Friday, April 24, 2015

Along the Chisholm Trail and Restaurant Review

Pink Indian Paintbrush
There are no firm records about when Jesse Chisholm was born, but researchers seem to agree that it was around 1805 or 1806. The son of an Irish farmer and an Indian mother, Jesse established himself as a trader and scout. Although he is best known for the Chisholm Trail, he spent his life developing trading posts among the Plains Indians. Once the Civil War ended, he settled in Kansas and improved a trail that had been used by the military so that it would accommodate the heavy wagons he used to carry the materials he traded. This road (Chisholm’s Trail, re-named Chisholm Trail once the cattlemen began using it) went from his southern trading post near the Red River, to his northern trading post near Kansas City, Kansas. This road became important to Texas cattle ranchers when their trail drives were blocked by local Missouri farmers in an effort to keep tick infestations out of local herds. This meant that the cattle drives had to be re-routed to an area near Red River Station in Texas. The first herd to use the Chisholm Trail belonged to O. W. Wheeler. He brought his 2,400 steers from Texas to the Abilene, Kansas stockyards, paving the way for some 5,000,000 head of Texas cattle to reach Kansas using the Chisholm Trail.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spinning the Wheel and Restaurant Review

Fort Worth’s Jacksboro Highway was one of those places my parents forbid me to go when I
Top L to R: Lake Worth, Bluebonnets and Spanish Dagger
Bottom: L to R: Indian Paint Brush, Prickly Pear
and Bluebonnets 
was in high school. It was lined with beer joints, dance halls, and other hangouts for ne’re-do-wells. Of course, that only lent force to its attraction. However, one time was enough; my girlfriends and I decided that there was nothing attractive about either the drunks stumbling from the bars, or the scary, poorly lit side streets. Farther out of Fort Worth, in the little town of Lake Worth, there was a place I wish I had gone.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Home on the Range and Restaurant Review

L to R:Clint Eastwood, Yul Brynner, Paul Newman
So we’re off to run some errands and since I’m not driving I’m looking out the window. All of a sudden I get a glimpse of Paul Newman. No, I think to myself, that can’t be. A few minutes later, I see Yul Brenner; still, I doubt my eyes. Then I see Clint Eastwood. Okay, this is just an anomaly of the particular street we’re traveling along. A few days later, on a different street, I spot John Wayne and Lee Marvin. Now I’m on a quest. How many more Hollywood cowboys are there in North Richland Hills, Texas? As it turns out, there are a total of ten.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Trekking to Tyler and Restaurant Review

Redbud flowers
Tyler, Texas is the ‘Rose Capitol of the World’ (or Texas depending on who you read and just how you see your home state). It’s about 135 miles south east of Fort Worth and a pretty drive, particularly if you take the back roads (US Highway 80 to US 64 or to US 110) instead of Interstate 20 and don’t travel during ‘drive times’. Since the Rose City Artisan and Flower Market was going on and I wanted to see meet two people whose work I admire, we hit the road. Although the wildflowers weren’t quite at their peak, Lady Bird Johnson’s idea to plant them along the highways has made for colorful viewing. We saw a few flowers, but what I enjoyed the most were the redbud trees and the crabapples. Redbuds aren’t red, but rather a hot pink to mauve; the crabapple blossoms are a bright, light pink. It’s been a wet spring so the lush green grass that added a nice base to these brightly colored trees.