Strolling down the worn brick road of Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards is as much a time-warp as it is a mind-fuck. If you point your boots east and walk from Main, you’ll stroll by shops filled with gaudy furniture (we’ll put rhinestones on anything, y’all), touristy knick-knacks, and a menagerie of real and not-so-real saloons.
But! Before you get too far, take my advice and stop at the first outdoor bar you see. Now, grab the tallest, coldest can of beer they’ll sell you to accompany your journey. Drink in hand, you should peruse the wildlife. There are the hundreds of white elephant figurines at the aptly named White Elephant Saloon, the two longhorns you can pay to have your photo taken with across from a Cadillac bearing similar horns, and, of course, the donkeys that they won’t let grown folks ride.
Midway along the street, you’ll run into this gentleman, saddled and at the ready. He’s here to tell you about tonight’s rodeo and the impending four o’clock cattle drive. Take a sip of your beer and watch a couple old cowpokes hoot and holler and encourage eight head of cattle down the street before moseying on.
At the end, you’ll see some train tracks. The rails carve out a thoroughfare past a few more shops and restaurants, and you can take a ride up to “wine country” on a charming old train. By now, you’re surely in need of Texas’ greatest commodity: air conditioning. And perhaps another oversized cold one? What a long, strange trip it’s been.