The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Somebody Turned Off the Heat.....and it's cold out!

I'm never in a hurry to come home from a GTG especially when I probably won't get back out in the RV for a while so I headed down to Potters Creek COE Park on Canyon Lake with my friend Birdie. We left Grand Prairie early on Monday morning hoping to miss some of the wind moving in. My 5th wheel barely notices the wind but Birdie's Class A feels it a lot more and driving in it is not fun for her. Gloria caught up with us on the way down. She was going to stay for the week but discovered a leak in her roof so she had to leave Tuesday morning and headed off to Louisiana to meet up with someone who could fix it for her.

Tuesday night, Birdie baked a little bread, we had a little salad, oops, forgot to get the main dish.

Plans were for several others to meet us here sometime this week but Claudia was the only one that made it. She arrived on Wednesday. Can't say that I blame anyone else for passing on another GTG as the bottom dropped out of the thermometer on Tuesday night with the huge cold front sweeping across the country. Claudia had to head east this morning.

In spite of the cold, we've had a good time visiting and fixing meals together. Birdie made pancakes with blueberries and walnuts yesterday and biscuits and gravy this morning. She's the early riser. I made chicken alfredo the other night. The RV's are warm. The dogs want to go outside to do their business but aren't interested in any walks in this cold.

This is the view out my back window.

I love being in my RV even when the weather isn't that great outside. See you later. Stay warm.

A Trek to Traders Village

Saturday we were off to Traders Village. The Grand Prairie flea market is 160 acres of shops and booths in business since 1973. They even have a full service RV park with all the conveniences. Good Sam or the Texas TACO pass will give you 10% off and the location is very convenient to everything in the Dallas-Ft Worth area. They even have a car rental place for those that don't tow.

Back to the Flea Market.....Entrance is free, parking is $3 per car.

No telling what you will find here. There are permanent shops as well as outside booths.

Lots of fairground type food even carnival rides.

Fresh vegetables in season.

Apples on the left, pomegranates in front, nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) behind the yellow peppers.

They also have events going on at Traders Village. This weekend was celebrating mountain men. There was a small fort set up with a couple booths in it.

Across the way, various activities were in progress. This mountain man was demonstrating how to start fires.

The chuck wagon crew had lots going on. The trench in front had several piles of wood burned down to coals with some dutch ovens bubbling away. The spit in the middle soon had a rabbit roasting on it.

The woman here was working with animal skins.

This man was making tomahawks and knives.

The woman here had lots of beads and various stones she was turning into jewelry.

The smithy had his forge going and was making various wrought itron tools.

Liz found a recumbent bike for her grandkids so she rode around the rest of the flea market. Carolyn bought an adult size recumbent for herself. She has a pullout rack on the back of her 5th wheel where it will ride on her travels.

This lady was busy spinning and she had lots of neat looking hats for sale.

There was even a potter working away.

Here's a better picture of the cooking trench. See the rabbit he is turning?

We enjoyed the flea market for several hours and then headed to old downtown Arlington to.....

a different Babe's Chicken House. This one is decorated inside with fronts of buildings in a town. The service was a little better at the Cedar Hill Babe's but the food was just as good here.

This neat little double decker bus was parked out front.

After lunch, we headed back to the park and the longdogs got a nice long walk.

Stampede at the Fort Worth Stockyards?

This morning we were off to the Fort Worth Stock Yards. Way back in 1876 when the railroad arrived, Fort Worth became a major shipping point for livestock. By 1887, plans were developed for construction of the Union Stockyards. Located about 2 1/2 miles north of the Tarrant County Courthouse, the stockyards went into full operation about 1889. Short of funds to buy enough cattle to attract local ranchers, the president of Union Stockyards Company invited some wealthy capitalists from the East to visit and hopefully invest in the company. Due to heavy rains and a railroad strike, the stockyards were holding an impressive number of cattle and the outside investors were sold. By 1893, one of the investors, Greenleif Simpson bought the stockyards and changed the name to the Fort Worth Stockyards. Now all that was needed to make the venture more profitable was to bring in some meat packing companies and keep the whole operation in Fort Worth rather than shipping cattle out. By 1900, both Armour & Co. and Swift & Co. were persuaded to build plants adjacent to the stockyards. Business boomed with the opening of the packing houses.

During World War I, the Fort Worth Stockyards was largest horse and mule market in the world. Buyers came from around the world. During World War II, the Stockyards process 5,277,496 head of livestock. 1944 was the peak year of the entire operation but by 1969, sales were down to 1,045,158 head. The all time low hit in 1986 with sales of only 57,181 head. There were many reasons for the downturn but one big one was the huge trucking industry with lower costs than the railroad market. By 1962 Armour closed followed by Swift in 1971.  The North Fort Worth Historical Society stepped in around 1976 and a museum was born. Efforts paid off to get the entire area declared an Historical District.

Today the Fort Worth Stock Yards are an Historical District as well as an entertainment center and are the one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state.

You can still see a cattle drive every day.

In case you wondered, this is how a cattle drive is set up. It is an orchestrated event rather than just cattle moseying along willy-nilly.

Part of the long horn herd.

Check out the horns on that lead steer.

Get along little dogies!

And then, of course, some of our group had to have a picture on a real live Texas long horn.

The big guy shook his head as Kim was hanging on to his horn.

The stock exchange building. Lots of money passed through here.

You have to wonder what some of these "Sister Cities" have in common with Fort Worth.

The Stockyards handled hogs and sheep in addition to cattle.

Now the big buildings have a whole new life housing shops and restaurants.

Gloria drove 2142 miles to get to the GTG and it was worth it.

This was reported to be a fantastic store to visit. Smelled like heaven according to Gloria.

This trough was clearly marked for cattle and horses only, no swimming allowed.

Carriage ride anyone?

We went to the Cowgirls Museum but there is one for Cowboys at the Stockyards.

I didn't get a chance to go in to the Stockyards Hotel but I was told that it is like an old fashioned saloon inside.

And the H3 Ranch is supposed to be one of the best steak houses around. We ate at Habanero's which was pretty good but really slow at getting the bill's out at the end.

We also made a stop at Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky-tonk. They charge to go in and look and there wasn't much going on during the daytime but it was interesting to look at the handprints from all the singers who have played there.

All in all, it was another really great day.