by Redhorse

Left click to enlarge; right click to copy.

          The Western Star Cowboy Church, in Paradise, Texas, hosted the 4th Annual St. Jude Trailride on Saturday, October 6, 2012.  This year, St. Jude is celebrating 50 years of finding cures and saving children. On February 4, 1962, Danny Thomas opened the doors of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, forever changing the way the world would treat pediatric cancer.

          The Valley View Campground at the LBJ Grasslands was the campsite and lots of volunteers were set up by Friday afternoon.  The Covered Pavilion, along with large tents, served as the Registration Headquarters and lunch facilities.

           The BBQ smoker was working on the briskets all night Friday.  A large gathering huddled around the campfire nearby with some good guitar picking and singing.  The new fall weather had moved in and folks had brought out their cool weather coats and toboggans.  It was good to visit with some folks I rode with at Caprock Canyon some eight years ago. 

           Everyone was tacking up the next morning under overcast skies.  The temperature was 48 with a mild breeze.  Most trailers & tents had set up around the hilltop.  (Luke and I pre-planned a campsite lower down the hill with his pen on the south side.  We both had a great night!).  Misty Valdez drove in from her home (8 miles?) with Mouse all tacked up and ready to ride.

           After some registration and purchasing tickets for the nice saddle raffle, riders gathered at the water tank.  Western Star Pastor Bowden went over plans for the day and offered a blessing for the ride.  Jo Goodwin was Trail Boss for the ride and did a good job. Once the riders got on the trails, the weather conditions changed for the better.  The mild breezes and temperature became perfect riding conditions.

           Riders enjoyed a good ride that included the Royal Gorge and Wood Bridge.  Returning to camp was chillier than the trails.  Riders secured their animals and headed for the lunch line.  Plates were filled with brisket, sausage, potato salad, beans and a wide selection of desserts. (So many that some, along with a brisket, went through the auction sale!)

           Following lunch, a very nice campfire was going and auction bidders gathered around for the auctioneer to begin.  (Check out the bidding sign at right!) As the auction progressed, church member L. H. Wood, a volunteer auctioneer, arrived.  He didn't waste time building a fire under bidders! His calling for bids went from $10 to $80 in a snap! On occasion he'd plead "hard of hearing" and award the item to a non-bidder. He jokingly would say, "Jody, go to the car" if his wife started bidding! His action had everyone rolling their eyes and laughing out loud.  The entertainment he offered was priceless. The "silent auction" sheets already had gathered bids and others were added through the day.

          The ride proved to be great fun and a great ride.  The date for next year's ride is October 5, 2013 and it will be held at the TADRA campsite. There will be a lot of trailriders looking forward to it.

           Photo Gallery

Thanks to the Western Star Cowboy Church Member Michele Leonard for some great photos!