Lycra Cowboys & Oval Balls

In our quest to experience all things American while roaming around landing in Dallas that weekend presented the ideal opportunity to watch an American football game. Transpired during my pre trip research that Ever the Dallas Cowboys were playing the Cincinnati Bengals at home in a stadium just round the block ( or several) from the RV park. Tickets secured we gathered up our gear to head to the stadium which it seems is one of, indeed if not the newest, largest venues of its type. We foolishly took suncream & hats not realising that the entire place is fully enclosed & air-conditioned.

Much to our amusement the Lyft man was enthusiastically telling us about how the main quarter back had to be substituted & how this might affect the game. Straight over our heads sadly as we didn’t have a clue who this player was or to be really honest what his role was in the game still the driver meant well.

No Tailgate party but we did have fun

In the run up to games it seems that entertainment of varying sorts is provided & if you drive yourself you can have a ‘tailgate party’. Think from the description this was like when in the UK we took a picnic in the car to watch the local polo matches with friends. As we had no vehicle we just made do with wandering around the various stalls & having a go at the competitions. One star necklace, two towels & a clear plastic bag later we were all set to go in.

Our seat was ‘way up in the gods’ but still we got a good view & the enormous screens ensured we could see even if we still didn’t get what was going on really clearly.

I admit I totally loved what seemed like the happy family atmosphere of the event with spectators of both teams interspersed. If there was any animosity it wasn’t evident from where we watched & even afterwards the crowds seemed friendly.

Dem Boys in Lycra

My only previous knowledge of such games came from watching American films so I was totally baffled by the number of players & the sort of complicated sort of rules that seem to go with the game. It wasn’t until afterwards I realised that the team can be up to 55 players each of whom may have a unique skill set to offer & hence why the 11 players on the field kept changing. Likewise the need to be tightly wrapped in lycra with body armour became apparent as the play progressed, the wild cheering & waving when the oval ball moved a few feet was astonishing.


We waved our towels with gusto taking our cues from those around us having decided from the off that we were supporting the Cowboys. Seems like we backed a winner as they completed a move to secure a victory in the last 3 seconds of the game.

During the day we had sampled more cheesy nachos & the largest Margarita cocktail before treating ourselves to some of ‘demand boys’ merch.

The oversized hoodie is now a firm favourite of mine not just because it brings back memories of a great day out but it is super soft, warm & comfy to wear. Not sure if I will ever get to see them play live again or if my knowledge of the game will ever amount to much but I am glad I was able to go as it was a really fun day out.

As we left the stadium & after a quick walk to Walmart for urgent supplies we joined the fray to get a car back to the RV park. It was a smart move as the wait wasn’t long & we were soon back at the bus ready to sleep before heading off on the next leg of our adventure.

Not My First Rodeo

Having diced with death on the route into the RV park which culminated in me missing the final turn necessitating a u turn on a busy road rather than risk getting lost we finally parked up & could start to breathe again.

The camp site was lovely save for the fact that the shower blocks & toilets were out of action due to storm damage pushing the stress levels way back up. Not only because the prospect of a cool shower would have been nice after a long drive but we were there for 3 days & it was boiling hot. Contingency packing is my thing so I was very glad to be able to stock the fridge with jumbo sized bamboo body wipes for the duration! To Uber or to Lyft that was the question as the availability & competitive pricing meant that it was worth checking both. Musing on the God fearing reputation of the Texans it should have come as no surprise that a copy of the Bible was on the passenger seat . However it did raise the question on whether it was in God or the driver we trusted the most to get us to the Fort Worth Stockyards in one piece.


Fort Worth is a city that now ranks as the 5th largest city in Texas & 13th in the whole USA. It can trace its roots back to 1849 where it started as an army outpost that later developed into a trading post for longhorn cattle.

The undercover shopping lured us in first as it was very hot & the shops provided a place to stay cool & we spent time looking at all manner of hats, buckles & curious items.

Attracted to the sound of music we enjoyed the live band playing country music followed by the ‘gunfight’ re enactment. The shopping mall doubles as a train station & we jumped at the chance to board for a ride ‘there & back again to see how far it was’ so we could catch a glimpse of the surrounding city.

Live Music

Once back we joined others in the street to watch the longhorns being driven through carefully guided by the horseback riders. An ice cream & sit down before deciding on what to do next led us to consider the evenings entertainments. Wandering around & checking out places we grossly mis calculated how long it would take to get something to eat which meant that we ended up only having a drink before heading to the Stockyards for the Rodeo.

It made my day when asked if I had been before to declare ‘No this ain’t my first rodeo!’ I had previously attended a local event in Boulder Montana & so had an idea of what it was involved. Whilst I love the inclusive family feel to the event the question of potential animal cruelty lingered. As we watched we feasted on cheesy nachos & whilst admiring the skills of the cowboys & girls as they demonstrated the techniques required. I still remain a little conflicted on the animal welfare side of things as whilst the horseman ship displayed by the riders is superb & probably vital if managing herds of cattle. I am a little less sure of the reasons why hanging on to the back of a bull for grim death is a necessary thing nowadays. I realise the animals & the cowboys can earn fame & fortune as a result of the competitions to see who stays on the longest. It’s sort of thrilling in a way so I can sort of understand why it is entertaining to watch. However the straps & paraphernalia required to make the animals buck still seems cruel to me.

Hanging on for Grim Death

Still all good things come to a close so after the thrills & spills of the Rodeo it was time to head back to the van & get a good nights sleep ahead of a day filled largely with different sort of Cowboys.

Was it the way to Amarillo?

Turns out it was! Growing up in the 70’s pop songs like ‘Is this the way to Amarillo?’ sung by Tony Christie & Albuquerque by Neil Young would be blaring away on the radio at home leaving me to wondering where on earth these places were as they seemed so exotic. Little did i know that many years later I would be planning a road trip that took me to those very locations.

Trundling along Interstate 40 we passed many a place some with the most odd sounding names that must all have some sort of story attached as to how they came by them but we had miles to cover so mostly they are recorded just as a nod to the route we took.

Keen to establish the full capacity of the gas tank we let the miles go by & the level sink until we really had to stop for a comfort break & a top up. Seems that capacity was about 25 gallons & this cost about $100. It was interesting to see that the price of gas actually started to decrease as we headed East but we were heading to “JR Ewing” territory & home of the oil barons so may be not such a surprise. The mural on the garage wall was interesting as it seemed to signal the fact that the station had originally been part of the old route that we had to leave the interstate to find.

As the miles rolled by so did the places but we stopped for a break at Santa Rosa & came across this historical marker. These seem to crop up all over the place & impart some interesting information about the location. House was curious as we didn’t see any as we went by & it also seemed popular for places to be known simply as a first name. Adrian was perhaps the larger of such settlements & was also the home to a large wind farm. The wind did whistle & driving at times was slower because the open plains around gave no protection from the gusts.

Living in a rural area surrounded by farms it came as no surprise to see similar as we drove by but what was surprising was the sheer scale. This was only a snapshot of what seemed like thousands of cattle & its probably as well that the image didn’t capture the pungent smell that followed us for miles after.

The next day would bring the long track to Texas & the first taste of fear while negotiating the traffic system as we headed to the RV park near Fort Worth.

Getting older but not giving up fight against agism in its many forms

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