Paris, Texas was our last stop in Texas. Of course we couldn’t miss the Eiffel Tower with a red cowboy hat. It is located between the civic center and a very impressive Veteran’s Memorial. The replica of the Eiffel Tower was originally dedicated in 1993 and was 65 feet tall. In 1998 the red cowboy hat was added to make it a few feet taller.
We walked around the town square and stopped by the Chamber of Commerce to pick up some postcards and find out more about the area. The Chamber shares space with an art gallery and we enjoyed talking with one of the artists who grew up in the Atlanta area but now lives in Paris.
While at the Chamber I spied a brochure for Chisum Days with Chuck Wagon races on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect at a chuck wagon race but it sounded like something we didn’t want to miss. I love it when we happen to be in the area when a fun event like this is taking place. Usually I see a poster for something I’d like to do and it was last week or next month.
The event was a fund raiser for the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars and was held at Lake Crook Park just north of Paris. We attended the event on Sunday, the last day. Rain had left the grounds pretty muddy. There were horse trailers, RV’s and trucks parked all around a large field where the races would take place. We arrived about an hour before the races began and enjoyed watching all the activity as people went about preparing for the races.
The races were really fun to watch. If not for a great announcer we wouldn’t have known what was going on. Each team consisted of a driver, a cook, and an outrider. Two teams competed at a time. At the start of the race each outrider had to load the wagon with a bedroll and cook box before mounting their horse. Each team rounded a barrel before racing around through the woods to the finish line. To win the race the outrider had to cross the finish line before the wagon and the wagon had to have both the bedroll and cook box. All this happened in less than two minutes!
What a great ending to our Texas adventure!
We camped at Pat Mayes West Corps of Engineers Park north of Paris in Powderly, Texas. It was an older park with most of the other campers there for the boating and fishing.