Wanderlusting: Fort Worth Stockyards
“The best education I have ever received was through travel.” ~ Lisa Ling
Tastes of Texas
Because I was there for a wedding, as well as work, I wasn’t able to explore Texas as much as I would have loved to. Especially if I was traveling solo. The AirBnB we stayed at was unreal, and ironically this Type A lady was content to just hang out there and enjoy some RR. It didn’t help I was feeling under the weather, and by under the weather I had a full blown case of the creeping crud.
The wedding was held at one of the prettiest venues, I have ever been too, The Brooks at Weatherford is exclusive to weddings, and with an outdoor chapel against the back drop of rolling haystacks, it was quintessential Texas.
I left the reception early with the kiddos who all passed out on the drive back with the exception of the eldest, Carter. He and I ended up watching the Santa Clause, (I can neither confirm nor deny that I am in the Christmas spirit) before he too fell into an exhausted sleep. The next day we had hosted brunch at the AirBnB, and spent the day lazying about around the pool and recovering from wedding festivities.
On Monday, I was finally able to do some sightseeing and get a taste of Texas when we went to the Stockyards in the historical section of Fort Worth.
History of the Stockyards
Beginning in 1866 the Fort Worth Stockyards became a focal stop for supplies while herding cattle along the Chisholm Trail. With the arrival of the railroad, Fort Worth became a major shipping hub for cattle and the Stockyards were built. Between expansion, new investors, as well as savvy business planning by 1902, Fort Worth became known as the Wall Street of the West.
After World War II the railroads began to decline and with it so did the Stockyards. With trucking beginning to boom with the expansion of roadways, the market moved to the shipper instead of the meatpacker, by 1971 the major plants in Fort Worth had close their doors.
Yet, the history of the Stockyards continues to live on. Becoming part of the National Historical Landmark registry, many of the buildings have been preserved and reopened to the public. Rodeos, and the worlds only twice daily cattle drive are held there. Shops, restaurants and hotels have also opened, making it one of Texas’ biggest tourist attractions in the state.
The minute we arrived, it felt like we had stepped into another era or perhaps an old country western movie to be more precise. And yet, it was exactly what I thought of when I think of Texas.
It was cool, yet also heartbreaking, to see the cattle running around in their pens. They were such beautifully majestic creatures, and I loved snapping pictures of them. Their were people, including several women in cowboy(girl) regalia rounding them up.
We saw the drive which is held twice a day and it was crazy to think that what we saw was only a tiny percentage of the cattle that used to be herded down the main drag.
Afterwards we walked along the shops, which all had that old country western feel. We stopped at the General Store where we all bought some souvenirs.
While I waited for my sister in law who had bought me the cutest thank you presents, I gave my five year old nephew, who is quite the amateur photographer my phone and he started snapping pictures of me.
While he took some artistic liberties, they weren’t half bad. He takes great pictures, though it could be because we are almost the same height. #shortgirlproblems
After the General Store, we were famished and went to the station, which held more shops, as well as several restaurants. We ate lunch outside at Trailboss Burgers, and it was one of the best burgers I have ever had. They cook it only one way, (I would say about a medium) and mine came with bacon, egg, onions, and the best part, an egg. There is something about egg on burgers, pizzas, and salads that just hits the spot. I know Mack agrees with me.
It was an interesting place to visit. Cattle herding while controversial, especially in todays day and age, played such a huge part in Texas’ development of commerce. It is something that is so completely different from what I grew up with and it was interesting to learn and educate myself with some Texas history.
I was going to edit this picture, but then I saw how my niece was looking at her “cray-cray” aunt and I couldn’t resist keeping her in it. I hope you all have a great Monday!
Have you been to the Stockyards?