Monday, June 15, 2009

A trip to the country

Kathleen and I took a short road trip into Central Texas last weekend, to Lockhart, an interesting small country town between Luling and San Marcos, south of Austin. Lockhart is known as the barbecue capital of Texas - it has four barbecue markets at least two of which, Kreuz' Market and Smitty's, are known far and wide amongst Texas barbecue afficionados. While in Lockhart, I certainly did not go around advertising the fact that I'm vegan. For all I know, vegans may not actually be allowed into Caldwell County... Vegan restaurants? You've got to be kidding. The only vegan restaurant in Lockhart last weekend was in our hotel room at the Best Western.

On Friday night, we strolled around Lockhart's famous city square, took a few photographs of the well-known Caldwell County Courthouse, and stumbled upon a local County Fair or carnival, just like you'd see in the movies.

The Caldwell County Courthouse in Lockhart, TX

Another view of the Courthouse

And a final one. The people lining up in the right foreground, was our 'clue' that there was something else going on in town. We eventually boarded a schoolbus at this spot, which took us to the County Fair at the Lockhart Municipal Park.

There are several interesting buildings in the historical area around Lockhart town square.

Other than the rides, a county fair is all about the food... Hot wings and sausage on a stick. Hmmm...

Candy apples, sno-cones, cotton candy - what more could you want.

If you have any small change left after all that food, you can lose it on the midway.

Wager a small fortune on the 'real' pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...

Only to win collectors' items like these super-realistic Bengal Tigers...

If you're a kid, you don't care that the boat doesn't float or can't steer. This is as much fun as a kid can have, especially with his grandparents looking on.

Kathleen and I almost got onto the merry-go-round ourselves, it looked like such a blast.

But first we had to go and get some corn dogs, french fries and onion rings. Just kidding.

The next morning (Saturday 13 June) we raced the Lockhart Kiwanis 5K, which was held at the Lockhart Junior High School a few miles out of town. Kathleen did very well, with both a PR and second place in her age group. My race was ok, but a finish time of over 22 minutes was well off my personal best time. Also, in a race with 10-year age groups, a 57-year old is at a distinct disadvantage in the 50-59 year old age group. Race directors really should get with the program and offer prizes & awards in 5-year increments, right up to 75+. Look around you at your next 5K race - there's a lot of gray out there.

The first dog to finish, and his owner.

Kathleen chatting to a Colorado Springs runner who went to school in the area, at (then) Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.

The two of us after the race, after some fruit and cookies.

Kathleen accepting her age group trophy - a cowbell - from a race official.

Later that morning we returned to the Lockhart city square for the annual Chisholm Trail Parade. We were baffled at the inclusion of some of the 'floats' such as this cool pick-up truck.

There were many, many traditional floats like this one, complete with constantly waving princesses, and a chicken in the barn.

Yes a chicken. The young women's dresses were as colorful as the backdrops

Pretty much all the floats were colorful but this HEB one outdid them all.

Very very colorful

To the point of making the Caldwell County Courthouse look drab...

There were at least two Men on this float. No wonder the Republicans are in a quandary nowadays.

I always marvel at the guts it takes to appear in public in an outfit like this. Barbecue-loving Shriners.

A parade is not a parade without a clown. This was a parade.

Yet another float with a waving princess, first runner-up & second runner-up.

Making their way past the Caldwell County Courthouse.

This little group in the tuxedos and long dresses were hot. Temperature hot. It was well into the upper 80's by the time they floated around.

I have no idea what or whom this vehicle represented.

Although the driver did look like a sharecropper of some kind

With a goofy hat and a friendly smile

I think this float had something to do with shoes. Nice car!

And then, incongruously bringing up the rear, a parade of Corvettes, including this official Indy Pace Car.
Followed by several other 'Vettes, with one owner impatiently revving the powerful engine.

No blog entry about Lockhart is complete without at least one barbecue photograph. These two Smitty's employees retrieve smoked ribs, brisket and sausage from the smokers in the background and then chop them up into smaller pieces. Smitty's offers 'lean' cuts of barbecue, but judging by these guys' overalls, most of what they sell is definitely not lean.


Alexandra said...

WOW! This post could very easily have been describing the "Calgary Stampede" that happens here in early July for 10 days! A parade, barbque beef and sausages, boats that don't float, Stampede Roadrace, line ups, a pot of gold and corn dogs! Yup...we have all that to look forward to on July3rd!

Minken said...

I miss the Calgary Stampede! Please do not remind me of it!

And, that was a "nice car"!!!

Looks like a great get away!