Friday, February 24, 2012

That time of year again.........

Well, it's that time of year here in Houston when Rodeo season starts and Trail Riders can be seen making their way to Memorial Park where they will party all night and participate in the Downtown parade tomorrow.

Today is Go Texas day and all the little kids at school dress up in their cowboy attire and (at least when I was a kid, and I'm sure they still do it today) if a trail ride passes by the school, the bell will ring and the kids will run to the playground fence and watch the covered wagons and horses pass by.

It's a really special day here in Houston and I have very fond memories of watching trail riders pass by and by watching AND marching in the Rodeo Parade.  Marching in it with the band was fun, and challenging if your band was directly behind a trail ride.  Rules of marching in a parade.....   do NOT step out of line........    keep in step and if you see a pile of horse poop.........    march through it!

Some of you may ask, 'what the heck is a trail ride?'  Well, there are various groups of riders who ride on horseback from various parts of Texas to come to Houston for the Rodeo Parade.  Some of the riders follow old cattle drive trails.

A trail ride, depending on how far they are traveling can take up to three weeks!  In fact, there is a trail ride that comes up from south Texas, close to Mexico...    they travel roughly 350 miles to get here!

Trail riding started in 1952 when a small group (4) of men set out from Brenham, Texas and made the trek on horseback to Houston to raise awareness for the Livestock Show and Rodeo.  The next year, more than 80 joined and that trail ride became what is known today as The Salt Grass Trail Ride.  The Grandaddy of them all is what we call them.  They are huge with hundreds of riders and wagons.

So, on this day, if you are in Houston, you will most likely see a trail ride or two heading into town.  It always brings a smile to my face, and I will say that every trail rider out there enjoys a smile and wave and if you have the opportunity to stop and talk to them, they are wonderful folks.

This next one, I like because you can see the freeway off to the right providing a nice contrast of days of old to the modern modes of transporation.

Houston, is really a special place to live.  I really love my city.

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