is held over 3 w/e finishing on Feb 3rd.
As traffic rattled over the old red brick road along Exchange St and we stood on the raised side walk (sorry pavement) it was easy to imagine what it must have been like in its heyday. We wandered up to the station where the cattle would once have been loaded and unloaded straight into the corrals from which they would have been sold. Much of the vast area stands idle and empty now, a shadow of its former bustling self.

 Beside the tracks stand the relics of the former meat packing plants that had once been so important. The Fort Worth longhorn herd resides in the stockade now, waiting amiably for the twice daily 'rampage' through town. It is we're told the only daily longhorn cattle drive in the world! I'd not seen a long horn yet, Malc has but working on the principle if two people don't see it then its not really there, I didn't reckon his counted. Anyway that was about to change; I could see them in the distance between the planks of the stockade,

 they were all lying down - was that a sign of impending rain? Perhaps this driving lark is tiring - didn't they used to be driven hundreds of miles in the past? Well I have to say they were magnificent specimens, longhorn is definitely the right description... look at these.


 We waited excitedly for the event...what d'y'all think? 

We lunched in one of the hostelries, not on steak as perhaps we should have but on pulled pork and smoked brisket - both were amazing. We saddled up at the bar ( sorry it's out of focus!) z10 and smiled at some of the fittings. We spent an interesting hour in one of the museums 


and rounded off the day with a visit to 'Biily Bob's' the biggest Honky Tonk in the world!! 

By way of bringing it all up to date this is the office where the cattle are still sold today - by way of satellite!
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