The weekend looked good for riding all week. I kept a close eye on the weather hoping it wouldn’t change so we could take a trip somewhere. At first the plans were to go with a group to Cranfills Gap, TX. It just didn’t play out though. It was short notice and most of the group couldn’t make it. I had a backup plan though! And for Margaret, it was one of those secret destinations that I keep her in the dark with.
The destination? Waxahachie TX for the Texas Hill Country Reporter Festival! I remember watching Bob Phillips and always liked the clean purity of reporting on people and towns throughout Texas. That kind of reporting shows an entirely different side of people and places that you hardly ever see on the news. The history, sites, trades, and artists in the reporting were always portrayed with a positive outlook on the world.
From his travels over the state of Texas Bob Phillips and crew would invite these tradesmen to the Waxahachie Festival. It brings in craftsmen and artists together for an entire day of shopping, music, and eating. If your looking for crafty items, this was the place to be. Margaret and I try to find these craft festivals and visit them when we can. This one however was the largest we have been to all year. We spent almost 5 hours visiting booths and shopping and not once passed the same vendor twice.
The Waxahachie Historical Society was in full swing too! As we were taking pictures of the beautiful historic courthouse a member asked if we wanted a tour. “Absolutely!” I responded. Soon we had a very knowledgeable and exciting guide that led us first around the entire perimeter of the courthouse to give us a very intriguing story about the history of the construction and how city politics greatly influenced the construction results. There are 21 faces of people and gargoyle type creatures carved into the stone around the outside of the building that were a result of the politics. There was also an interesting love story about one of the stone masons that influenced the carved faces. I won’t spoil the details by posting them here, you should make the trip to downtown historic Waxahachie, TX for yourself and take the tour. It’s far more exciting that way!
After the tour and history lesson about the exterior of the building we moved inside and again learned even more about the history of the courthouse. One of the restored doors inside has a bullet hole from an attempted escape that resulted in a shootout and death of the inmate. The bullet hole was left in the original restored door for historical significance. We watched a short movie that detailed the history of the 3 times the courthouse was upgraded and finally restored into its current condition. In the basement the first stone that was laid for the foundation was still in place and was kept preserved with the date carved on it. There were many other sites and stories but again, this was such a wonderful tour it’s better if you make it a ride destination for a day and see it for yourself.
We took back roads home and stopped in Maypearl, TX to shop at Big B’s Leather Shop. They have a huge selection of leather goods for riders and the craftsmanship is superior. We probably spent and hour there talking with the owner and trying on some vests and jackets. I found 2 items I will be going back for when were done spending money on home repairs. There was a vest the owner recommended when she saw my frustration in finding a good fit. She said “You need a tall size” and picked out a couple for me to try. She was right, the tall size fit well and felt really good in comparison to my current vest. It can be difficult sometimes to find gear because of my tall torso but Big B’s has the answer.
As we left Big B’s we knew the day was coming to a close for us. That sinking feeling you get when you know the excitement and fun is almost done began to set in as we got closer to home. Days like this are the type you wish would go on without end. As we pulled into the garage and shut the doors it was somewhat symbolic of closing out the day. The pictures and memories of Saturday will stay with us for many years to come though and keep us searching for new destinations for the next riding adventure.