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A Great day for Texas, and a Dog

March 3, 2010

I took off work Tuesday to observe Texas Independence day, a tradition that I’ve long wanted to practice, and frankly, haven’t been able to until now. I rolled out of bed thinking to myself  “what sounds like a good Texas breakfast?” I was hungry, and looking to get in a good meal before heading over to the Texas State Cemetery for a 9am Ceremony. Actually, I didn’t really roll out of bed. I just layed there thinking of some place nearby to go eat. Then all of sudden it was 8:40, and I wouldn’t have time to go somewhere, so I fried some eggs over easy in a bunch of butter, inhaled them, then left for the ceremony. It was cold, and only a few brave souls plus the diehard Texian re-enactment soldiers made it out. The formalities of flag allegiance pledges led to a very neat history lesson about some of the revolutionary folks buried there, including the captors of Santa Anna, and of course, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin.

I did have to make a few business calls prior to lunch, but after that, it was off to pick up Ladybird and down to the greenbelt for her greatest adventure yet. Not before stopping at the Green Mesquite BBQ for a 1/2 lb chopped beef and a side of slaw. I was hoping to get utterly lost in the wilderness and in doing so find some new trails, meet some more dogs, and have a bunch of mandatory creek crossings to get her comfortable with water. What underachieving goals those were! Not only did we do all of these, we did it to the max. When we got far enough away from the main trail, it was time to let her off the leash and just be a dog. Boy, was she excited. We went deeper and deeper into the bush. We successfully forded waist deep and whitewater creek crossings. We got off the beaten path and cut our own. At one point, I was looking across the creek and could see a trail etched into the cliffside opposite us. The water was neck high for a while and I didn’t feel like getting completely soaked, so we waited until finding some shallow rapids to proceed. The way up to the trail was a mad scramble up some steep rock. I didn’t think  Ladybird could handle it, but we’d been running along for a while through some nasty terrain and I thought I’d at least test her. Never underestimate the spirit and prowess of a Texas Blue Lacy. She would’ve impressed a mountain goat the way she flew up the rock. It was absolutely amazing.

After that, I figured she could handle just about anything that I could, so we set out exploring this great new land and making it as adventurous as possible. I threw in sprints and hopping through rock gardens to make it even more fun. We did not come across one single part of trail she couldn’t handle, and I mean to tell you it was some nasty stuff. At one point we crested a hill and were probably about 80 feet directly above the water. The penalty for error was pretty steep, but it didn’t phase out either one of us and we frollicked along at blistering paces. The sun was getting low at this point, casting a yellow glow over the vistas beyond us. It was truly a day to cherish and honor those that fought to secure the independence of this great land. This high trail eventually spit us back out to the Gus Fruh entrance and from there it was a quick run back to the car just before sunset.

Ladybird was clearly a very happy pooch, but also a very tired pooch. I too was tired from running around 4 hours in the woods, and quite hungry. Upon getting back to Colleen’s, it was agreed by all that the proper thing to do would be to eat BBQ for dinner, so we piled in the mazda protege and parked our butts at Ruby’s, where spicy chopped, brisket, and smoked bird were ready to be consumed in mass quantities. I must confess that I also broke a lent commitment by enjoying a Lonestar beer. I had not accounted for Texas Independence day when making the commitment, so I figured God would just have to forgive me. What a great day it was to be alive in Texas, and to be a dog named Ladybird…

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