Sometimes when traveling you stumble into amazing opportunities! I drove from Lubbock, Texas to Alpine, Texas yesterday. Today, I originally intended to see Alpine and the surrounding area. I started my day be visiting the Big Bend Museum that is located on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Honestly, I had never heard of the university. As I started going through the museum, I heard singing and crowds of people listening all around a meeting room. It turns out that the 33rd annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering was being held on the university campus and two of the rooms in the Big Bend Museum were hosting presenters. Most of the presenters sang cowboy songs with guitars. It was the most amazing discovery! I absolutely loved it! I have never really heard much cowboy poetry, but this was so much fun! The speakers were from many different states, from Texas, to Arizona, to Montana, to Colorado, to Nebraska, to Canada. It was a wonderful amalgamation of talent. I loved listening to all the sessions! Most sang songs, but a few shared amazing poems. I was so impressed!
I spent the entire day listening to different groups. Some were cowboy songs written by individuals and others were classic cowboy songs everyone would recognize. I met two ladies that were retired middle school principals who attend the poetry gathering each year. There were 8 friendly people from Blanco, Texas telling me all about the poetry gathering and their favorite groups. What an amazing culture of music and poetry!! A lady from Albuquerque had won awards for yodeling. Three brothers from Montana had amazing harmony and one was incredible when he yodeled. The audience started clapping in the middle of the song after he yodeled.
Some songs were romantic, others were solemn, and others were about herding cattle. Many people were wearing western outfits. It was such an unexpected discovery to find so many amazingly talented people!
The two principles also told me their favorite areas in Big Bend National Park and gave me recommendations for hikes I should take. I look forward to that later this week. I am grateful to have the opportunity to travel and discover so many special and talented people.