We finally made it to Texas, just in time for Christmas. Hopefully Santa knows where to find us...
With a full tank and full bellies, we headed to Fort Worth. We rolled into the campground just as it was getting dark. The entry road was off the highway and way back a dirt road — exactly how it should be in Texas. We backed into our spot and set up camp for the week. We took a quick ride around the campground on our bikes to get a lay of the land. There was a big lake in the middle of empty campsites. It wasn't busy at all, just how we like it!
It was awesome! Rose thought they were quite adorable and wanted to take one home, but I didn't think one would fit in bed with us and Luna. After the drive, we had some lunch at one of the cowboy restaurants nearby. Yes, I had a burger.... Don't worry, I felt bad about it, but it was quite delicious.
After lunch, we wandered around the Stockyards a little more. There were some cowboys (and girls) on the side of the road offering longhorn rides to tourists. Rose just couldn't resist.
Her new friend's name was Flash. I asked if he was fast — since he certainly doesn't look like it. The cowgirl helping us said only when there's food involved. Me too, Flash. Me too...
After Billy Bob's we headed to the Texas Motor Speedway so Rose could see what the competition was up to. Just kidding, the company that owns the Charlotte Speedway also own Texas.
It was massive. Charlotte is massive too, but everything is bigger in Texas. Oddly, everything was very spaced out. The gift shop sat alone in a sea of parking spaces, far away from the main racetrack. We browsed about and talked to the friendly gift shop employees (some might say overly friendly...). Since nothing else was open, we checked out with our goodies and headed back to camp after a busy day.
Ever since we got to Fort Worth, we had seen information about the Ale Trail. You got a passport from the visitor's center downtown and collected stamps at each local brewery you visit. Collect a certain amount, and you get a free t-shirt. Obviously, it sounded appealing to our style of adventure.
We headed downtown, for the third day in a row, to get our passport. Unfortunately, the city had woken up after its holiday slumber. We couldn't find a parking spot anywhere! It was nothing but traffic, red lights, and frustration — typical city things. This is why we stick to the woods. After a half-dozen laps around the visitor's center, we gave up and headed to the first brewery on the list.
Now, Ale "Trail" makes it sound like all the breweries are in a line, right? That it would be easy to almost walk the trail and visit the breweries? Not at all! Some of the breweries were a 40-minute drive apart! We mapped out our route and headed to the first brewery on the list: Cowtown Brewing Company.
Since we were unsuccessful in getting our passport at the visitor's center, we hoped we would be able to get one at the breweries. It was the first thing we asked for upon walking through the door. The bartender said that they didn't have any and hadn't been replenished for a long time. Quickly losing hope of ever finishing the Ale Trail, we drowned our sorrows in delicious craft beer and decided to continue the trail on our own.
The second brewery we visited was Martin House Brewing Company, about a 25-minute drive away (definitely not a trail!). It was kinda hard to find and you almost needed a 4x4 to navigate the muddy, uneven parking lot, but it turned out to be our favorite brewery of our time in Texas.
I always like to ask bartenders what their favorite beer is. Usually it's something predictable like, "Well, if you like IPAs, pick this one. For a good all-around, pick this one," etc. This time, it was very different. The bartender suggested that we mix a bunch of beer together! For me, he suggested a mix of their Cookie Dough Stout and the Rich Cream Ale: aka. cookies and cream beer! Rose got the Puppy Chow (peanut butter stout). Most flavored beer isn't as flavored as you hope. Not these! It was literally like drinking an Oreo. It was delicious!
Since our Ale Trail dreams were already foiled, and since we probably could never top Martin House, we left it at two breweries and headed back to camp for the day.
There was a little break in the rain, so we made a run for it. It started coming down again just before we got back to the trailer. The second we changed out of our drenched clothes, the sun came out and it didn't rain for the rest of the day. Figures... But it was still a fun time.
Texas was a great trip, and we can't wait to go back. Maybe next time we'll check out Austin or some of the cute little towns in between. For now, it's back to the real-life grind until the next great adventure.
He likes pizza.