Monday, February 18, 2019 – Head ‘Em Up! Move ‘Em Out!
It is trail riding time in Texas. If you, as Lyle Lovett sings,
“are not from Texas” then let me attempt an explanation. When the rodeo comes to town, everybody is fixin to be a cowboy or cowgirl. It is just a Texas thang!
To celebrate our cattle heritage and cattle drives, there are trail rides to recall when real cowboys rode the range and herded the longhorns. The granddaddy of all the rides is The Salt Grass Trail Ride. It started when some Texans got stranded in Florida due to bad weather after the 1952 Orange Bowl Football Game. Sidebars: The game was between Baylor and Georgia Tech. It was Baylor’s first bowl game and the co-champions of the SEC. (GT was in the SEC?) The Yellow Jackets won.
But back to the story. Being stranded in Florida, one Texan said “I’ll never go anywhere again without my horse” and so began the Salt Grass Trail Ride. It began as a promotion for the then called Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. Trivia for Native Texans and Houstonians – where was the event held? Answer at the end.
From the website:
Riding through the rich salt grass pastures, the journey begins in Cat Spring, Texas, in mid-February and winds through the countryside for 103 miles toward Houston. Participants range in age from 2 to 90, stretched out single file for the distance of a mile or so, always present a colorful picture as they go down the trail. The early Texans who pioneered our great cattle industry, despite almost overwhelming hardships, have not been forgotten. They live on in the Salt Grass Trail Ride.
What this really means for the Houston and surrounding areas is this. The weather is going to be sunny, warm, hot, cold, rainy, and miserable with as much as 40 degrees temperature ranges. It could be 85 degrees day and 45 degrees the next day. Sometimes, within the next hour of reaching a record high of 85. But that’s only one of the reasons we love Texas.
Unlike the cowboys you see in the following video, these cowpokes and their horses stop at the end of a hard day’s ride and relax in their cozy RVs and with their horses in heated horse trailers. While Willie sings “Cowboys ain’t easy to love” he also knows they ain’t stupid either.
Here’s to all the trail riders on all the rides. Be safe. God Bless you and God Bless Texas!
So head ‘em up! Move ‘em out! Who is that cute, Rowdy second cowboy in the credits? Stay for the credits if for no other reason to hear the song. You are welcome because I know you will be hearing and singing this the remainder of the day.
Answer: The Houston Fat Stock Show was held at the Sam Houston Coliseum.