>Go Texan!

>This past Friday marked the opening of the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show, a huge, three week long, annual tradition.  It is virtually a state holiday here, referred to as Go Texan day, and schools encourage kids to dress up in their best western wear.  If you know me you will remember that Alex dressed up as a cowboy for this past Halloween, so he had a great little outfit.  I found authentic cowboy boots for both kids at local thrift and consignment shops for a steal.  This photo isn’t the best, but you get the idea:

An amazing thing also takes place on Go Texan day…thirteen different groups of trail riders descend upon the city from all points north, east, south and west.  These groups vary in size and distance covered on their rides, but some are more than 200 riders strong, complete with covered chuck wagons, and some travel more than 200 miles.  They ride up major roads, through the suburbs and even up the freeways into the city, camping at various spots along the way.  One group has a midday break at my local Home Depot every year, but I always miss them by a day.  All groups end up at the same place, Memorial Park, on Friday night, and all participate in the downtown Rodeo Parade Saturday morning. 
So I decided to skip on down to the Park over my lunch break on Friday to shoot a few photos of these cowboys and girls.  I was actually impeded in getting to the park for a bit by a group riding up the 610 Loop feeder road!  Only in Texas. 
I parked as close as I could to the entrance to the park and unfortunately as I jumped out of the car my camera toppled out of the bag and hit the pavement with a tragic crash.  The LCD screen on the back is totally shot, which may mean the entire camera has to be replaced.  We shall see.  I felt like I had been kicked in the gut, but I knew that God was teaching me a good lesson in humility.  My camera is a treasured position and a source of pride for me and I am always reminded of how King Nebuchednezzar was driven to mental illness and lost everything because of his pride.  Yeah, that may seem out of left field but I’m studying Daniel, more on that in another post.  
The camera still seemed to be functional with the exception of the LCD, so I decided I would make the best of my trip and shoot anyway.  It was almost like shooting with film again, because I couldn’t chimp my shots.  Also while I waited in between companies arriving to the park, I ran into a Twitter friend of mine who apparently has been hired by the park to manage their social media marketing.  That was fun talking to him. 
But watching the riders come in was very exciting.  Lots of flags, some had loud music blaring out of their chuck wagons, tons of patriotism and Texas pride. 
There is NOTHING like it up north.  The spirit is contagious.  We even talked to a group of kids from a small disadvantaged charter school that had come out to welcome the riders.  Their principle beamed and explained that the school had recently received an Exemplary rating from the state, the highest available.  They were impressively diverse and full of life. 

2 responses to this post.

  1. >You *do* know of course that the Salt Grass Trail Ride — one of the oldest and largest of the Rodeo Houston ride crews — annually parks for their final night in Katy County Park, right? You missed it already this year — they were at the park Wed of last week — but they use that big park every year for the staging area ofr the last day's push down into Memorial Park and then the Rodeo. The schools and churches along Morton Ranch Rd are a traditional great vantage poit for seeing the trail riders locally.


  2. >Yeah I do know that. But I don't really consider that "my hood" if you know what I mean. The fact that the Valley Lodge Trail Ride stops at the Fry Rd Home Depot…now THAT'S cool!


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