April 7th - San Antonio to Fort Worth, Texas

We woke to rain and a drop in temperature of about 30 degrees Fahrenheit! What a contrast to yesterday's sun and warm weather. Still, with a comparatively short drive of less than 300 miles to Fort Worth the poor weather wasn't too much of a problem.

We thanked Ahmad and Lida for a marvellous couple of days at their house. Invitations were extended to them to stay with us/Bob and Thelma when they are next in the UK. Before we left we took the photo below of Ahmad, Lida and their two dogs.

Our drive took us more or less due north along Highway 281. It wasn't long before snow started falling and there were times when visibility was severely restricted as the photo below shows.

The snow didn't settle on the road and we were able to make reasonable progress as we passed through a small town called Johnson, where President 'LBJ' Johnson lived. Further on we passed a museum to Billy the Kid in Hico, about 100 miles south of Fort Worth.

As we drove into Fort Worth the snow stopped but the temperature remained around freezing. Our hotel, The Stockyard, is located in the Fort Worth Stockyards area, where cattle used to be transported to and from Fort Worth. The stockyards are now a big tourist attraction, not least for the country and western music performed in the bars and saloons. Tonight we are going to one of the largest entertainment saloons, Billy Bob's.

We arrived just in time to see the daily cattle drive through the roads of the stockyards. Texan longhorn cattle were led through the streets by about half a dozen cowboys. The cattle are magnificent creatures with their huge horns.

We went to Billy Bob's in the evening and watched the country and western live bands playing before seeing our first bull riding competition! Six cowboys attempted to ride a bull for eight seconds without falling off or touching the bull with their free hand. They hold on with one hand to a rope that is tied around the bull's belly and hang on for dear life as the bull is released from the pen. Only two managed the eight seconds and one was disqualified for touching the bull. Later on we watched a country and western singer who we had never heard of, John Conlee. Included in his repertoire was a song dedicated to the troops fighting in Iraq. We then had a dance before we headed back to the hotel around midnight.

Tomorrow we are going to a small town called Lufkin, about 100 miles south of Dallas. On the way we will visit the site in Dallas where JFK was assassinated. Let's hope the weather is warmer.

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